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Storm knocks off Saints

January 27, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - It could be said that Mercersburg Academy girls basketball coach Don Porter is on the treadmill of life, but he's not even close to jumping off.

Porter, in his first year at the helm for the Blue Storm, didn't arrive until the second quarter of his team's game with St. James after being stuck in traffic.

And although it took Mercersburg until the fourth quarter, patience paid off for the Blue Storm, which found an opening and cruised to a 48-36 win over St. James Wednesday at the Nolde Athletic Center.

"I am one of the few coaches here that work off campus," Porter said. "I come from Rockville every day. But I am in this for the long haul."

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If Porter thought the traffic was slow, he should have seen the start that Mercersburg (4-8) had against the overmatched Saints (1-9), who were playing without starting center Whitney Neilson.

"They simply outsized us," St. James coach Ted Camp said. "Inside, (Danielle) Porter and (Dushi) Matijafevic got about every rebound and gave them three or four shots."

Porter finished with a game-high 14 points and 11 rebounds.

It took three quarters for the Blue Storm to take advantage of the scrappy Saints, who took the lead in the third quarter by playing a dogged half-court trap that created numerous turnovers and frustrated Mercersburg with several empty trips down the floor.

The main reason for St. James' surge in the second half came from the spirited play of guard Katie Graham, who ended the game with 13 points and 15 rebounds and kept the Saints in the hunt until late in the fourth quarter.

"Katie had a great game on both ends of the floor," Camp said. "It just came down to us running out of gas."

The play of Mercersburg guards Anna Petry and Ashley Demeza - who each finished with 11 points - also made the Saints a little more leg weary.

"I think they need my urging and the sound of my voice telling them what to do," Porter said. "I think we played our fundamentals better when I was talking to them.

"They know I'm in this for the long haul."

Mercersburg 48, St. James 36

ST. JAMES (36)

Rosenthal 4, Pecoraro 5, Kopp 6, Ferrell 2, McKeachie 2, Graham 17. Totals 13 8-18 36.

MERCERSBURG ACADEMY (48)

Demeza 11, Petry 11, McCartney 2, Porter 14, Parker 8, Matijasevic 2. TOTALS 18 12-18 48.

St. James48168-36

Mercersburg9101019-48

Three-point goals - St James 2 (Pecoraro, Kopp). JV - Mercersburg Academy, 21-10. (MA: Christina Onger, 8 points).

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