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Tanner torches Blue Storm

January 24, 2002

Tanner torches Blue Storm



By DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

As the leading scorer for the St. Maria Goretti boys basketball team, forward Matt Tanner has certain plays that go to him.

He'd just never used this many at one time.

The senior forward, a second-team All-Area selection last season, went 12-for-17 from the field for a career-high 30 points on Wednesday night as the No. 6 Gaels jumped on Mercersburg Academy early for a 62-49 victory.

Open shots came from everywhere on the floor as the Goretti attack funneled through Tanner, who abused every defensive assignment thrown at him.

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"That wasn't what we had planned, but things worked out that way," Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "And when he gets in a rhythm, you better look out."

Mercersburg did plenty of looking early, mostly watching shots go over their heads and into the basket. When Tanner hit his second 3 of the game with 4:47 left in the first half, he had tied the Blue Storm by himself and Goretti (13-7) led, 27-14.

"They're a good defensive team," Tanner said. "It was just one of those nights when everything for you goes in."

While Goretti's pregame film must have consisted of scouting tapes, Mercersburg played like it had watched "The Wizard of Oz." The Blue Storm started as the heartless Tin Man during the Gaels' opening run, then switched over to the scatter-brained Scarecrow role while trying to make a second-half comeback.

"We've got to be aware for 32 minutes in a game," Mercersburg coach Mark Cubit said. "We were probably aware for about 10 minutes tonight. And if you're not, Matt's going to drill you, and he did that."

Tanner kept things up in the third quarter and Goretti led 47-29 before Mercersburg (4-7) rallied. The Blue Storm closed the gap to 53-44 and stole an inbounds pass, but Antoine McGee's wild try at a layup rimmed out. Goretti's Derrick Davis got the rebound, was fouled and made both sides of a 1-and-1 for an 11-point lead that never shrunk again.

"We knew they'd make a run," Robertson said. "They're too good not to. It's basketball; you can't play a whole game without that little lapse in there somewhere."

No. 6 Goretti 62 Mercersburg 49


MERCERSBURG ACADEMY (49)

S. Christiansen 9, Campos 2, K. Christiansen 5, McGee 16, Lay 15, Leborious 2. Totals 20-50 4-7 49.

ST. MARIA GORETTI (62)

Costello 2, Adenhart 2, Hudson 6, Breslin 2, Davis 13, M. Spierenburg 7, Tanner 30. Totals 23-41 11-15 62.

Mercersburg8111515-49

Goretti15161615-62

Three-point goals-Mercersburg 5 (S. Christiansen 2, K. Christiansen, McGee 2), Goretti 4 (Davis, Tanner 3).

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