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Goretti tumbles in tourney opener

March 16, 2001

Goretti tumbles in tourney opener



By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

St. John Neumann 70 St. Maria Goretti 60



ST. JOHN NEUMANN (70)

Cunningham 2-7 1-2 6, Delbrocco 7-9 3-4 24, Green 1-3 0-0 2, Haddix 7-13 0-0 14, Jones 1-1 0-0 2, Taylor 6-13 7-10 20, Thomas 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 25-49 11-16 70.

ST. MARIA GORETTI (60)

Gibson 10-17 3-4 26, Wills 0-4 0-0 0, Carter 2-3 0-0 6, Tanner 4-13 2-2 11, Spierenburg 3-5 1-2 7, Davis 4-11 1-3 10, Adenhart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 11-16 60.

Neumann2491521-70

Goretti17151117-60

Three-point goals - St. John Neumann 9-16 (Delbrocco 7-9, Cunningham 1-3, Taylor 1-4), Goretti 7-15 (Gibson 3-3, Carter 2-3, Davis 1-5, Tanner 1-3, Wills 0-1).

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FROSTBURG, Md. - Coach Carl Arrigale had the feeling his St. John Neumann team couldn't defend themselves in a phone booth on Thursday.

There was something familiar about St. Maria Goretti, but the Pirates were having trouble putting a finger on it. Once they realized Goretti ran a similar offensive set, they had the Gaels under their thumbs.

Neumann took a chance defensively and turned the second half of the first round of the 41st Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament into a scrimmage, out lasting Goretti 70-60 at Frostburg State University's Bobcat Arena.

"We were having trouble covering our own offense," Arrigale said. "We run a variation of the same Flex offensive set that Goretti uses. We decided to give the 3-2 zone defense a whirl. If we could rebound out of it, we had a chance.''

Neumann, the Philadelphia Catholic League champs, had more than a chance. They had total control of the game.

The Pirates (19-7) not only hit the boards, they held Goretti's leading scorer Rodney Gibson to five points in the second half - only two coming in the final 12 minutes.

"They hurt us inside with all their penetration," Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "We got back into the game, but we ended up having too many breakdowns on the perimeter. They collapsed on defense and took Rodney out of the game and then when we had a couple of critical plays, we turned the ball over."

It all spelled a rough start for Goretti (25-10) in its first Alhambra appearance since 1987 ... and it's only going to get rougher. The Gaels will face DeMatha in today's second consolation semifinal at 5:45 p.m. The Stags suffered a 57-56 upset at the hand of Mount St. Joseph's, a team Goretti beat three times this season.

Goretti looked like it was in store for a long night early against Neumann as Chris Delbrocco hit St. John's first six shots - all from 3-point range - to give the Pirates a 18-13 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Gaels chipped back behind Gibson. The Baltimore Catholic League's MVP scored 21 of his game-high 26 points, including 13 of Goretti's 15 second-quarter points, to bring the Gaels to within 33-32 at the half.

Matt Tanner scored the first basket of the second half to give Goretti the lead, but Neumann countered with a 15-4 run over the next six minutes to take control of the game.

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