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Proving a point

Gaels make case for inclusion among area's best

Gaels make case for inclusion among area's best

January 30, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

St. Maria Goretti seniors Derrick Davis and Joey Breslin agreed Wednesday night's matchup with No. 2 Martinsburg was a statement game.

The Gaels made statement after deafening statement, and the Bulldogs got drowned out in a way no Martinsburg or Goretti fan could ever have seen coming.

Playing at the top of its game for the full 32 minutes, Goretti put together an effort that left even coach Cokey Robertson amazed, blowing past Martinsburg 68-27 at the Gael Center.

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"You usually don't see that type of effort from (the first minute) to 32," Robertson said. "Our kids were so excited and fired up, the referee had to come over and quiet them down."

It was a performance as close to perfection in both execution and energy as any likely to be seen at the high school level. The effort also justified Goretti's belief that, despite its sub-.500 record, it deserves mention with the area's elite teams.

"Teams don't understand the competition we play," said Breslin of the Gaels' difficult Baltimore Catholic League schedule. "We've beaten every team in the area we've played, and we think we're the best team in the area. ... I wasn't shocked by (the margin of victory) at all. Forty points is a big gap, but it doesn't surprise us."

"We wanted to make a statement and tell everybody we are one of the top teams in the area, if not the top team," Davis said. "We play a tough schedule, we play some of the best teams in the country. We take our local games seriously. ... We want people to talk about us."

There was no quieting the Gaels (12-13) on the court.

Breslin scored 22 points and Davis added 18 for Goretti, which used a 17-0 run in the first 10 minutes to take a 19-4 lead and dominated every facet of the game the entire way.

On offense, the Gaels committed only eight turnovers while patiently working the ball around and getting good looks inside. When those looks missed, Goretti was there on the offensive boards - especially Davis, who played far bigger than his 6-foot frame.

On defense, Goretti's frontcourt of Joey Spierenburg, Mike Nelson and Mason Herman made life difficult for Martinsburg (9-4) inside the paint, blocking several shots and altering many others. Forced to take outside jumpers, the Bulldogs never got in any kind of offensive flow, finding iron with regularity.

"Our defense was superb, we ran our stuff superbly, we took care of the ball," Robertson said. "We did an awful lot of good things, even our offensive rebounding was the best it's been all year."

St. Maria Goretti 68 No. 2 Martinsburg 27


MARTINSBURG (27)

Johnson 10, Horst 4, Clise 4, Barrett 3, Sowers 2, Franks 2, Richmond 2. Totals 10-5-10 27.

ST. MARIA GORETTI (68)

Breslin 22, Davis 18, Nelson 2, Costello 2, Spierenburg 6, Tornetta 4, Herman 2, Kellinger 7, Green 4, Hazenstab 1. Totals 26 15-22 68.

Martinsburg 4 9 10 4 - 27

Goretti 16 13 18 21 - 68

Three-point goals - Martinsburg 2 (Johnson, Barrett), Goretti 1 (Breslin).

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