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Martin's more stops Leopards

January 22, 2009|By JACK HILL III

It came down to the final 13 seconds on Wednesday.

The score was tied at 55-55.

St. Maria Goretti boys basketball coach Chad Brashears called timeout to set the Gaels' final offensive strategy.

It seemed easy. Junior point guard Nic Martin waited for the right moment -- er, second -- to make a move to the hoop.

He drove to the hoop and hit a 12-foot jumper off the baseline with 2.4 seconds remaining to lift the Gaels to a 57-55 win over Smithsburg at the Gael Center.

"I knew when we got the ball that I wanted to call a timeout," Brashears said. "I wanted to get the ball in Nic's hands and then he can go for a shot with about six seconds left. That was a big league shot. We did a nice job of staying poised when the pressure was on. That was a great ball game. It was a barn burner. Both teams played very hard and gave themselves an opportunity to win."

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Martin collected team-high totals of 20 points, five steals and four assists for Goretti (6-16).

"We stayed calm and that was good," Martin said. "We weren't anxious. We took it slow and let the game come to us. The play was drawn up that I was going to get it. I just went through with the shot. It fell and it feels good."

Smithsburg missed on a desperation halfcourt 3-pointer at the buzzer to seal Goretti's win.

Stephon Berry added 13 points and five rebounds for the Gaels, while reserve Aaron Wilkinson had five steals.

"Aaron Wilkinson gave us a nice spark off of the bench," Brashears said. "Stephon Berry did a pretty good job on the glass. Smithsburg did a nice job of fighting back. They never quit."

The Gaels hit 17 of their 23 free throws, while the Leopards sank 17 of their 29 foul shots.

Senior Josh Conway finished with a game-high 22 points to go with six rebounds and four steals for Smithsburg (3-10). Alan Reed added 20 points and five rebounds for the Leopards, while Kyle Orndorff pulled down nine rebounds.

"Nic Martin hit a big shot at the end of the game," Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said. "We had good defense. We had two guys with hands in his face. But he rose up and hit the big shot. Josh Conway and Alan Reed were tremendous for us tonight. We battled well. We came back in the fourth quarter. I am very proud of our guys for the way that we battled tonight."

The Leopards trailed 42-33 with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter before rallying to take the lead in the fourth quarter.

Berry fouled out with 5:55 remaining, but the Gaels managed to make the few necessary adjustments without him to win the game.

Goretti 57, Smithsburg 55
SMITHSBURG (3-10)

Conway 22, Orndorff 4, Kretzer 5, Shives 2, Reed 20, Schwartz 2. Totals 18 17-29 55.
ST. MARIA GORETTI (6-16)
Wilkinson 7, Martin 20, Shaper 2, Bolinger 4, Murray 4, Engle 3, Berry 13, Sterling 4. Totals 18 17-23 57.
Smithsburg 9 13 13 20 -- 55
Goretti 13 15 14 15 -- 57

3-point goals -- Smithsburg 2 (Conway, Orndorff), Goretti 4 (Wilkinson, Martin, Murray, Engle). JV -- Goretti, 47-39 (G: D.J. Eich 19; S: Cullan Ganley 13).

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