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Gaels' size trumps Leopards' shooting

December 12, 2011|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — St. Maria Goretti’s size advantage was on display from the start against Smithsburg on Monday.

The Gaels controlled the opening tip, dominated the boards and owned the paint in a 61-49 win over the Leopards.

“We knew we had a size advantage over them,” Goretti coach Amrit Rayfield said. “Using our size was in our game plan.”

Smithsburg held its own against its taller opposition by using the 3-pointer early and often. The Leopards shot 33 percent (8-for-24) from beyond the arc.

“We tried to spread the floor and use our quickness against them,” Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said.

After a slow start and a pep talk from a fired-up Rayfield, Gaels center Martin Geben began to use his length against Smithsburg. He finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks — scoring 13 of his points in the second half.

“The way (Geben) finished around the rim really helped us,” Rayfield said.

Geben’s teammate, Shae King, also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards.

“Their size really bothered us,” Gerber said. “We had trouble rebounding all night.”

Yannick Zanfack — who rounded out Goretti’s trifecta of double-digit scorers with 12 points — scored the Gaels’ first eight points of the game. Not to be outdone, Smithsburg’s Jordan Fortson knocked down some early 3s to get the game off to a roaring start. Fortson led the Leopards with 16 points.

Goretti (5-4) led 13-10 after the first quarter but fell behind 15-14 in the second before going on a 6-0 run for a lead the Gaels did not relinquish.

The Gaels extended a 24-20 halftime lead to 30-20 with a 6-0 run to start the second half. Smithsburg (1-2) pulled within five points later in the third quarter, but that would be the closest it would get.

“Smithsburg is a scrappy bunch. They’ll always play you hard,” Rayfield said.

JV: Smithsburg, 38-28 (S: Miller 20; G: Zoretich 20).

Goretti 61, Smithsburg 49
ST. MARIA GORETTI (5-4)
Geben 21, Yanfack 12, King 10, Fleetwood 7, Rajahpilley 6, Proctor 3, Buterbaugh 2. Totals 22 15-19 61.
SMITHSBURG (1-2)
Forston 16, Hardy 12, Pierre 8, Springs 8, Spickler 5. Totals 17 7-10 49.
Goretti         13    11    15    22    —    61
Smithsburg     10    10    11    18    —    49
3-point goals — Goretti 2 (Fleetwood, Proctor), Smithsburg 8 (Forston 4, Hardy 2, Pierre 2).

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