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No. 7 'Cats shot down by Gaels

February 17, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

Any ice leftovers reached the veins of the St. Maria Goretti boys basketball team.

In their top shooting performance of the year, the Gaels scorched the nets at a 62.5 percent clip in the second half on the way to a 72-62 Senior Night victory over No. 7 Williamsport on Friday.

Goretti (11-17) hit 15 of 24 after intermission and dominated the half with its largest lead reaching 17 points with just less than two minutes to play. On the night, Goretti hit 25 of 46 for 54.4 percent but, more astoundingly, the Gaels hit all seven of their 3-point attempts to help offset the nine made by Williamsport (14-6).

"It was a great county crowd here tonight and we wanted to show those that don't know about Goretti basketball that we've got some players here," said Ben Alencherry, one of Goretti's seniors who was instrumental in the win, sharing team-high honors with junior Kevin Breslin with 15 points.

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Alencherry said one of Goretti's goals was to hold down Williamsport's 6-foot-5 powerman Will Taylor, who worked hard to collect his 13 points and 11 rebounds.

"We likened (Taylor) to (Calvert Hall's Braxton DuPree)," Alencherry said. "We did a good job by fronting on him."

Goretti avoided its often-destructive third period with a sharp eye from the field while keeping Taylor and 6-4 Sean Dixon off the board.

Mitch Belella fired in a pair of treys in the quarter, the first giving Goretti a 40-34 lead with 4:47 left in the third period. Belella followed with a steal that resulted in a basket by senior Logan Bolinger and the Gaels eventually strung their lead to 53-42 by the end of the third period.

"We had some blown assignments and we had hands in their face, but they shot the lights out in the second half," said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray.

Williamsport's Chad Bikle hit four 3-pointers in the third period and finished with a game-high 23 points.

"Bikle shot the eyes out and, if it wasn't for him, we had a walkaway," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson.

Williamsport was still in shooting distance halfway through the final period, down only 61-52.

After Dixon missed a layup and then committed his fourth personal foul with 3:15 to go, Goretti went on an 8-0 run, five points coming from Bolinger, to seal the verdict.

"We moved the ball extremely well to the open man and we were able to create a lot of one-on-zero shots," said Robertson. "We had great balance in our scoring and we kept (Taylor) respectable."

Belella added 14 points for the Gaels and John Duhring had eight rebounds.

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