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Goretti's Engle, Murray prove their worth against Cavs

January 05, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

Brendan Engle and Will Murray don't get a ton of playing time off the bench, but both have the desire to make contributions when they can, and they proved their worth Friday night at the Gael Center.

St. Maria Goretti went beyond its starting five to get some much needed support in a 52-41 victory over Archbishop Spalding.

Engle and Murray each scored seven points for the Gaels, who never trailed in the contest and held back a stiff challenge from the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter for their second win over Spalding this season.

Goretti (6-6, 2-2) dominated the first half of the Baltimore Catholic League matchup, holding the Cavaliers (5-8, 0-3) to 1-of-10 shooting and three points in the second period and rolling to a 24-11 halftime lead.

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"Other than giving up offensive rebounds, I was pretty pleased with our defensive effort," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson. "And we got some great efforts off the bench."

Engle - a lanky 6-foot-5 junior who almost didn't play Friday, having had flu-like symptoms for two days and missing practice - had a putback rebound effort in the second period that seemed to energize his mates.

Goretti led 36-23 at the end of the third period after Matisse Galliard drained a 3-pointer from the right corner, but the Cavaliers still had a run in them in the final eight minutes.

After a conventional three-pointer by Engle gave the Gaels a 40-28 lead with 5:33 left, Spalding went on a 6-0 run before Galliard hit a trey to make it a 43-34 game.

"I usually focus on defense, but I got some opportunities to drive the lane so I took them," said Engle. "When I get in there, I just do whatever I can and that's great if it means some scoring."

Spalding answered with five points on a goal by Franco Greco and three-point play by Andre Moore to slice it to 43-39 with 1:28 left.

Enter Murray, a 6-2 junior normally inserted for defensive purposes. He twice converted both ends of one-and-one opportunities, and after Galliard hit two freebies, Murray made 3 of 4 from the foul line.

"I'm just glad to come through in the clutch," said Murray. "I normally shoot fouls pretty good in practice and hitting them tonight really paid off."

"I normally put (Murray) in for defense, but he made me look like a genius tonight scoring," said Robertson, who might feel the same way about deciding to let Engle play. "I wasn't sure until right before the game about (Engle) playing."

Goretti needed the reserve strength in the second half to complement Galliard's team-high 14 points, 10 of those coming after the break.

John Duhring had 12 points, but 10 came in the first half. Kevin Breslin had 10 points, including six in the first half. However, the pair fought on the boards, as Duhring led Goretti with nine rebounds and Breslin grabbed eight.

"I'm happy with the win because we rebounded from playing so bad on Wednesday (a 55-51 overtime loss to Cardinal Gibbons)," said Robertson. "We just gave up too many offensive rebounds (14)."

Spalding, a 70-64 loser to Goretti on Dec. 11, had no player in double figures. Moore and Greco each scored nine points.

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