Storm's defense builds strong front to cloud over Gaels

February 06, 2008|By JACK HILL

The Mercersburg Academy girls basketball team hit St. Maria Goretti's Gael Center like a Blue Storm on Wednesday night.

Mercersburg scored the first 15 points and went on to blow away the Gaels 66-48 in a game pitting private school rivals.

Mercersburg Academy (9-10) dominated Goretti (15-9) from the beginning with pressure defense and pinpoint shooting.

"We wanted to put a lot of pressure on them and we were able to do that during the first three minutes of the game," Mercersburg Academy coach Monique Liddell said. "We wanted to get a good start in this game and then pull away. We have a few players that can shoot the ball. We created our offense to get those players open and they were able to knock their shots down."

Taylor Riley fired in 18 points, while Lauren Dobish scored 15 points, Caroline Lovett added 13 points and Jenn Dillon had 12 points to give the Blue Storm a well-balanced scoring attack. Dobish picked up 10 assists and four steals, Dillon collected six assists and four steals and Kate Vary grabbed six rebounds for Mercersburg Academy.


"Their man-to-man defense was great," Goretti coach Todd Rideout said. "They were in the passing lanes. They had an up-tempo and they were ready to play. They shot the ball extremely well from the outside. Everyone was hitting. They had the perfect looks. We made some costly turnovers and they turned them into easy layups."

Sarah Spierenburg scored a game-high 19 points for Goretti. Erica DiMercurio added 10 points and six rebounds, while Angie Nevarez pumped in 10 points for the Gaels.

The Blue Storm's pressure caused numerous steals and the baskets in the first 3:35 of the game to build the 15-0 lead.

The Gaels finally got on the scoreboard when Spierenburg made the second of two foul shots at the 4:09 mark of the first quarter.

Mercersburg Academy's pressure continued to bother the Gaels, who had fallen behind 25-3 with 1:48 to go in the first period.

Goretti scored the last six points of the first quarter to reduce the deficit to 25-9 by the end of the period.

"They just came out strong from the beginning," Rideout said. "We came out flat in the first quarter. By the time that we got settled down, we were down 20 points. But then it was an even game for the rest of the way."

The Herald-Mail Articles