Usually, Christmas break is a time to get full from all the food you eat during the holidays. That is not so with high school basketball players. Tournaments galore abound during this festive time.
It is no different for local basketball teams. A day after Christmas, St. Monica found itself back in the swing of things on the basketball court.
The Mariners’ boys’ basketball team went out to play a rugged and tough game against Palmdale. St. Monica rode the scoring and rebounding production of Spencer Gorman to come up away with a tight, 63-61 win.
Gorman scored 22 points and had 14 rebounds to lead the Mariners. Dennis Ashley scored 13 and once again had a big night at the free throw line late hitting on 5 of 6 from the line in the fourth quarter.
With the Mariners down by three with just over two minutes left in the game, Ashley made a strong move to the basket and got fouled on the play . Ashley completed the three-point play when he converted the subsequent free throw, which tied the game.
Kavin Dotson chipped in nine points for the Mariners, and made four key free throws down the stretch as well. After Ashley’s big play, the Mariners stopped Palmdale and then took the lead thanks to an intentional foul that was committed on Ashley.
The Mariners ended up taking a five point lead before Palmdale hit a three-point shot with just two seconds remaining to cut the final score to two points.
“I’m proud of how the team kept their heads in a very physical ball game down the stretch,” said coach John Skinner. “This team is trusting each other more and that is leading to better shot selection and easier scoring opportunities. We need to cut down on our turnovers if we are going to continue to improve. Spencer Gorman was phenomenal; very proud of his effort in that type of physical environment.”