EBENSBURG - Bishop Carroll Catholic boys basketball coach Cosie Aliquo spoke to his team for so long at halftime that the Huskies did not get a chance to get loosened up.
That did not stop Carroll from scoring 41 points in the second half as the seventh-seeded Huskies came from behind to upset No. 2 seed Conemaugh Valley, 56-54, at Central Cambria High School on Thursday in the District 6 Class A quarterfinals.
"We needed to be better offensively," Aliquo said. "Our defense wasn't a problem. When we were down eight, everybody thought they had to do it all by themselves. What I told them was if we are a team, we got to work the ball and take good shots. Lo and behold, we came out in the third quarter and had some good ball movement. Everybody got into it. Everbody started hitting shots, and when that happens, we got some shooters."
The Huskies, who trailed at halftime, 23-15, outscored the Blue Jays, 41-31, in the second half. Bishop Carroll got 12 and 10 points from Ryan Lauer and Scott Ranck, respectively.
Lauer finished 18 points, and Ranck finished with 14.
"Ever since second grade, we have been best friends," Lauer said. "We have always been playing together. Whenever he transfered over here this year, we knew we were going to have something special coming into this year."
"Ryan and Scott are the older couple of us, a junior and a senior," Aliquo said. "Sometimes I do get on them because they are older guys, but when it comes down to one player, I never look at one player. I look at the team. Ryan can make guys better, and guys can make Ryan better."
At the end of the first half, it appeared Conemaugh Valley was in control of the game. However, the Blue Jays went 1-of-10 from the foul line in the second half.
"The difference was a confidence letdown, and offensively, we went away," Blue Jays coach James Preuss said. "I don't know where we went.
"We practice foul shooting every day. We do three-three, two-two every single day before practice gets started. We try to address that fact. It was a confidence factor."
What hurt Conemaugh more was that Bishop Carroll went 12-of-13 at the line in the second half and 15-of-16 for the game.
"One thing I have stressed more this year than years past is foul shots," Aliquo said.
Carroll held off Conemaugh Valley in the final seconds of the game, as the Blue Jays hit three 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds.
The Huskies will take on Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference foe and No. 3 seed Bishop Guilfoyle next week at a site and time to be determined. BC lost to Guilfoyle twice in the regular season.
For now, though, Carroll kept its hopes alive of repeating as District 6 Class A champion.
"It is just going to give them more confidence," Aliquo said. "As young as we are, I told them to enjoy it tonight, and we can get back to work tomorrow. That's all I told them. I am proud of them."
"Now we got some momentum," Lauer said. "We just have to keep it going the rest of the playoffs."
BISHOP CARROLL (56): Ranck 4 6-6 16, Madonna 3 3-4 10, Lauer 7 4-4 18, Lee 2 0-0 4, Maruca 1 0-0 2, Martinazzi 2 2-2 6, Suckinos 0 0-0 0. Totals -19 15-16 56 .
CONEMAUGH VALLEY (54): H. Furman 4 0-2 10, Uncapher 4 0-0 9, Kendera 2 0-2 4, N. Roberts 4 0-1 8, B. Furman 0 0-2 0, Graham 6 1-3 17, J. Roberts 3 0-0 6. Totals - 23 1-10 54.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Carroll8 7 18 23 - 56
Conemaugh Valley8 15 8 23 - 54
3-point goals: Bishop Carroll 3 (Madonna, Ranck 2); Conemaugh Valley 7 (H. Furman 2, Uncapher, Graham 4).
Records: Bishop Carroll (13-11); Conemaugh Valley (18-5).