EBENSBURG - Cambria Heights senior Isaac Vescovi scored a game-high 34 points, only to finish his high school basketball career in a 65-52 loss to Marion Center in a District 6 Class AA first-round playoff game Tuesday night at Bishop Carroll High School.
The loss marked a tough end to a brilliant career.
"Isaac's a constant worker. He's just that kid who was in the gym every day," Cambria Heights coach Eric Nagel said. "It's tough to see [his career] end like this. I think it's difficult for him, too."
Vescovi scored 23 points in the first half on 10-of-17 shooting.
"We could say we wanted to focus on him and take care of him. But in the first half we just didn't do it," Marion Center coach Matt Reed said. "In the second half we just said, 'Make somebody else beat us. Whatever you do, make sure somebody else beat you other than him. So try to limit his shots, know where he's at at all times and actually talk on defense.' "
Vescovi managed only two shots in the third quarter as Marion Center reversed a 31-26 deficit into a 43-40 lead into the final eight minutes.
"They followed him a lot more and paid a lot more attention to him," Nagel said. "We had a tough time getting him the basketball in the second half."
Vescovi hit a 3-pointer 53 seconds into the final period to cut the Stingers lead to 45-43. Cameron Miller's only basket of the night 11/2 minutes later pulled Cambria Heights to within 48-47. It was as close as the Highlanders got the rest of the night.
While the Stingers were finding a way to keep Vescovi in check, Cambria Heights had no answer for Todd Fetsko or Brodey Thompson. Fetsko, a 6-foot-5 junior, led the Stingers with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Thompson added 20 points.
"He caught the ball [at the] high post and went through the middle. We had a hard time stopping him," Nagel said of Fetsko.
Marion Center will face top-seeded Bald Eagle Area in a quarterfinal-round game later this week at a site and time to be determined.
CAMBRIA HEIGHTS (52): Milanesi 1 0-0 2, Bearer 3 0-0 9, Brawley 1 0-0 2, Hoppel 1 1-2 3, Vescovi 14 4-4 34, Miller 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 5-6 52.
MARION CENTE (65): Keith 1 0-0 2, Fetsko 9 10-15 28, Thompson 8 2-5 20, Glasser 1 2-2 5, Rupp 5 0-0 10. Totals 24 14-22 65.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Cambria Heights16 15 9 12 - 52
Marion Center20 6 17 22 - 65
3-point goals: Cambria Heights 5 (Bearer 3, Vescovi 2), Marion Center 3 (Thompson 2, Glasser).
Officials: Brad Eckroth, Dan Amrhein, Evan Thompson.
Records: Cambria Heights (13-10), Marion Center (16-7).