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Gaels rally to defeat Indians

January 28, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Much like the boys team did Sunday, Saint Maria Goretti's girls waited until the fourth quarter to post a 36-26 victory over No. 5 Southern Fulton on Monday night.

After three sloppy quarters in which the Gaels constantly threw the ball away and got hammered on the offensive boards, they were only one point down heading to the final eight minutes.

Then, seniors Kelly Wills and Katie Chambers escaped from their doldrums to power unranked Goretti (14-8) to a decisive 16-point quarter.

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"We were so impatient in the first half," Goretti coach Todd Rideout said. "The girls came to life. We started limiting Fulton to one shot and that got us back into the game."

Thirty seconds into the final period, Wills drained a 3-pointer for a 23-21 lead Goretti would not relinquish.

Chambers followed with a basket at 6:03 and a drive along the baseline at the 4:53 mark to give Goretti a 27-20 lead.

Wills added another goal and then went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe to ice the victory.

Goretti was in a deep funk in the third period, still trying to keep the first half out of its mind.

Down, 18-13, and without a point in the third quarter, Heidi Mothershead got the Gales into gear with a basket in transition off a rebound. She followed with two more quick points off a steal.

"Those two baskets by Heidi really got things going for us," Rideout said. "I think that broke the ice."

Wills, who averages 11 points, ended with 17. Chambers managed six, below her 10-point average, but controled the boards when the Gaels got in position.

"Coach just kept telling us to be smart," Wills said. "We knew we had to step it up."

Chambers had six of her game-high 13 rebounds in the fourth quarter, three that started transition baskets.

Southern Fulton (14-4) controlled the offensive boards, 14-9, mostly from the outset until the middle of the third period.

Samantha Cain set the early pace for the Indians and Jenny Liggett picked up in the second quarter.

However, the Indians encountered shooting woes, finishing 9 of 44, including 4 of 22 from beyond the arc.

While Cain and Liggett each had 11 points for Southern Fulton, the Indians' top scorer, Bethany Mellott, went 0-for-9 from the floor and had one point.

"I take nothing away from Goretti," coach Mark Mellott said. "This was the worst game of the year we played. We weren't ready to play and Goretti was."




Goretti 36, No. 5 S. Fulton 26



SOUTHERN FULTON (26)

Mellott 1, Liggett 11, Bard 1, Cain 11, Watson 2. Totals 9-44 4-8 26.

ST. MARIA GORETTI (36)

Wills 17, Chambers 6, Deneed 2, Martin 3, A. Mothershead 2, H. Mothershead 6. Totals 12-37 10-15 36.

S. Fulton 8 6 7 5 26

Goretti 9 47 16 36

Three-point goals Southern Fulton 4 (Liggett 3, Cain), Goretti 2 (Wills 2). JV Goretti 34-27 (SF: Brandy Swope and Jessie Wigfield 12; SMG: Heidi Mothershead 15).

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