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Boys Basketball: Goretti rallies to beat Spalding

February 04, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The St. Maria Goretti boys basketball team blew two 10-point leads, but dug deep in the final minutes to pull out a 58-56 victory over Archbishop Spalding on Sunday at the Gael Center.

After losing to Spalding on Wednesday, Goretti needed a win over the Cavaliers to maintain hope of finishing fourth in the Baltimore Catholic League, which would earn it a first-round home game in the postseason tournament.

Spalding (18-8, 7-4) held a 56-52 lead with just under three minutes remaining when the Gaels (18-9, 7-6) rallied back.

Isaiah Harris-Winn scored on a layup and Ameka Akaya followed with a deuce that tied the score at 56 with 2:12 to play. After a Spalding turnover, Goretti capitalized when Martin Geben scored on an inbound play for a 58-56 lead with 1 minute remaining.

From that point, it was all defense on the part of Geben under the Spalding bucket.

With 29.7 seconds left, he intimidated Jourdan Grant into a missed shot. With 14.6 seconds left, he retreated quickly enough to swat away a shot by Earl Potts, his seventh blocked shot of the game.

Harris-Winn missed the front end of a 1-and-1 situation with 2.8 seconds left and Spalding’s three-quarter length shot was off the mark.

Geben, who scored 12 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, touched the basketball more with his blocked shots than he did offensively, getting off only four successful shots against a stingy inside Spalding defense.

“I don’t care about how many touches and points I get as long as we win,” Geben said. “The biggest thing at the end was seeing where the ball was and getting back into position.”

The Gaels opened the game with a 12-2 burst, but that dissolved by halftime when the teams went to the locker rooms with Goretti holding only a 27-25 lead. Brady Shaper connected on three 3-pointers in the first half for the Gaels.

After Spalding knotted the game at 27-all to open the third period, Goretti built a 39-29 lead with 2:01 to play in the third. But Spalding showed a quick strike ability, netting 12 points to gain a 41-41 tie heading to the final quarter.

The Cavaliers took a 54-52 lead on the second of two straight buckets by Kai Dalce and then extended it to 56-52 on a bucket by Potts.

Akaya, coming off the bench as he has done all year, was the savior for Goretti in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of his season-high 14 points, only his fourth time in double figures this season.

“I’m just glad to get into the mix and contribute,” Akaya said. “I just go in, look what the defense gives me and work hard.”

Geben and Shaper both had 12 points as Sharper matched his season high.

“We had to make some adjustments to use Geben more in the paint in the second half,” said Goretti coach Amirt Rayfield. “Brady carried us early and Ameka did it late.”

Starting guard Ryan Grant did not score but was invaluable with eight assists.

The Gaels shot 17 of 26 from 2-point range and 5 of 13 on 3s and held a 27-19 rebound advantage.

Dalce led Spalding with 17 points and Grant had 14 points.

NOTE: The Cavaliers are coached by Derrick Lewis, a former Maryland standout from 1985-88. Lewis remains the all-time blocked shots leader in Maryland history, is third in career rebounds and 17th in career scoring.

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SPALDING (18-8, 7-4)
Potts 8, McRoy 2, Massimini 2, Dalce 17, Grant 14, Harding 8, Gilliland 5. Totals 23 5-5 56.
GORETTI (18-9, 7-6)
Fleetwood 9, Grant 0, Geben 12, Buterbaugh 4, Harris-Winn 7, Shaper 12, Akaya 14. Totals 22 9-14 58.
Spalding    8    17    16    15    --    56
Goretti    16    11    14    17    --    58
3-point goals-Spalding 5 (Grant 2, Harding, Gilliland, Dalce); Goretti 5 (Shaper 4, Harris-Winn).

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