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Gaels find flow to blow past Knights

January 23, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

The St. Maria Goretti girls basketball team survived on sheer quantity in the beginning of its game against Grace Academy on Thursday night.

But quality is what carried the Gaels to an easy victory.

Goretti made just 3 of 20 field goals (15 percent) in the first quarter before settling in to make 19 of its last 39 (48.7 percent) to defeat Grace 47-26 for its third win in a row.

"It wasn't that we were getting better looks, we just got in the flow a little bit more," said Goretti senior Angie Nevarez, who led her team with 18 points. "We moved the ball a lot better and made our shots."

When Nevarez wasn't draining jumpers from the wings, she was making an impact elsewhere on the court. She mixed the offense by dishing out five assists, while steering the defense with six steals.

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Meanwhile, the Goretti bigs used their significant height advantage to dominate the boards, 42-24. The Gaels (9-10) pulled in 14 offensive rebounds and took 60 field-goal attempts, compared to just five offensive boards and 41 shots for Grace (2-7).

Five-foot-10 sophomore Colleen Costello led Goretti with 12 rebounds, while Katie Cronise grabbed seven. Every Gael who saw floor time had at least three rebounds.

"We discussed before the game that (Grace) had no one above 5-7, so I told Colleen that it was her day to go," said Goretti assistant coach Katie Martin. "We had the height."

Martin directed the Gaels with head coach Todd Rideout in the hospital after surgery to remove an infection from his foot. Rideout has been out for a week and could miss another while recovering.

"The momentum picked up in the game and they were out there playing for Todd," Martin said. "He's going to be happy. He'll have the game tape so he can watch it all."

What Rideout will see is the Gaels holding Grace scoreless for the first quarter. The Knights finally got on the board on Victoria Broadwater's jump shot with 7:27 left in the second quarter.

He'll also see Nevarez dominate in the third quarter with 10 points, helping Goretti outscore the Knights 18-6 to virtually seal the game with a 36-15 lead.

"(Nevarez) can score but she's more of a team player and that's great," Martin said. "She's a player that will dish it first and get the assists."

She wasn't alone. Cronise also had five assists and 16 of the Gaels' 22 buckets were assisted.

Tori Aikens had team highs of 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Grace, which shot just 10-for-41 (24.4 percent) and dropped its third straight game.

Goretti 47, Grace 26
GRACE ACADEMY (2-7)

Aikens 14, M. Broadwater 2, V. Broadwater 2, Carroll 2, Koontz 4, Zlomke 2. Totals 10 5-12 26.
ST. MARIA GORETTI (9-10)
Costello 7, Cronise 4, Forsman 2, Garvin 8, Nevarez 18, Rzomp 4, Swoop 4. Totals 22 2-6 47.
Grace 0 9 6 11 -- 26
Goretti 6 12 18 11 -- 47

3-point goals - Grace 1 (Aikens); Goretti 1 (Nevarez).

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