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Hedgesville girls race past Goretti in opener

December 05, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

Hedgesville girls basketball coach Ben Merica addressed the fact that his team will not be able to rely on its transition offense in every game this year.

The Eagles learned Tuesday night that it would work just fine against St. Maria Goretti.

Hedgesville forced 16 turnovers in the first half and turned them into nine fast-break baskets, and the Eagles never turned back in a 57-31 season-opening Apple Valley League victory at the Gael Center.

The Eagles (1-0, 1-0) backed off a bit in the second half, but still finished with 24 points in transition.

"That's what we would like to do with teams we can do it against," said Merica. "We have that going for us, but we realize that we're going to need another type of game plan against other teams this year.

"When we get the opportunities, we'll get out and run. But those opportunities won't always be there."

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Goretti (2-1, 0-1) finished with a self-impeding 30 turnovers and faced a double-digit deficit for the final 22 minutes of the game. The gap eventually grew to 26 points, which was the ending difference.

"We have to go back to the drawing board," said Gaels coach Todd Rideout. "We came out flat and (Hedgesville) took advantage. The point is, we have to keep the girls focused."

Hedgesville senior Erin Breen accounted for five of the transition baskets in the first half - she made two and assisted three - to pace the Eagles. Breen finished with nine points and seven dimes in less than three quarters of action. Sophomore Greyson Brooks scored eight of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter, senior Cierra Nicholson finished with 10 and junior Brittany Boarman added nine - all in the first half.

But as lopsided as the score was, Merica still saw plenty of room for improvement. The Eagles' aggressive defense led to untimely fouls, while the offense suffered from 18 turnovers.

Typical opening game?

"We had too many unforced turnovers, and switching back to defense from offense was a bit lazy," Merica said. "But at this point, we're a step faster than we were last year."

Meanwhile, Goretti must take better care of the ball.

"We turned the ball over too many times and made too many mistakes," Rideout said. "By the time we settled down, it was too late."

Angie Nevarez led the Gaels with eight points, while Erica DiMercurio, Carissa Grove and Sarah Spierenburg each added six.

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