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Bishop O'Connell makes all right moves down stretch to top Goretti for tourney title

November 26, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • St. Maria Goretti's Shae King (44) disrupts Bishop O'Connell's Will Ferguson (2) on his drive to the basket on Saturday during the championship game of the Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — It nearly turned out to be a fitting conclusion to St. Maria Goretti’s Hall of Fame week.

The Gaels were within a quarter-mile of a huge upset, but Bishop O’Connell (Va.) came ahead down the stretch to the finish line to defeat Goretti 55-50 on Saturday night in the final of the 29th annual Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament.

In its quest for its first MAIT title since 2005, Goretti held a 43-37 lead after three quarters and still a five-point lead at 46-42 just minutes into the fourth quarter.

But Bishop O’Connell (2-0) kept the Gaels off the scoreboard and produced an 8-0 run in the clutch as Goretti made several mistakes on both ends of the floor.

Sophomore Jamall Gregory drove the lane to give the Knights a 47-46 lead with 2:40 remaining and Cam Gregory followed a Goretti turnover with a dunk for 49-46 advantage.

After Goretti’s Gavin Rajahpillay missed two free throws on a Bishop O’connell technical foul, Martinas Geben got the Gaels back within one at 49-48.

Goretti reclaimed the lead at 50-49 when Shae King scored in the paint on an assist from Rajahpillay, but O’Connell put the clamps on and used six free throws in the final 36 seconds to get the win.

“There were many points in the game when we valued the basketball and, when we did, we scored,” said Goretti coach Amrit Rayfield. “There were other times we didn’t and had turnovers or took shots too early.”

The Gaels had 18 turnovers compared to seven for Bishop O’Connell.

“Both teams had a great effort,” said Rayfield. “Both teams left everything on the floor.”

Even with the loss, Rayfield sees a potential after standing up against a touted Bishop O’Connell squad.

“I really think this speaks well what we can do in the Baltimore Catholic League,” said Rayfield.

O’Connell junior Will Ferguson scored 13 points and four other Knights scored at least eight points.

Goretti’s Martinas Geben, named most valuable player for the MAIT, had a team-high 13 points along with five rebounds. Yannick Zanfack had 10 points and the Gaels received outstanding play from Forest Buterbaugh off the bench, coming in with 10 points.

In the third-place game, St. Paul’s posted a 62-55 victory over Bishop Walsh, taking control midway through the third quarter.

Tanner Brooks scored 23 points for St. Paul’s, and Quincy Redmon had a 19-point, 15-rebound performance for Bishop Walsh.

Bishop O'Connell 55, St. Maria Goretti 50
BISHOP O'CONNELL (2-0)
Chuquillangui 2 1-2 5, Butts 1 2-2 4, Ferguson 4 5-8 13, J. Gregory 3 0-0 8, Kelly 3 2-5 8, Trimble 3 2-2 9, C. Gregory 4 0-2 8. Totals 20 12-21 55.
ST. MARIA GORETTI (2-2)
Fleetwood 3 0-0 7, Rajahpillay 1 2-5 4, Geben 5 0-0 13, Zanfack 4 0-0 10, Buterbaugh 4 2-5 10, King 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 4-10 50.
Bishop O'Connell    11    11    15    18    —    55
Goretti    7    16    20    7    —    50
3-point goals --Bishop O'Connell 3 (J. Gregory 2, Kelly); St. Maria Goretti 6 (Fleetwood, Geben 3, Zanfack 2). Rebounds--O'Connell 25 (Kelly 8); Goretti 20 (King 7).

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