Goretti holds off St. James

December 04, 2003|by JACK HILL III

ST. JAMES - The St. Maria Goretti girls basketball team managed to score enough points to pull out a 27-23 win over the St. James Saints on Wednesday.

It was the season opener for the Saints, while the Gaels raised their record to 3-0.

"We came out in the first quarter and we went inside," St. Maria Goretti coach Todd Rideout said. "We just got some easy buckets. For the rest of the way, we just got lackadaisical. We had a lack of concentration. I'm just glad to come out with a win."

Goretti built a 23-8 advantage with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, before the Saints began to gradually chop away at the Gaels' lead.

St. James still trailed by eight points going into the final minute of the fourth quarter. But Katherine Kopp successfully converted a pair of free throws with 59 seconds to go and Whitney Neilson made a 3-point field goal with 27 seconds left to enable the Saints to narrow the gap to 26-23.


St. James was able to get the ball back after a St. Maria Goretti turnover. But Kopp missed a 3-point field-goal attempt with 11 seconds remaining.

Jackie Palmer grabbed the defensive rebound for the Gaels and was immediately fouled. Palmer sank the first of her two foul shots with seven seconds to go to give the Gaels their final winning margin.

"The first half was just a lot of opening-game jitters," St. James coach Ted Camp said. "Our timing was way off. They took advantage of our faults. They have some really good players."

The Saints did show some improvement during the second half.

"In the second half, we came out more relaxed," Camp said. "We put a tough defense on them and tried to tire them out. I was really pleased with our comeback effort in the second half."

Tasha Deneen collected 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals for Goretti, while Katie Martin had 10 rebounds, eight points and three blocked shots and Jessica Myers grabbed eight rebounds for the Gaels.

Kopp scored eight points, Neilson had seven rebounds and seven points and Claire Randall came off of the bench to get six points for the Saints.

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