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History repeated ... sort of ... at MAIT

Goretti, Penn Charter meet again ... this timme in MAIT consolation

Goretti, Penn Charter meet again ... this timme in MAIT consolation

December 02, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

There will be a rematch of the 2005 Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament championship game tonight at the Gael Center.

The only problem for St. Maria Goretti and Penn Charter is that this year's meeting will be for consolation honors after each team lost in Friday's openers.

After Bishop Loughlin, of Brooklyn, N.Y., dispatched Penn Charter (Pa.) 83-69 in the opener, St. Maria Goretti was turned back by Archbishop Carroll (D.C.), 70-51.

Following today's battle between Goretti and Penn Charter at 6 p.m., Bishop Loughlin and Archbishop Carroll will square off for the title.

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Archbishop Carroll (1-0) led wire to wire and used its superior physical play on the backboards to stave off the feisty Gaels (0-1).

The Gaels were hammered 17-3 on the boards in the first half and ended the game with only nine rebounds.

"We just don't have the physical athleticism," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson. "And stats don't lie. They also had too many offensive rebounds (12) and second chances."

Down by as much as nine points in the first period and 22-15 at the end of it, Goretti charged to within three at 26-23 with 3:17 remaining in the first half on back-to-back goals by Benny Alencherry and Mitch Bellella before Carroll extended the lead back to seven at 34-27 at the half.

Midway through the third period, Goretti lost the ball on three straight possessions and each time Carroll converted, moving out to a 46-31 lead before Logan Bolinger stopped a three-minute drought with a 3-pointer.

Behind Kevin Breslin's nine points in the final period, the Gaels made one last effort and cut a 56-41 lead down to 56-48 on goals by Breslin and John Duhring and a 3-pointer by Evan Henderson.

But 6-foot-7 Kristopher Joseph and 6-foot-4 Rodney McGruder took over down the stretch with their end-to-end abilities to close out Goretti.

"We had some key periods when we had bad shot selection and would then have a turnover," said Robertson.

Joseph was 9 of 15 from the floor on the way to a team-high 20 points and also pulled down nine rebounds. McGruder was 8 of 9 from the floor and scored 18 points. That combination of 17-of-24 shooting from the field was indicative of Carroll's overall shooting performance, hitting 32 of 48 for the game.

"We're very happy with that kind of shooting," said Carroll coach Clinton Perrow. "(Goretti) made some runs at us and we stepped up and strapped on some defense."

Breslin led Goretti with 15 points and Bolinger contributed 10 points.

"We tried to get out and run early, and at the same time try to slow it down when we had to," said Breslin. "We wore down in the end and didn't have enough to get over the hump. But for the first game, with a lot of the players playing varsity for the first time, I thought the effort was really there."

John Duhring - who at 6-4 is one of Goretti's tallest players, but does not come close to matching the physicality of someone like the 220-pound Joseph, whom he was matched against - got a first-hand look at what to expect.

"It was exciting to get out and play," said Duhring, who had six points. "You can only play as big as you can. We needed to get more rebounds tonight."

n In the opener, Bishop Loughlin rallied from an early deficit to take a 33-27 halftime lead and then controlled the second half with a 50-point effort to down Penn Charter.

James Johnson was one of four double-digit scorers in the game, netting 23 points for Bishop Laughlin. Doron Lamb, only a freshman, added 16.

Sam Zeglinski, a University of Virginia signee, led Penn Charter with 17 points. Chris Kurz had 12 points and eight rebounds.

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