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Gaels' Davis finds game

December 13, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Derrick Davis and his game got separated from each other on Thursday.

St. Maria Goretti's senior guard was going one way with the ball while his game seemed to be hanging out at the concession stand.

But Davis got reunited with the form that makes him the focal point of the Gaels' offense in the second half, using a crucial eight-point flurry to give Goretti a firm hold on the lead on the way to a 46-34 victory over Mercersburg Academy in the first-night nightcap of the Mercersburg Rotary Showcase Classic.

"Is that a nice win for us?" Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "Derrick got it going in the third quarter. We knew we had a bit of a mismatch and he got his rhythm."

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Rhythm was the last thing the game had before Davis got in tune. In fact, both Goretti and Mercersburg's defenses had about as much harmony as rap played on an accordion.

Goretti (3-2) held a 21-16 lead at the half before Davis found the open floor to start the third quarter. He scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the first five minutes of the second half. The stretch accounted for all but two points of the Gaels' 15-3 opening run for a 36-19 lead.

"He didn't have it in the first half," Robertson said. "He was trying to do too much. He had to wait for the game to come to him."

It ended up being Davis' five minutes of fame, though. Soon after hitting an eight-footer off the right baseline, he collected his fourth foul and headed to the bench.

With Davis out, the Blue Storm turned up the pressure to take advantage of the Gaels without their main point guard. Mercersburg got the ball going its way, but the breaks and some frigid shooting sent coach Mark Cubit home frustrated and without comment.

The Blue Storm got back to within 41-27 with 5:57 remaining, bringing Davis back into the game. But he lasted all of 10 seconds before fouling out.

Goretti was able to protect the ball and the lead down the stretch behind Joey Breslin and guards Steve Costello and Dennis Hazenstab. The Blue Storm scored the final five points, but it wasn't nearly enough.

Breslin hit only three baskets - including two 3s - but still had 13 points and four assists. Mercersburg's Romone Penny did most of his damage in the first half to finish with 10.

"This is a big win for us because it's local and our only natural rival," Robertson said. "This was a good game for us because we got some solid play from the bench. We were able to work in five inside players and five guards tonight."

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