"We got a little rattled in the third quarter, but (Mike) Nelson, (Joey) Breslin and (Steve) Costello really stepped up. And (Joey) Spierenburg had a great game."
The Gaels (10-12) held a 30-27 halftime lead but Mercersburg Academy jumped out to a 40-36 lead on a pair of long-range bombs by Carlos Campos and one by Sean Christiansen.
Davis had a putback two-pointer on a rebound and Nelson made a pair of aggressive moves for baskets to put Goretti back on top 42-40 with 22 seconds left in the period.
Breslin hit eight points and Costello added four to pick up the scoring at the outset of the final period. Goretti extended its lead to 54-46 with 3:30 to play on a basket from the right wing by Costello off an inbound play that stunned the Blue Storm (6-5).
"Coach has been telling us that we need to take some of the scoring stress off Derrick, especially late in the game when he gets tired," said Nelson, a 6-foot-5 junior who had six of his nine points in the key third period.
Breslin was fairly dormant offensively until the final eight minutes when he hit for eight of his 10 points. Spierenburg had eight second-half points and also swatted away four Blue Storm shots. He was a menace on the boards with eight rebounds as Goretti held a 28-17 margin.
"It's always tough playing here," said Mercersburg coach Mark Cubit. "We didn't get a lot of the loose balls and could have shot better from the line (10 of 18). Goretti's role players did a good job."
The Blue Storm fired away 18 times from behind the arc and hit eight, including four by Christiansen, who led Mercersburg with 21 points, supported by Campos' 15.
JV: Jake Hume hit a three-pointer with two seconds left for the Gaels to force overtime and Goretti finished off a 56-54 victory. Tim Alexander had 13 points for Goretti and Ben Lampert 20 for Mercersburg.