'Cats' energy drains Gaels' batteries

February 14, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

There was a Valentine's Day dance following the Williamsport-St. Maria Goretti basketball game at the Gael Center on Friday night, but while the lights were on, Williamsport did the two-step.

Rebounding from a loss on Thursday to Brunswick that officially eliminated them from contention in the MVAL Antietam, Williamsport rebounded to post a 58-49 victory over the Gaels.

"It was rewarding to see the guys come out and execute the offense after Thursday's game," said Wildcat coach Scott Mowbray, who earned his first win over Goretti.

The Wildcats (10-8) came back from a 30-25 deficit early in the third period and basically controlled the game's final 13 minutes.


The energy of guards Conner Arnone and Colby McCauley were instrumental and a pair of three-point plays by Arnone seemed to fuel the Wildcats.

Down 32-30 with 3:40 left in the third, Arnone had a conventional 3-point play making a nice baseline drive.

Tied 40-all in the fourth quarter, Arnone went to the line in a bonus situation and made the first before missing the second. However, he got his own rebound and scored for a 43-40 lead. Williamsport went on to score the next seven points and a 50-40 lead.

"I just try to come out every game and give energy to the team," said Arnone, who led the Wildcats with 13 points. "This is quite an atmosphere to play in (at Goretti). It's adversity coming in here."

A quick-paced game turned into a free-throw marathon for Williamsport as the Wildcats danced to the foul line 22 times in the fourth quarter alone, making 16 shots. The Wildcats' last 15 points came from the foul line.

Goretti (7-24) started in a zone defense, causing some problems for Williamsport while building an early 11-6 lead before switching to a man set.

"We had a lot of energy from Connor and Colby and Casey (McKenrick) played a good game," said Mowbray. "They were catalysts. When we went to the bench we got good minutes there."

Blake Bandeff, Sefer Pllana and Trey Malott were signaled out by Mowbray for their efforts. Two goals by Bandeff late in the second quarter helped Williamsport get to a 23-23 tie heading to the lockers.

"We got pushed out and didn't run a clean, crisp offense," said Goretti coach Chad Brashears. "We didn't have the energy in the second half. If you don't have an inside presence it shuts you down."

Nic Martin led Goretti with 16 points. Other than some penetrating drives, most of Goretti's points came from the outside, including six 3-pointers.

"We had some shots inside but didn't get the end result with a bucket or getting to the foul line," Brashears said.

Williamsport 58, St. Maria Goretti 49

Arnone 13, McCauley 9, Warrenfeltz 9, McKenrick 10, Christy 5, Bandeff 4, Pllana 1, Malott 7. Totals 19 19-29 58.
Sterling 7, Martin 16, Berry 6, Murray 6, Wilkinson 9, Engle 2, Bolinger 3. Totals 18 7-8 49.
Williamsport 6 17 13 22 -- 58
Goretti 11 12 14 12 -- 49

3-point goals -- Williamsport 1 (Christy); Goretti 6 (Wilkinson 3, Bolinger, Murray, Sterling). fouled out -- Engle. JV -- Goretti, 48-41 (W:Greer 16; G: Fortson 13, Leazier 13).

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