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Gaels falter down stretch

January 17, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

St. Frances Academy of Baltimore put together an awesome six minutes on both ends of the floor at the start of the third quarter Thursday night, and it was enough to wreak havoc on a gallant upset bid by St. Maria Goretti.

The Panthers rallied in strong fashion to post a 58-52 Baltimore Catholic League boys victory over the Gaels, who took a 27-24 lead at halftime only to get run over by a 20-8 onslaught by St. Frances in the third quarter.

Derrick Davis and Steve Costello scored eight points apiece in a first half in which the Gaels (8-11, 1-5) shot 60 percent (12 of 20). Due to a shoulder injury, Davis was a game-time decision and he was finally inserted into the game midway through the first quarter and jump-started the Goretti offense.

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However, the Panthers (12-3, 4-2) came storming out from the lockers after halftime.

Derrick Brooks had eight points as the Panthers took the lead, 30-29, with 5:22 to go in the quarter. Three minutes later, the lead was up to seven and the Gaels had to scratch and claw to get back into the game.

"If we could end the games we've played this year at halftime with a lead we'd be unbeaten," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson. "They were strong in the middle and they came out after halftime and put two and three guys on Derrick, and we just didn't have anyone else step up."

St. Frances adjusted defensively, holding Davis without so much as a field goal attempt in the period.

"We had to stop Davis with double help," said St. Frances coach William Wells. "He was getting back-door looks in the first half.

Down by 11 two minutes into the final quarter at 46-35, Goretti made a last-ditch effort and once again, it was behind the efforts of Davis, who aggravated the shoulder injury but worked through it with an 11-point period.

Jay Breslin got four quick points and then Davis took over to get the Gaels within four, 48-44, with 2:28 to go. Davis then nailed a 3-pointer from well behind the arc to make it 50-47.

But four free throws by Brooks help seal the Panther's victory.

St. Frances 58, Goretti 52

ST. FRANCES ACADEMY (58)

Walker 18, Chase 10, Brooks 12, Scroggins 6, Brown 8, Edwards 4. Totals 25-48 6-11 58.

ST. MARIA GORETTI (52)

Davis 19, Breslin 8, Costello 8, Herman 4, Nelson 7, Spierenburg 2, Kellinger 4. Totals 22-43 5-6 52.

St. Frances 13 11 20 14 - 58

Goretti 12 15 8 17 - 52

Three-point goals - St. Frances 2 (Walker 2), Goretti 3 (Davis 2, Costello). Technical foul - Chase (SF). JV - St. Frances, 63-45 (G: Tim Alexander 14).

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