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Hornes hooks Goretti in the homestretch

February 15, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

After a 39-point performance in the season opener, the expectations of Andre Hornes immediately became very high.

There have been some speedbumps encountered and the scoring has not been as prolific as some would have expected, but the 6-foot-5 senior has declared himself ready for the stretch run, one he hopes will get him and his teammates to the West Virginia state tournament.

Hornes racked up a 31-point effort Tuesday to lead No. 3 Martinsburg to a hard-earned 64-56 victory over St. Maria Goretti in the Gael Center, a performance he plans on riding out to the end.

"It hit me a couple of days ago that this is it, it's my senior year," said Hornes, who hit 12 of 16 shots, including a 3-pointer. "I realized I only had five games left beginning (tonight) to the end of the season. And then, I want to get to the state."

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Hornes came out blazing, scoring 20 of Martinsburg's 28 first-half points on the way to a five-point halftime lead. He had a 14-point second quarter, including 10 in succession that pushed Martinsburg (15-3) to a 24-13 advantage.

"I needed to be active and we were working off the screens set to get open down low," said Hornes.

"We didn't cover the backside and we made a Hall of Famer out of Hornes," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson.

However, Goretti (9-21), fueled by nine of Ben Alencherry's 11 points, came surging back with an effective third period to take a 39-38 lead with 1:44 left in the quarter after Andrew Chambers hit two free throws.

"We had a great third quarter and then we have a meltdown in the fourth quarter," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson. "It's one thing to get tired physically, but you just can't get tired mentally and make mistakes."

With the game knotted at 45-45 and 5:15 left, the Bulldogs took advantage of mental lapses by Goretti's defense and saddled the Gaels with a 10-2 run. Key 3-pointers came from Q'Monte Matheny and Xavier Peters and Goretti could get no closer than four points the rest of the way in losing its sixth straight game. Matheny and Hornes each had seven points in fourth-period crunch time.

"(Andre) came to play and when he does, he can really play because he has so many God-given skills," said Rogers. "Isaiah (Alford) and Q recognized who had the hot hand."

Martinsburg, which shot 61 percent from the field (25 of 41), hit 9 of 10 shots in the fourth period. Peters and Matheny each finished with 11 points for the Bulldogs.

Gene Johnson, making his final regular-season appearance of the year, led Goretti with 15 points, but took some of the blame for Hornes' scoring.

"I was on Emile (Payne) and that was my focus, but I didn't give enough backside help against Hornes," said Johnson, who will not see further action until the Baltimore Catholic League playoffs.

Kevin Breslin added 13 points and Alencherry finished with 11 points for Goretti.

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