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Cougars use team approach to outnumber Gaels

January 06, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

The Jefferson girls basketball team entered Thursday night's matchup against St. Maria Goretti with the mindset that everybody plays.

The Cougars starters followed through with the plan as they sprinted out to an 18-3 lead after the first quarter to make way for the reserves, before making a curtain call later in the game to ensure a 60-47 victory at the Gael Center.

All 12 Cougars played and 11 scored at least one point.

"The whole plan coming into this game was to push the team concept," said Cougars coach Peachie Diehl. "We wanted to get everyone in the game for some action."

Katlin Thorsell and Keyara Stevenson each scored six points to ignite the Cougars' first-quarter binge. Thorsell hit three mid-range jump shots and Stevenson scored two buckets in the paint along with two free throws for a 12-2 lead.

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"(Katlin) had a couple of nice shots and Keyara played well inside. They both stepped it up on offense," Diehl said.

With the comfortable lead in the second quarter, Diehl started emptying her bench, which did not miss a beat.

Starting center Katie Danno remained in the game to score six points, while reserve forward Britny Gordon stepped in and scored eight of her team-high 10 points in the period to give Jefferson a 37-19 halftime lead.

"They had a balanced attack without much of a weakness," said Gaels coach Todd Rideout. "They shot the ball well and took care of it. We were digging ourselves out of a hole the whole game."

Goretti (6-7) continued to dig after halftime and finally started to make headway against Jefferson's reserves. The Gaels took advantage of six traveling calls on the Cougars (4-4) in the period and used an 11-0 run to close the gap to 40-34 with 2:34 remaining in the third quarter.

Four of the Cougars' five starters re-entered the game during the spurt by Goretti. The Cougars went on to score eight of the last 10 points of the quarter to take a 48-36 lead. Jefferson held the double-digit lead the rest of the way.

"It was a gut check. We were down and they thought we would give up," Rideout said. "All of a sudden it was a six-point game. Then I think the girls got a little tired."

Carissa Grove led Goretti with 14 points behind a 6-for-7 performance from the free throw line. The Gaels hit 17 of 22 free throws in the game, compared to 8-for-25 by Jefferson. Erica DiMercurio had nine points, Erin Haney and Sarah Spierenburg each added eight and Spierenburg blocked six shots.

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