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Old rivalry gets jolt of new thrills as Saints hold off Goretti

November 25, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

The old-time rivalry on the basketball court between St. Maria Goretti and St. James rekindled on Monday in the boys Lions Tournament at Broadfording Christian Academy.

It appeared the intensity didn't lose any heat in the abscence.

After Goretti battled from a 15-point, first-quarter deficit to take a four-point lead, St. James used a late rush to take a heart-pounding 65-64 victory.

St. James will face host Broadfording Christian, a 61-34 winner over Faith Christian, today in the championship game around 8 p.m. Goretti faces Faith in the consolation game at 5 p.m.

"I'm a St. James graduate and this is how it used to be between the two schools," said Saints coach Mike Brooks. "It was an old-time rivalry and it's good to get it going again."

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And for good measure, the two schools meet again Dec. 3 at Goretti and new Gaels coach Chad Brashears will look for a different result after losing in his coaching debut.

"This was like a Duke-Carolina game with intensity," said Brashears. "I googled our two schools and we're eight miles apart, just like Duke and Carolina."

St. James' Mike Russ tallied 26 points, but none were more important than his final two with 7.1 seconds remaining. He scored in transition after Stephan Dunbar blocked a Goretti shot to put the Saints on top by the eventual final margin.

The Gaels had two final opportunities but Aaron Wilkinson missed a 3 and Tyler Shaper's shot on a rebound was altered.

Nic Martin had eight of his 25 points in the third period for to fuel Goretti's comeback, including the last two to knot the score at 47-all. Then, Martin scored the first two points of the final period to give Goretti its first lead.

Goretti pushed out to a four-point lead on two free throws by Martin with 4:01 left and still led 61-57 with just over two minutes left before the Saints converted four free throws for a 61-61 tie.

Wilkinson drained a 3-pointer from the right wing and Spencer Draper followed with a running layup for the Saints to set the final stage.

"I'm a firm believer that my guys, no matter it be basketball, football or dorm life, they always make it exciting," said Brooks. "I think we were chomping at the bit to get out and play someone other than ourselves and that's why we got off to such a big lead."

Goretti's comeback was partly fueled by its ability on the backboards, but eventually was hurt when Stephan Berry and Brendan Engle each fouled out in the last four minutes.

"That helped us some and we got a bounce here or there in the last quarter," said Brooks. "But I know one thing, we'll be working on free throw shooting. That's always been a problem."

The Saints were 18 of 33 at the line while the Gaels were 9 of 15.

Brashears attributed the slow start of his team to a plan of attack.

"It's no secret I want to up-tempo, but it takes time for the kids to get a different feel for this kind of game," said Brashears. "There were some poor decisions made tonight but again, there were some great plays, too."

Draper added 13 points and Jordan Barr had 11 for the Saints. Berry had 16 for Goretti.

Broadfording boys win

Broadfording Christian raced to an early 15-5 and the Lions never looked back against a cold-shooting Faith Christian team.

Armondo Miller had 11 of his 18 points by halftime as Broadfording held a commanding 37-14 advantage.

Gabe Hirsch added 14 points for the Lions. Larry Kerns led Faith Christian with nine points.

Girls Tournament

In the girls Lions Tournament, St. Maria Goretti will meet the Frederick Warriors in the championship game at 6:30.

The Gaels rolled to a 70-11 win over Faith Christian while Frederick downed Broadfording Christian 32-23. Broadfording and Faith will meet in the girls consolation game at 3:30.

St. Maria Goretti jumped out to a 20-0 after the first period against Faith as six players broke into the scoring colum.

The Gaels had four players in double figures, led by Colleen Costello's 19. Maggie Garvey added 14 and Angie Nevarez and Dominique Forsman each scored 10. Garvey had a team-high 10 steals and Nevarez had five rebounds.

Nicole Deneseus had eight points for Faith Christian and she broke the Falcons' scoring woes with a pair of free throws at the 6:02 mark of the second period.

The Frederick Warriors rallied with a 16-5 margin in the fourth period to beat Broadfording.

Rebecca Reifsnider and Sarah Reifsnider each scored six points in the period. Rebecca Reifsnider had 14 points and Sarah Reifsnider 12 for the Warriors.

Charlotte Worsfold led Broadfording with five points.

BOYS BASKETBALL
St. James 65, Goretti 64
ST.MARIA GORETTI (0-1)
Sterling 5, Martin 25, Engle 5, Berry 16, Murray 2, Wilkinson 9, Donoghue 0, Shaper 2. Totals 25 9-15 64.
ST. JAMES (1-0)
Dunbar 6, Russ 26, Draper 13, Barr 11, Zimmerman 3, Smith 2, McWilliams 4. Totals 23 18-33 65.
Goretti 6 20 21 17 -- 64
St. James 21 12 14 18 -- 67

3-point goals -- Goretti 5 (Wilkinson 3, Sterling, Berry); St. James 1 (Russ). Fouled out -- Goretti: Engle, Berry.

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