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Third time a charm? Not for the Gaels

January 19, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

Most area basketball coaches would love to have three bona fide scoring threats.

Mercersburg Academy boys basketball coach Mark Cubit has virtually an entire roster of them.

That might explain why the Blue Storm remained undefeated after beating back pesky St. Maria Goretti 55-46 in the Gael Center on Wednesday night - Mercersburg's third victory over the Gaels this season.

"A lot of (teams) spend a lot of time trying to stop Colin (Cubit) and Alex (Tyler)," said Mark Cubit. "But when we have Josh Davis and Justin Moore, with Casey Oliver and Jarvis Hodge coming off the bench, it makes it tough."

While Mercersburg (15-0) led throughout most of the game, almost every time Goretti (6-14) threatened to take the lead, someone for the Blue Storm answered the call.

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Trailing 14-8 after the first period, Andrew Chambers led the Gaels on a 9-2 run to take their last lead of the game, 17-16. But Moore scored four points in 56 seconds and Neil Gordon finished the period with a 3-pointer for a 26-20 halftime lead.

A four-point Goretti run to start the second half closed the gap to 26-24, but the Blue Storm responded with an 11-4 rally in the last five minutes of the quarter behind Davis and Tyler.

Gene Johnson and Kevin Breslin scored six fourth-quarter points each to pull the Gaels within six with 2:37 remaining, but Tyler stepped up with a three-point play to push the lead to 51-40.

Two Goretti steals led to four quick points and trimmed the margin to 51-44 with 1:34 remaining, but Tyler and Moore had two points each down the stretch to stave off the final Gaels threat.

"When a team is struggling, you don't seem to be able to get that break when you need it," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson. "We got (Mercersburg) on the run a couple times tonight, we just couldn't keep them on the run. They have a lot of weapons. They have a good team. That's why they're undefeated."

Meanwhile, the Gaels struggled to find any offense at all, hitting 18 of 49 shots (37 percent) and missing all eight attempts from beyond the arc.

Mercersburg drained five 3s and hit 18 of 40 shots (45 percent).

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