Heritage Academy's boys basketball team may be the king of the Mason Dixon Christian Conference mountain, leading the league with a 6-1 conference record. But St. Maria Goretti brought a whole other world of basketball into the Eagles' gym Friday night.
The battle-tested Gaels, who must contend with a brutal Baltimore Catholic League schedule, were bigger, faster, stronger and more skilled as a whole than Heritage, and they ran out to a 16-point lead after the first quarter before coasting to a 52-34 victory.
"It was similar to the first time we played them," Eagles coach Mike Kidd said, referring to a 60-41 loss at Goretti on Dec. 8. "It was 16-0 after the first quarter over there. Our guys are a little shell-shocked. Goretti plays physical and we have to get used to handling that. They're just so fundamentally sound."
Six-foot-5 forward John Duhring had four of his six field goals in the first eight minutes. Benny Alencherry had all three of his field goals and Kevin Breslin added two of his five field goals in the opening stanza as the Gaels (8-9) asserted themselves from the opening tip. Goretti made 10 of 13 shots in the first quarter.