Gaels take brooms to Williamsport, sweep 'Cats

February 18, 2006|By DAN KAUFFMAN


For every 3-pointer Williamsport's Leah Mellott knocked down, St. Maria Goretti's Charissa Grove had an answer at the other end.

Mellott torched the Gaels for a season-high 25 points on the strength of seven 3s, but Grove answered the call by scoring 16 of her 22 points in the second half to lift Goretti to a 55-47 victory in the girls half of a basketball doubleheader Friday evening.

"Charissa was on fire," Gaels girls coach Todd Rideout said. "It was a tight game all the way until we busted out in the third quarter. That was the turning point."

In the boys game, Goretti made 13 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter and ran its offensive sets just a little bit better than Williamsport ran its to notch a 52-42 win and complete the sweep.


"We made them when we had to, didn't we?" Gaels boys coach Cokey Robertson said about the free throws down the stretch. "We had a couple throwaways, but we recovered by making plays at the other end, and then we hit our foul shots."

Sarah Spierenburg scored 10 of her 13 points in the first half, taking advantage of Lindsey Smith's foul trouble as Goretti's girls took a 27-24 lead into halftime.

Then the iron was unkind to the Wildcats in the third quarter, as they missed their first 13 shots of the period while Grove started to heat up for the Gaels.

It was 36-24 Goretti before Mellott knocked down her fourth 3 of the game to end the quarter. Mellott hit three more treys in the fourth, but Grove stayed in her groove and scored 12 points in the final 8 minutes to cancel out Mellott's perimeter heroics.

Erin Haney added 10 points for Goretti (10-21), which made 21 of 40 shots (52.5 percent).

"It was a total team effort," Rideout said. "We got good contributions from everybody. We got some good looks going to the basket. We got the lead, they had to play catch-up and their shots weren't falling."

Morgan Smith and Jess Patey had six points each for the Wildcats (8-12), who made 17 of 48 shots (35.4 percent)

"You've got to give it to Charissa," Williamsport girls coach Chris Malott said. "She had a huge night. She didn't play like a 10th-grader. ... That's the name of the game, hitting shots, and we didn't hit them tonight."

n Williamsport's boys gave Goretti all it could handle, trailing by one at 39-38 after Tyler Beard drained a 3 with about 6 minutes left in the game.

But four turnovers and five missed shots down the stretch left the Wildcats pondering what could have been. Williamsport made just one field goal in the final 5:30 as the Gaels finished the game on a 13-4 run.

The end came with 53 seconds left and Goretti up, 46-42. The Gaels' Kevin Breslin missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Benny Alencherry grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made both attempts. Alencherry and Andrew Chambers each made two more free throws in the final 50 seconds.

"All we needed was a stop, and we couldn't get a defensive stop," Williamsport boys coach Scott Mowbray said. "Then we make a couple of turnovers, and you know ... down four, they miss the front end and we don't get the board, that's a big play."

Kevin Brashears had 15 points, Alencherry had 14 and Chambers added 10 for the Gaels, who made 17 of 37 shots (45.9 percent).

"A good team effort, a good team win against a good team on their own court," Robertson said. "We moved the ball well and were patient."

Will Taylor had 12 points and Beard had 11 for the Wildcats, who made 16 of 35 shots (45.7 percent).

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