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High School Basketball:
McGonigal Spoils Shawnee's Comeback With Last Second Shot

Saturday, February 14, 2004

By Spencer Johnson
SJSports Special Correspondent

The Olympic Cape Atlantic Challenge was back for another weekend of competition between the boy's basketball teams from the two conferences. Last year when Shawnee Renegades played the Spartans from Holy Spirit, the Renegades controlled the game from the start and held on for the 5-point victory. Today, the Spartans pulled out their bags of tricks by stunning Shawnee on a shot made by Mark McGonigal right before time expired. With that shot, Holy Spirit pulled off a 58-57 win over Shawnee.

If we just skipped to the last 10 seconds of this game, it wouldn't be fair to those who did not witness a great comeback in the game of high school basketball. During the first three quarters, Holy Spirit would have a one-point lead, 22-21, in the second quarter. That lead swelled to 42-33 to start the final eight minutes of this game and it looked as if the Spartans would win easily.

The Renegades would battle back and were just three points away, 55-52, with 35.3 seconds remaining in the regulation. Shawnee's Julian Sanders would tied the game when he was fouled and then converted the free threw to take a one point lead with 10 seconds remaining on the clock. That's when McGonigal's last second heroics took center stage with his game-winning shot as time expired. Dennis Horner led all scorers with 22 points, Gabe Guerrieri added 13 and Carlos Mercado also finished with 13 points for Holy Spirit. Shawnee's Tyson Hartnett scored 21 points, Matt McFadden added 12 points and Julian Sanders ended with 10 points for the Renegades.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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