By TIM KOELBLE
11:34 PM EST, January 9, 2013
Call it bitter, devastating or whatever, but St. Maria Goretti’s loss to John Carroll on Wednesday was simple: A giveaway.
The Gaels, who led by as much as nine points in the second quarter and five points late in the third quarter, squandered a four-point lead with 41.9 seconds remaining in regulation and went on to suffer a 62-58 loss in overtime to John Carroll.
“This is a most bitter loss. We gave one away,” Goretti coach Amrit Rayfield said.
Goretti (11-6, 2-3) had a chance to start making waves jumping up in the Baltimore Catholic League standings with three winnable games out of four coming up, looking for a high finish and good tournament seed.
But John Carroll (13-6, 4-2) had other ideas and, led by a pair of guards, dominated Goretti down the stretch.
“We didn’t value the basketball down the stretch,” Rayfield said.
Goretti held a 41-36 lead with 1:50 remaining in the third period on four points by Ameka Akaya.
From that point, it was all senior guard Rodney Elliott and Canadian-born sophomore guard Kimbal MacKenzie.
The two scored 23 of John Carroll’s last 26 points of the game.
Elliott, whose father, Rodney, played for the Maryland Terps from 1996-98, had nine of 11 Patriots points that gave John Carroll a 47-41 lead.
Goretti fought back to take a 54-50 lead on two free throws each by Isaiah Harris-Winn and Ryan Grant, but it then became MacKenzie’s turn to take over.
MacKenzie hit two free throws after being fouled on a slashing drive in the lane with 14.4 seconds remaining and John Carroll then caught a break when Goretti turned the ball over on the inbounds play.
Elijah Long missed a shot but Trystan Pratapas had the offensive rebound for a score and a 54-all deadlock with 5.9 left to go.
John Carroll opened the overtime with MacKenzie hitting a 3-pointer and deuce and the Gaels could not recover.
“Those guards scored in a variety of ways,” Rayfield said.
Goretti had 20 turnovers for the night, many that came in the pivotal run by John Carroll.
“In the first half, we were patient but we had some turnovers and started taking bad shots,” Rayfield said. “Once we started taking quick shots, we played right into their hand.”
MacKenzie finished with 24 points and Elliott had 16 for John Carroll and 6-foot-6 Mike Owana had 11 rebounds.
Tyrus Fleetwood had 12 first-half points and led Goretti with 19 and Martin Geben followed with 15 points, along with 12 rebounds.
In the overtime period, Goretti hit only 1 of 6 shots from the field and 2 of 5 from the foul line.
John Carroll 62, Goretti 58
JOHN CARROLL (13-6, 4-2)
Elliot 16, MacKenzie 24, Martin 6, Tertsea 6, Mi. Owana 4, Pratapas 2, Keyser 3, Tyne 1. Totals 23 9-15 62.
ST. MARIA GORETTI (11-6, 2-3)
Fleetwood 19, Grant 2, Harris-Winn 5, Geben 15, Shaper 2, Christensen 6, Akaya 9. Totals 21 13-21 58.
John Carroll 10 16 15 13 8 — 62
Goretti 16 14 11 13 4 — 58
3-point goals — John Carroll 7 (MacKenzie 3, Martin 3, Elliot), Goretti 3 (Christensen 2, Fleetwood). Fouled out — Tertsea.
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