In fact, Goretti probably looked like the Gaels teams of the mid-1980s when Rodney Monroe played, as they rolled to a 75-42 victory over the SouthLake Christian Academy (N.C.) squad now coached by the former Goretti star.
In the late game, Bishop Walsh became a first-time MAIT champion with a 58-51 victory over St. Mary’s Ryken.
* Goretti (2-1) placed four players in double figures and coasted from the opening tipoff.
Martin Geben, a 6-foot-9 junior, led the scoring with 17 points. Isaiah Harris-Winn had 16, Forrest Buterbaugh had 11 and Tyrus Fleetwood added 10 as the Gaels never trailed.
“We had more focus and energy,” Geben said. “We shared the ball better and defended the perimeter.”
SouthLake Christian (1-3) made 13 3-pointers on Friday, but the Gaels held the Eagles to only two on Saturday.
“We keyed on (Cody Cox and Bruce Dixon), the two that were shooting Friday,” said Goretti coach Amrit Rayfield. “We wanted to contest their shots early.”
Goretti bolted to a 12-2 lead with an 8-0 run on the strength of two buckets by Geben for a 17-7 lead after one quarter.
After the Gaels increased their lead to 27-11 behind four points from Harris-Winn, SouthLake scored the last six points of the second quarter to close within 27-17 at the break.
Goretti stormed through SouthLake to the tune of a 31-11 advantage in the third period, led by Geben’s seven points and 10 rebounds.
The Gaels had 11 turnovers in the first half but only one in the third quarter and three in the fourth.
“We did a better job on turnovers in the second half,” Rayfield said.
Geben got the Gaels off to a fast start out of halftime as they built a 40-25 lead. Then Goretti went on a 14-0 run highlighted by five points from Winn. Ryan Grant hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Gaels a 58-28 lead with one period to play.
Geben, who had three healthy slam dunks, led a Goreti onslaught on the boards with 16 rebounds as the Gaels posted a 54-18 advantage.
“I think we learned from Friday’s loss,” Rayfield said. “You can only play in the present and tonight we were much tougher on the boards.”
The lone negative in Goretti’s victory was its foul shooting, where the Gaels were only 12 for 26.
Jalen Sanders, who had 10 points Friday, was the lone Eagle in double figures with 11. Neither Dixon, who hit five 3s Friday, nor Hayden Goins, who had three in the opening round, connected on Saturday.
Monroe said he could see earlier in the day his team might not have been focused.
“You could see as a coach we weren’t focused, like they were just happy to be on the trip,” Monroe said. “We were two different teams. As a coach you just want to get 100 percent and I did not get that tonight.”
* In the championship game, Bishop Walsh jumped out to a 24-13 lead after the first eight minutes of play, but things were far from over.
St. Mary’s (1-1) cut the gap to 32-27 by halftime and knotted the score at 44 with 1:50 to play in the third quarter. Bishop Walsh showed some resiliency and held on for a 48-44 lead at the end of the period.
The Spartans never lost the advantage. The closest Ryken got was 53-51 with 2:15 remaining before Bishop Walsh closed out the game at the line with five free throws.
Hunter Marrale, who hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter, led Bishop Walsh with 19 points and Liam Rhodes added 13 on the way to winning the Most Outstanding Player award.
Jordan Oakley had 15 points and Reggie Parker — named the MAIT’s Most Valuable Player, had 14 points.
“We have new kids on this team and St. Mary’s was a very fast team,” Bishop Walsh coach Bob Boyle said. “We got good outside shooting and we hit the boards tonight.”
* The all-tournament team consisted of Geben and Harris-Winn of Goretti, Marrale and Quincy Redmon of Bishop Walsh, and Stan Kaya of St. Mary’s Ryken.
Kaya, who set a MAIT single-game scoring record with 41 points Friday, was held to four points by Bishop Walsh.
Goretti 75, SouthLake 42
SOUTHLAKE CHRISTIAN (1-3)
Cox 8, McCollum 4, Sanders 11, McCrickard 3, Goins 2, Queen 8, Murphy 2, Hnes 2, Dixon 2. Totals 19 2-8 42.
ST. MARIA GORETTI (2-1)
Proctor 4, Fleetwood 10, Grant 7, Stewart 2, Winn 16, Shaper 2, Geben 17, Akaya 2, Buterbaugh 11, Christensen 4. Totals 30 12-26 75.
SouthLake 7 10 11 14 — 42
Goretti 17 10 31 17 — 75
3-point goals — SouthLake 2 (Sanders, McCrickard), Goretti 3 (Grant, Winn, Buterbaugh).