EBENSBURG - Through two-and-a-half quarters Friday night, the Bishop Carroll Catholic and Bishop McCort high school boys basketball matchup was shaping up to be a classic.
But that's when the Huskies decided enough was enough.
Bishop Carroll went on a 17-3 run over a seven-minute span that bled into the fourth quarter and never looked back as it trounced the Crushers, 61-35.
"It was a time where we just needed to get quicker," Bishop Carroll coach Cosie Aliquo said. "We made some adjustments, kept the press on and got some steals.
"I told our guys, 'That's our game. We've got to steal the basketball.' And we did. We got some steals and it opened up our offense to get some easy shots."
The Huskies forced the Crushers into 24 turnovers on the night, nine in the fourth quarter alone. From there, the floodgates opened.
Nik Suckinos scored eight of his team-high-tying 17 points in the final quarter, including back-to-back 3s to put an exclamation point Bishop Carroll's demoralizing run.
"We didn't handle their pressure well," Bishop McCort coach Jerry Murphy said. "We worked on it and worked on it, but we didn't do a good job of handling the pressure. When we did break the press, we didn't get good shots."
Crushers standout Nemo Trexler had a game-high 18 points, but the senior was held without a second-half field goal. He was 0-for-7 from the field over the final 16 minutes, including missing each of his five 3-point attempts.
"If you can hold Nemo to no field goals in the second half, you did a pretty good job," Aliquo said. "One of the things we adjusted in the second half is that we made sure that we went and double-teamed him to keep the ball out of his hands and not let him get back into a rhythm. To hold him to no field goals is pretty good because he's a heckuva player."
"What happens is that we tend to stand and watch [Trexler] when he has the ball," Murphy said. "We need to quit doing that. We have ample other people that can score, we just didn't look at them tonight."
The Huskies had a more balanced offensive approach as Marcus Lee scored 17 points, Brandon Martinazzi had 12, and Scott Holsinger added eight.
"That's why we're a team," Aliquo said. "We're not a one-man team. We need everybody. If someone gives me three rebounds and two points, we'll take it. We're a team and we'll live by that. We're unselfish."
With Trexler on the bench due to foul trouble, the Crushers (0-1) got down by as many as 12 early in the second quarter. Once he returned, he hit a pair of 3-pointers to help chip away at the Huskies' (3-0) lead.
Fittingly enough, Bishop McCort's run took shape when Lee sat out with a pair of early fouls.
The Crushers were able to stay within six until their offense stalled - scoring only 13 second-half points - and the Huskies turned up the heat.
"I thought defensively in the first half we played well," Murphy said. "Our offense didn't do well tonight. It's a long season and we've got a long way to go. It's a work in progress."
"We got into [foul trouble] again," Aliquo said. "But you know what, they had Nemo down with two [fouls]. That's when we went on a run. And then Marcus got in foul trouble, so it kind of evened out. We hung in there."
BISHOP McCORT (35): Ingram 1 0-0 2, Coleman 0 0-0 0, Rugg 3 1-2 7, Neiderhiser 2 0-0 4, Trexler 4 7-11 18, Helsel 1 0-0 2, Deter 0 0-0 0, Conahan 1-3 0-0 2, Leech 0 0-0 0, Wade 0 0-0 0, Eckenrod 0 0-0 0. Totals 12-41 8-13 35.
BISHOP CARROLL (61): Madonna 0 0-0 0, Martinazzi 6 0-0 12, Maruca 0 1-2 1, Lee 5 6-6 17, Lucas 2 0-0 4, Holsinger 4 0-0 8, Suckinos 6 0-0 17, Burk 0 0-0 0, Swatsworth 0 0-0 0, Woo 1 0-0 2, Wyland 0 0-0 0, Watt 0 0-0 0, Ratchford 0 0-0 0, Weinzierl 0 0-0 0, Dunchack 0 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 7-8 61.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop McCort6 16 7 6 35
Bishop Carroll16 12 13 20 61
3-point goals: Bishop McCort 3-9 (Trexler 3), Bishop Carroll 6-15 (Suckinos 5, Lee).
Records: Bishop McCort (0-1), Bishop Carroll (3-0).
JV: Bishop McCort, 52-38. High scorers-Watt, BC, 20; Wade, BM, 12.