St. Mary's girls basketball coach Harry Dobson was right on the markwhen he turned to his assistant coach during yesterday's game and said, "We keep blowing them out and then letting them right back in."
The Saints weren't quite that accurate, as they converted just 22 of 79 shots from the field in a sloppy 65-53 Baltimore Catholic Leaguewin over visiting Seton Keough.
"We're coming off exam week and we haven't practiced for three days, so I kind of expected a game like this," Dobson said, after watching his Saints improve their league record to 7-0 and 13-2 overall. "We looked like we could have put them away and we didn't. But with the layoff, I expected us to be not as sharp."
Neither team could find the handle or its range in a first quarter that ended with the Saints out front, 14-9. St. Mary's hit just six of 25 shots from the floor in the first eight minutes. The Gators were equally off-target, netting just four of 16.
The Saints got out to a quick start in the second quarter and, following baskets from Randall Goldsborough and Bridget Smith, led, 20-9.
Turnovers by the Gators coupled with a 6-for-6 performance at the foul line by St. Mary's helped the hosts build a seven-point margin at the half, 36-29.
Keough's turnover woescontinued in the second half, and St. Mary's capitalized on them. Missy Holmes' steal and subsequent pass to Kristine Manning (13 points)resulted in an easy deuce that put the Saints ahead, 42-32, with 6 minutes, 34 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
With the Gatorsrunning a defense geared to contain Goldsborough and Smith, Dobson found refuge in his "other" players, who accounted for 40 of the team's 65 points.
"They were running the triangle-and-two on Bridget (Smith) and Gus (Goldsborough), and we just proved again that some other people on our team can score," said Dobson, who got 14 points from Amy Mikula and eight from Holmes.
"We're a team with more than twopeople. I'm glad everyone likes to watch Randall because it gives everyone else a chance to score."
Despite a constant hand in her face, Goldsborough emerged as the Saints' leading scorer with 15 points.The 5-foot-4 senior guard also grabbed 10 rebounds and recorded eight steals.
Smith, who finished with 10 points, nine assists and seven steals, said that she was glad to see the game finally end.
"Itwas a really sloppy game," said Smith, referring to the enormous number of personal fouls. "It's not how I like to play. It wasn't my type of game. I'll play anything, but I don't enjoy that kind. It was just fouling the whole game."
The Saints won the battle at the foul line as well, as they connected on 20-of-27 free throws. The Gators had their troubles at the line, as they misfired on their first seven and finished a dismal 9-of-24.
Seton Keough (6-5, 4-2) pulled to within seven midway through the fourth quarter, but that margin quickly expanded when Goldsborough buried a three-pointer to make it 61-51 with 4:12 showing on the clock.
"I think we have a team this year,where last year I don't think we had a team," Dobson said. "Last year it came down to Laura Coakley. Laura got hurt, and nobody could shoot the ball. This year it's a team. I figure we can go eight deep on the bench and not lose anything."