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Deneen's late flurry paces Gaels to win

January 30, 2004|by JACK HILL III

Just about the time it looked like St. Maria Goretti was about to turn to confetti, it became Deneen's scene.

Tasha Deneen scored seven of her team-high 11 points to ignite a 9-3 run midway through the fourth quarter Thursday that lifted the host Goretti girls basketball team to a 42-38 victory over Heritage Academy.

"When we were struggling, Tasha Deneen carried us through the fourth quarter," St. Maria Goretti coach Todd Rideout said. "Tasha made some clutch baskets that helped to pull us through."

Goretti (8-11) held a 33-27 lead with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the game when the junior forward took over. In a matter of 3 1/2 minutes - and the bulk of Deneen's scoring output for the game - the Gaels sat with a comfortable 42-30 advantage to guard over the last two minutes of play.

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It was more than enough as the Eagles (11-5) scored the final eight points to make cut the final deficit to four points.

"It was a good win for us after being off for two weeks," Rideout said. "It hurt us when Katie Martin fouled out in the beginning of the fourth quarter. But Jessica Myers got some clutch rebounds and played good defense down the stretch."

Martin supported Deneen with 10 points and five steals before fouling out, while freshman Jessica Myers added seven rebounds and five steals for the Gaels.

"We played hard to the end and I was proud of it," Martin said. "I think that the key to the victory was that we all worked well together."

Martin got some room to work when Heritage lost some of it's inside punch. Center Heidi Stamper, who had seven rebounds, left the game with a sprained right ankle with 2:18 to go in the third quarter.

St. Maria Goretti jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the opening 3 1/2 minutes to put Heritage in chase mode the rest of the game.

Whitney Schlimgen had 13 points and four assists for Heritage, while Heather Stamper added 12 points and five steals. Jamie Dudeck added eight rebounds and four steals for the Eagles.

"I thought that our girls played good after we went down 10-0," Heritage coach Barry Lourdon said. "Goretti played real good and they passed really well. It was probably one of the best passing teams that we have played against."

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