Sean Goforth missed his first seven shots and had little going for him three quarters into Bishop Gorman’s rivalry bout with Grace Community.
After going to the charity stripe for three free throws 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, Goforth woke up offensively, scoring all 12 of his points to spark the Crusaders to a 65-51 victory at Grace Gym on Friday.
Gorman led 35-34 heading into the final frame but Goforth’s unconventional 3-pointer was followed by a long-range 3-pointer 20 seconds later as part of a 19-6 run to open the fourth. The junior hit four of his final five shots and added a couple steals and an assist in the final eight minutes.
“He finally got to the foul line, got some rhythm with the next one and then he was aggressive after that,” Gorman coach Paul Drake said of Goforth. “They ran at him and he got some layups.
“If Sean doesn’t play well, we don’t win. A lot of people think Ben (Ashworth) and (Brandon) Lackner; Sean really makes us go, win wise. If he’s not going, we don’t win.”
Ashworth finished with 22 points and eight assists while Lackner supplied 10 points and a team-high eight boards for Gorman, which completed a sweep over Grace after the Lady Crusaders won the girls game 80-39.
Last Friday night Grace was celebrating a boys-girls sweep over cross-town rival All Saints. Next Friday night, Gorman will go for a Tyler TAPPS 2-4A sweep when they play at All Saints’ Brookshire Gym.
The Crusaders (13-12, 2-3) had beaten the Cougars twice before, including rallying from 21 down to win in the Wagstaff Classic. This one, however, meant something in the standings.
“I don’t think Gorman’s swept Grace in a long time, but the problem is, we could see them again how the district tournament’s set up,” Drake said. “There might be a Round 4 and it will be just as exciting and just as intense.
“It’s always a fun game. (Grace) coach (Neal) Welch does a good job with them. It’s just a fun time all the way around.”
Gorman won the fourth quarter 30-17, hitting 79 percent (11 for 14) after shooting 29 percent in the first three quarters. Ashworth had seven in the quarter.
“Ben, a lot of people think he’s selfish — he’s not,” Drake said. “He’s very unselfish, makes the basketball play, but when I tell him you gotta go score, he goes and scores.
“He has played so awesome for us. He’s a phenomenal player when it comes to sharing the ball and knowing where his teammates are. He’s a good teammate — a lot of people don’t realize that about him.”
The Cougars (11-12, 2-4) were led by Trevor Gunter’s 19 points and three blocks. Verlo Levels also had three blocks to go along with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Grace hit 4 of 23 from beyond the arc.
In the girls game, Susannah Williams helped the Lady Crusaders dominate inside with game-highs of 26 points and seven rebounds as Gorman coasted to its 41st consecutive district win. Williams went 9 for 15 from the field and 8 for 10 from the line.
Michelle Obach added 23 points, seven assists and five steals for Gorman (24-3, 5-0), which outrebounded Grace 38-18. Brooke Lee chipped in 14 points and Danielle Smith had seven rebounds.
Mandie VanderVorste had a strong game off the bench for the Lady Crusaders, showing off some offensive skills with 11 points while also supplying defense in the form of six rebounds, two steals and a block.
Gorman led by 22 at halftime and then expanded that lead to 40 with three minutes to go in the third thanks to a 20-2 spurt to start the half.
Grace (10-14, 3-3) was paced by seniors Catherine Rook (nine points, two blocks) and Rebekah Provines (five points, three assists, four rebounds) playing in their final home game. Taylor Kingsley added nine points.
NOTE: The TAPPS 2-4A basketball tournament will be played Feb. 15-16 at Whitehouse High School, changed from UT Tyler.
TAPPS 2-4A Girls
Bishop Gorman 80, Grace Community 39
Gorman 20 23 26 11 — 80
Grace 8 13 7 11 — 39
GORMAN — Brooke Lee, 14; Michelle Obach, 23; Mandie VanderVorste, 11; Susannah Williams, 26; Danielle Smith, 4; Courtney Fergerson, 2. FG: 30-59. FT: 16-22.
GRACE — Rebekah Provines, 5; Bethany Kimmey, 4; Megan Raborar, 6; Catherine Rook, 9; Parker Daughtry, 4; Kylie Stinson, 2; Taylor Kingsley, 9. FG: 18-47. FT: 1-4.
THREE POINT GOALS — BG (4-17): Lee (2), Obach (2). GC (2-8): Rook, Kingsley.
JV SCORE — Gorman 20, Grace 15.
RECORDS — Gorman 24-3 (5-0); Grace 10-14 (3-3).
NEXT UP — Dallas Parish Episcopal at Gorman, 6 p.m. Tuesday; Grace at Carrollton Prince of Peace, 6 p.m. Tuesday.
TAPPS 2-4A Boys
Bishop Gorman 65, Grace Community 51
Gorman 17 6 12 30 — 65
Grace 9 11 14 17 — 51
GORMAN — Patrick Droder, 4; Mitchell Rainey, 4; Christian Watkins, 4; Sean Goforth, 12; Chris Danly, 5; Max McKinley, 2; Brandon Lackner, 10; Adam Aucar, 2; Ben Ashworth, 22. FG: 24-59. FT: 14-21.
GRACE — Verlo Levels, 11; Trevor Gunter, 19; Blake Johnson, 6; Phillip McKinney, 3; Andrew Melhart, 6; Levi Crozier, 4; Thomas Nance, 2. FG: 17-58. FT: 13-20.
THREE POINT GOALS — BG (3-12): Watkins, Goforth, Ashworth. GC (4-23): Johnson, McKinney, Melhart (2).
JV SCORE — Grace 43, Gorman 32.
RECORDS — Gorman 13-12 (2-3); Grace 11-12 (2-4).
NEXT UP — Dallas Parish Episcopal at Gorman, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; Grace at Carrollton Prince of Peace, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.