Repeat performance - No. 2 'Dogs sweep No. 5 Gaels

February 06, 2002

Repeat performance - No. 2 'Dogs sweep No. 5 Gaels

By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

No. 2 Martinsburg 54
No. 5 Goretti 44


Largent 8, Barrett 9, Springette 14, Clise 2, Horst 6, Pittsnogle 11, Washington 4. Totals 20 11-16 54.


Tanner 21, M. Spierenburg 8, Davis 7, Breslin 4, Hudson 4. Totals 15 12-15 44.



Three-point goals-Martinsburg 3 (Barrett, Springette 2). St, Maria 2 (Tanner 2). JV-Martinsburg, 51-48.

Dave Rogers might have been thinking about a game in December. That was the last time his No. 2 Martinsburg boys basketball team scored fewer than 70 points. It was also the Bulldogs' first loss of the season.


But was Rogers concerned when his club finished the first half with just 21 points? Absolutely.

All St. Maria Goretti had to do was take advantage of the slower tempo, but Bulldogs' defense made sure that didn't happen and ran away with a 54-44 victory over the fifth-ranked Gaels Tuesday night.

"I was worried," Rogers said. "St. Maria Goretti is an awfully good basketball team. I've watched them many times, and they execute extremely well."

But according to Gaels coach Cokey Robertson, execute is exactly what his club didn't do.

"We just didn't do a very good job with our zone offense and our passing was atrocious," Robertson said. "You can't play top-level teams and throw the ball away."

Goretti (16-9) was within striking distance with less than 60 seconds left, but Brandon Barrett and Tristan Largent hit six straight free throws to secure the win.

The Bulldogs (14-2) played without starter Michael Ware, who is out two to three weeks with an ankle injury, according to Rogers, and nearly had to go without 6-foot-10 center Kevin Pittsnogle, who complained of dizziness before the game. Even less than 100 percent, Pittsnogle held his ground against the equally tall Matt Spierenburg.

"I'm not used to playing against somebody that big," said Pittsnogle. "He's a good player. He's a good shot-blocker and he hits the boards good."

After Martinsburg (14-2) established a four-point edge midway through the second period, Goretti's Matt Tanner began finding the range with seven points in the final four minutes to help pull the Gaels into a 21-21 tie at the half.

After Buck Springette sparked the Bulldogs in the first half, Jeff Horst took over in the third period, hitting six points with Pittsnogle on the bench in foul trouble and propelling Martinsburg to a 38-35 lead entering the final eight minutes.

Springette hit a pair of easy buckets to open the final period to give the Bulldogs a more-comfortable seven-point lead.

After pulling to within four midway through the quarter, Goretti watched the Bulldogs reel off 10 of the next 12 points - six of which came from the free throw line - to ice the win.

The Herald-Mail Articles