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Boys Basketball: Gaels use final push to shove aside Wildcats

February 17, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Williamsport's Tyler Wise (33) muscles into the lane to attempt a shot over St. Maria Goretti's Martin Geben on Friday during the first half of the Gaels' 40-35 victory.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — St. Maria Goretti and Williamsport took turns losing leads on Friday night.

Goretti lost an early nine-point lead but Williamsport’s hurt more, coughing up an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter to allow the Gaels to turn in a 40-35 victory.

“(Goretti) turned it up on us late in the game,” said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. “We gave up some open 3s that we should not have.”

Yannick Zanfack hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 remaining to give the Gaels (19-11) a 37-35 lead, just after teammate Tyrus Fleetwood knocked down a 3 to cut the deficit to 35-34.

“We called a similar play for (Yannick) that didn’t work the first time, but the second one did,” said Goretti coach Amrit Rayfield. “He shoots 40 percent from 3 and we’ve got the confidence in his shooting those.”

Williamsport (10-12) had two opportunities to score, the second with 50 seconds remaining, but it couldn’t convert.

The Wildcats then fouled Kevin Proctor, but he knocked down two shots for the Gaels with 31 seconds to go before Williamsport missed another opportunity. Fleetwood, with 10.8 seconds left, hit 1 of 2 free throws to close the scoring.

“We found a will late,” said Rayfield. “You have to be ready for Williamsport and they looked like they were going to put a nail in us.”

Goretti held an 18-9 lead early, helped by Williamsport’s 1 of 11 shooting from the field in the early going.

Sterling Christy scored six points in the third quarter after Williamsport came back from a punchless first half to outscore Goretti 12-2 for a 28-23 lead.

Tyler Wise drove the lane for a bucket and Christy following with a pair of goals that had the Wildcats seizing the momentum with productive work against Goretti’s man defense.

“We just kept telling the guys to keep doing what they were, the shots would drop,” said Mowbray.

Williamsport reached its largest lead (34-26) when Brandon Jackson hit one of his two 3-pointers.

Martin Geben led the Gaels by posting a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

“We’re just a little tired right now with three games this week,” said Rayfield. “We had to scrape and claw tonight.”

Rayfield is giving his players some time away until practice Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s visit by Montrose Christian, which is ranked 15th nationally.

Christy led Williamsport with 15 points and Wise had 12 points and six rebounds.

The Wildcats will now await their first assignment for the Maryland Class 2A West tournament with the drawing on Sunday.

Goretti 40, Williamsport 35
ST. MARIA GORETTI (19-11)
Rajahpillay 4, Fleetwood 8, Zanfack 3, Geben 12, King 2, Blake 5, Proctor 6, Totals 12-35 13-19 40.
WILLIAMSPORT (10-12)
Jackson 12, Butts 2, Wise 6, Aleshire 0, Christy 15. Totals 13-43 8-11 35.
Goretti    11    10    2    17    —    40
Williamsport    5    11    12    7    —    35
3-point goals—Goretti 3 (Rajahpillay, Proctor, Zanfack); Williamsport 2 (Jackson 2). Rebounds—Goretti 38 (Geben 16); Williamsport 32 (Wise 6). Turnovers—Goretti 15, Williamsport 9.

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