Central Catholic Raiders Girls Basketball '07-'08

Thu, Jan 31, 2008 07:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Andover 15 11 23 20 69
Central Catholic 8 18 12 23 61

Gomez-Martinez on point for Andover

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Carl Russo, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Friday, February, 01 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

ANDOVER | Natalie Gomez-Martinez knew she messed up. With Andover putting the finishing touches on a 69-61 win over Central Catholic, she committed a foul she shouldn't have.

Arms up and incredulous, she turned to face Andover coach Jim Tildsley, who seemed to share the same emotion.

"When I make a mistake," she said, "I look over and he's pointing at me."

So is life as a freshman point guard. Like an elevator gone haywire, it's hard to predict the ups and downs.

As of last night, however, Gomez-Martinez was running smoothly. She scored a game-high 26 points, impressing the Dunn Gymnasium crowd with an array of pull-up jump shots, deadly outside shooting (four 3-pointers), and quick hands (7 steals).

"She should be really proud of herself," said senior guard Meghan Thomann, who scored 19 points. "She looks for her shot. She hits big shots. She's not nervous at all." Said Tildsley: "She controlled the tempo."

The 5-foot-7 Gomez-Martinez, who's averaging 11.6 points per game, isn't fazed by much. In the fourth quarter, after the Raiders (9-5, 7-3 Merrimack Valley Conference) went on a 9-0 run to slice the Andover lead from 49-38 to 49-47, she hit a soft jumper to push it back up to four points.

Thomann then completed a 3-point play, hit two free throws and buried a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to push the lead up to 59-49 with less than 3<1/2> minutes remaining.

Thomann finished 5 of 16 from the floor, and came on strong, scoring nine points in the final quarter.

"I just needed to calm myself down," she said.

For Gomez-Martinez, at least, it hasn't always been that easy. She had missed the previous two games due to a minor disciplinary infraction. But the Golden Warriors (14-2, 9-1 MVC) were happy to have her back.

Ups and downs are simply part of the process.

"She's going to be a heck of a player," Tildsley said.

As for the fateful foul, which sent Central's Riley Dunn (11 points) to the line for three shots with less than two minutes left, Gomez-Martinez owned up to it.

No big deal though, especially considering the outcome. "It was a pretty big game," she said with a smile.

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