EBENSBURG - The home fans in attendance got what they wanted inside Bishop Carroll Catholic High School on Wednesday night. They watched the Huskies stay unbeaten and witnessed junior guard Brandon Martinazzi reach the 1,000-point milestone.
To top off the special night, forward Marcus Lee ended up just five points shy of 1,000 with a monster game himself. In all, Bishop Carroll was able to speed up Cambria Heights' tempo and come out with a 69-22 victory.
"The most important thing is we got the win tonight, and it's good to get the milestone at home, it was a lot of fun," Martinazzi said. "We've got two more games this week, and we just want to keep it rolling. All in all it was a good night."
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Bishop?Carroll’s Marcus Lee takes it strong to the hoop against Cambria Heights defender A.J. Huber on Wednesday.
The Huskies (15-0, 6-0 Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Section 1) jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead. Cambria Heights was able to use the 3-point shot to get back in the game as Josh Serafin made two treys and Nick Milanesi added another one to close the gap to 12-9.
Bishop Carroll ended the quarter on an 11-0 run as Lee finished with 13 points in the quarter, while Martinazzi had six. Lee was left open for mid-range jump shots, and the senior made Heights pay.
"They were playing man, but they were sagging off on Marcus to where we put him on one side with Brandon and that's a pretty tough matchup," Bishop Carroll head coach Cosie Aliquo said.
"If you bite on Marcus, Brandon's sitting over there ready to shoot. If you don't, then we're going to the hole. That was one of the things we worked on and one of the things we wanted to capitalize on."
The Highlanders (6-11, 1-5 LHAC Section 1) had no answer all night for Lee, who ended up with 34 points and 11 rebounds. Bishop Carroll forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter alone.
The second quarter played out about the same as the first.
The Huskies outscored the road team by 14 in each quarter. Carroll's press forced Cambria Heights to play at a faster tempo and rely on the 3-point shot. Serafin and Milanesi made threes in the second, but the team also forced some shots up as well, playing into the hands of Bishop Carroll.
"Even though we weren't stealing, they were still taking rushed shots, and for us that's as good as a steal," Aliquo said.
"Definitely against a team this caliber you knew it was going to be difficult," Cambria Heights coach Eric Nagel said about not practicing the previous two days due to school being cancelled. "We didn't attack the basket well. They force you into that, they speed up your play. It's very difficult to simulate their speed "
Martinazzi, who came in needing 15 for 1,000, scored six more in the second quarter to close within three to reach the milestone. Lee had 25 points at half as BC led, 45-17.
With every point Martinazzi scored, the louder the gym got in anticipation of the magical 1,000-point mark. The junior scored off a turnover for point 999. With 5:45 left in the third quarter, Martinazzi penetrated the lane and made a finger roll for 1,001.
Play didn't stop until the next whistle, but everyone in the gym was on their feet clapping to celebrate the historic moment. Martinazzi then climbed the bleachers and hugged his parents Dana and Dan. His father also scored 1,000 points for Bishop Carroll in 1984.
"It's a great accomplishment," Martinazzi said about reaching 1,000 points as a junior. "My teammates did a great job coming out playing hard tonight. They did a great job getting me the ball. I scored 1,000 points, a lot of it I owe to them. I've been working hard, and it's good to see it paying off."
Martinazzi finished with 18 points on the night, 1,003 for his career. With the milestone out of the way, his focus is on the next game.
"It's well-deserving," Aliquo said. "It's 1,000 points, but this team is more about the wins. Milestones will take care of themselves, but wins are what we're more worried about."
"We want to keep rolling, we don't want to get that loss," Martinazzi said. "Our main goal is that championship at the end so we just got keep getting better every day and take it one game at a time. We don't want to look too far ahead."
Serafin led Heights with nine points, coming on three made triples.
CAMBRIA HEIGHTS (22): Patrick 0 1-2 1, Serafin 3 0-0 9, Bills 0 0-2 0, Strasser 0 0-0 0, A.J. Huber 0 3-4 3, Milanesi 2 0-0 6, Lacue 0 0-0 0, Kline 0 0-1 0, Ford 0 1-3 1, Link 0 0-0 0, P. Huber 1 0-2 2, Koscki 0 0-0 0, McConnell 0 0-0 0. Totals 6 5-14 22.
BISHOP CARROLL (69): Maruca 1 0-2 2, Lucas 1 0-0 2, Lee 12 10-13 34, Martinazzi 8 2-2 18, Madonna 2 2-2 6, Swatsworth 0 1-2 1, Suckinos 0 0-0 0, Watt 2 0-0 4, Burk 1 0-0 2, Ratchford 0 0-0 0, Weinzierl 0 0-0 0, Dunchack 0 0-0 0, Wyland 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 15-21 69.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cambria Heights 9 8 1 4 - 22
Bishop Carroll23 22 17 7 - 69
3-point field goals: Cambria Heights 5 (Serafin 3, Milanesi 2); Bishop Carroll 0.
Officials: Lynn Smith, Bryan Smith, Al Price.
Records: Cambria Heights (6-10, 1-5 LHAC Section 1); Bishop Carroll (15-0, 6-0 LHAC Section 1).
JV: Cambria Heights, 42-39.