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Boys Basketball: Saints avenge loss, beat Gaels for IPSL title

February 13, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — It made no difference to Saint James they were playing in the Independent-Parochial Schools League title game with two losses on their ledger.

It made no difference that St. Maria Goretti had not lost any of their IPSL games and owned a 55-54 win over the Saints back on Dec. 2, 2011.

On Monday, in front of a boisterous Gael Center contingent, the Saints took home the first IPSL trophy with a 57-49 victory over Goretti.

Sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia led the Saints (12-7) with a 23-point, 10-rebound, seven-block performance and was complemented by Avery Wilmore’s 18 points.

“We wanted to come out fast and set the tone, but also keep it through the game,” said Enechionyia. “In the first game, we did not do that in the second half. We shouldn’t have lost that first game.”

Enechionyia scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and Wilmore added six when the Saints took control of the game. Enechionyia’s wide wing span also altered several other Goretti shots.

Holding a 33-32 lead entering the fourth quarter, Saint James began to find some freedom in the paint with Wilmore directing traffic.

In the first 38 seconds, Enechionyia had a conventional 3-point play and Alec Wheeler followed with a 3-pointer for a 39-32 advantage and Goretti never recovered.

The lead extended from 43-38 on an 11-3 run with 3:35 to play.

“We’ve been playing for each other in trusting the new system,” said first-year Saint James coach Paul Easton. “We responded tonight on the backboards in the second half and got some turnovers.”

Wilmore also dished out seven assists and did a good job recognizing ball screens and when to go to the basket himself.

“That’s one thing (Avery) has really gotten better at by getting everyone else involved in the offense,” said Easton. “He is the ultimate competitor.”

“Both teams played hard,” said Goretti coach Amrit Rayfield. “But the difference was Obi and Avery. We had some defensive breakdowns and they took advantage of them.”

Conversely, Goretti (17-11) did not take advantage of those opportunities in front of them, especially with an 18-14 lead early in the second quarter.

“We had three or four opportunities there to widen the margin and we didn’t do that,” he said.

Yannick Zanfack worked as hard as ever for his team-high 25 points, making five 3-pointers and hustling for nine rebounds. Zanfack was 7 of 23 shooting and the only Gael in double figures.

Saint James 57, St. Maria Goretti 49
SAINT JAMES (12-7)
Harris 0, O. Enechionyia 23, Wilmore 18, Wheeler 3, N. Enechionyia 11, Orfan 2. Totals 20-46 14-22 57.
ST. MARIA GORETTI (17-11)
Rajahpillay 2, Fleetwood 2, Geben 8, Zanfack 25, King 3, Blake 3, Proctor 3, Buterbaugh 2. Totals 17-61 7-10 49.
Saint James    10    13    10    24    —    57
Goretti    13    12    7    17    —    49
3-point goals—Saint James 3 (N. Enechionyia, Wheeler, O. Enechionyia); Goretti 8 (Geben, Zanfack 5, Blake, King). Rebounds—Saint James 40 (O. Enechionyia 10); Goretti 35 (Zanfack 9). Turnovers—Saint James 15, Goretti 15.

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