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Goretti turned away

Poor shooting does in the Gaels in the Baltimore Catholic League tournament final

Poor shooting does in the Gaels in the Baltimore Catholic League tournament final

February 26, 2002|By DAN SPEARS

- Poor shooting does in the Gaels in the Baltimore Catholic League tournament final.

BALTIMORE - Monday night in the Baltimore Catholic League championship game, the St. Maria Goretti boys basketball team got into a staring contest - with itself. Its defense never blinked against Archbishop Spalding, but the offense flinched big time in the form of turnovers and missed jumpers.

In the end, the Gaels lost the internal tug-of-war and the game, as the Cavaliers added a tournament championship to their regular-season title with a 45-36 victory at Goucher College.

"Too many missed shots, and easy shots at that," Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "We were never in sync on offense, part of the credit to them, part of it to us."

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The game between the league's top two teams became a study in organized chaos in a hurry. Both sides were patient to a fault on the offensive end until they shot. For Goretti, it usually resulted in a rushed jumper from the perimeter. In Spalding's case, an off-balance shot in the lane wasn't close or got blocked out of bounds.

"Defensively, we wanted to contest their shots, and we did a good job not giving (Joey Breslin) and (Matt) Tanner open looks," Spalding coach Mike Glick said.

So, despite going only 11-for-28 from the field, Goretti tied it at 26-26 on Matt Tanner's 3 with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

At that point, Spalding changed its defense again. The Cavaliers unleashed a box-and-one on Tanner, the league's most valuable player, and held him to two shots in the game's final 10 minutes. Add in an already frustrating first three quarters, and the Gaels (24-11, No. 7 Herald-Mail poll) ran out of answers, going scoreless for the next seven minutes.

"Tanner forced a couple tonight," Robertson said. "And poor Derrick (Davis), he just had a horrible night tonight."

With Tanner and Davis, the team's two leading scorers, combining to go 7-for-24, the Cavaliers finally took advantage late. They stretched to a 38-28 lead with three minutes to play before Goretti's last rally.

The Gaels closed to 38-34 on Davis' only field goal with 1:31 to play, but Spalding got two buckets and three free throws down the stretch to pull away.

The loss was Goretti's first in the BCL title game; the Gaels had gone 4-for-4 in championship appearances before Monday.

"That's the goal, to win it again," Robertson said. "But to get this far, and then fall on your face like we did, that's tough."

Spalding 45, St. Maria Goretti 36


ST. MARIA GORETTI (36)

Costello 1, M. Hudson 4, Breslin 12, Davis 2, M. Spierenburg 2, Tanner 13, Herman 2. Totals 14-41 4-10 36.

ARCHBISHOP SPALDING (45)

Thompson 9, C. Hudson 10, Bowers 10, Latonik 6, Durr 7, Brooks 3. Totals 16-38 11-17 45.

Goretti127710-36

Spalding815517-45

Three-point goals-Goretti 4 (Breslin 3, Tanner), Spalding 2 (Latonik 2).

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