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Gaels use rare fast start to leave Hancock in dust

January 29, 2006|By DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

One girls basketball coach loved the way his team played from the opening tip Saturday afternoon. The other coach ... well, you can probably guess what he thought.

St. Maria Goretti took the fight to Hancock from the start, running out to a 16-2 lead and never looking back in a 54-37 victory in an Apple Valley League contest at the Gael Center.

Erica DiMercurio had 18 points, including several layups following aggressive forays down the lane, and center Sarah Spierenburg added 16 points, five rebounds and four blocks for the Gaels (9-13, 1-5), who jumped all over the Panthers (4-9, 1-3) to notch their first league win this season.

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"This is the first time we came out all season with aggression," Goretti coach Todd Rideout said. "Instead of us getting pressured, we did the pressuring. ... We went to the basket real hard, made layups and made foul shots, and that was the key to the game."

"They weren't ready to play," Hancock coach Rocky Wills said of his squad. "They said they were, but they weren't. You could see that, right?"

Goretti's starters all had a hand in the Gaels' opening run. DiMercurio had seven points, Spierenburg four and Erin Haney and Charissa Grove each added a bucket in the first quarter.

"All in all, I'm just pleased with the effort," Rideout said. "The last couple of games, we've been fighting ourselves. ... We got a whole team effort tonight. The starting five clicked together today."

Grove finished with nine points, Haney had five steals and DiMercurio four steals for the Gaels.

Despite being less than 100 percent due to illness, Jennifer Willison had 24 points, 23 rebounds and six steals for Hancock. The rest of the team combined for 13 points and 14 rebounds. Kris Creek scored six points on two second-half 3-pointers; no other Panther scored more than two points.

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