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St. Maria Goretti 73, Mercersburg 54 >> Mercersburg Academy fell short in an Independent Parochial School League boys basketball game against St. Maria Goretti after the Gaels jumped to a fast start.

Goretti led 35-20 at the half after two productive quarters Thursday night. The Blue Storm battled in the second half to reduce the deficit but turnovers hurt proved to be the difference maker.

"Goretti played a very aggressive defense and we struggled to handle that pressure at times," Mercersburg coach Sean Crocker said. "They forced us into 20 turnovers."

Carlos Austin led Mercersburg (3-5, 0-3 IPSL) with 14 points, followed by Miles Hearon and Elliot Hicks, with 12 each. Luka Sevaljevic added eight points and six assists.

Crocker said, "We played hard and focused in spurts, but lapses against a team that fast hurts you quickly. We need to learn to handle pressure better and keep our composure as we move on. I believe that we will do that."

St. Maria Goretti 73, Mercersburg 54

Goretti (73)

Chandler Penn 2 0-0 5, Dante Doleman 1 2-2 4, Jake Kuhn 5 1-2 12, Kevin Bell 3 1-3 7, Josh Mack 5 1-2 12, Ryan Zinaich 3 0-2 6, Ameka Akaya 4 2-2 10, Jiar White 1 3-6 5, Kyle Pope 2 0-0 5, J.Blakney 4 0-0 8  Totals — 30 10-22 72.

Mercersburg (54)

Carlos Austin 3 7-9 14, Victor Burgess 0 0-0 0, Miles Hearon 4 0-0 12, Eli Riley 3 0-0 6, Colin Adams 0 0-0 0, Elliot Hicks 4 1-1 12, Daniel Bowes 0 0-0 0, Jake Rist 1 0-0 2, Luka Sevaljevic 3 0-0 8. Totals — 19 8-10 54.

S.M. Goretti _ 22 _ 15 _ 17 _ 20 _ — _ 72

Mercersburg _ 13 _ 7 _ 18 _ 16 _ — _ 54

3-point goals — SMG 4 (Pope, Mack, Kuhn, Penn), MA 11 (Hearon 4, Hicks 3, Sevaljevic 2, Austin).

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