The Eagles took their first lead of the game midway through the third period, 20-19, on a basket by Corey Davis. Mike Nelson scored for Goretti and Derrick Davis followed with a 3-pointer to regain the lead, 28-27, heading to the final period.
In the middle minutes of the last quarter, McDonogh went on a 17-6 run - including a 3-pointer by Brick, who also made 5 of 6 from the free-throw line - and used a high-powered transition offense that worked effectively off Gaels' turnovers.
"We just got focused at halftime," Brick said. "We knew we were better than we played in the first half and we just came out and played aggressively."
No argument there from Gaels coach Cokey Robertson.
"We lost our patience when they came back and got the lead," Robertson said. "We mentally disintegrated losing the lead. We knew they were good and they showed it at the end."
The Gaels opened with a 10-2 lead through the first quarter with good floor leadership from senior Derrick Davis, who finished with 16 points and six rebounds. Overall good defense stifled the Eagles, who got one basket off a turnover in the first 10 minutes until they hit a jumper early in the second quarter.
"We handled the press and hit our spots in the first half," Robertson said. "And then when we fell behind we did not play smart. But it's early in the year and we'll work on these things."
McDonough 57, Goretti 40
Brick 15, Davis 7, Drummond 7, Popoko 8, White 8, Lott 10, Goldberg 2. Totals 18 18-26 57.
ST. MARIA GORETTI (40)
Davis 16, Nelson 5, Breslin 6, Costello 7, Spierenburg 1, Herman 3, Tornetta 2. Totals 13 12-16 40.
Three-point goals - McDonough 3 (Brick 2, Popoko), Goretti 2 (Davis, Costello). JV - McDonough, 45-35 (SMG: Trevor Cobb 11).