Hustle helps Heights win tourney
PATTON – Midway through the fourth quarter of the Cambria Heights Christmas Tournament championship game, Nick Milanesi lunged for a loose ball near the scorer’s table and heaved it all the way under the Highlanders basket.
Nathan Patrick chased the ball down, got to it just as it was crossing the baseline and knocked it off Anthony Barnhart’s foot to give Cambria Heights possession of the ball.
It’s that kind of “hustle play” that Cambria Heights needs to win basketball games, said coach Eric Nagel. It’s the kind of plays they got Monday night in a 52-45 win over Glendale to take the tournament title.
“After Nick batted the ball, he was smart enough to throw it deep, and Nathan made the play. It’s the kind of hustle play we talk about all the time,” Heights coach Eric Nagel said. “That’s the kind of intense, physical basketball we need to play for 32 minutes.”
Cole Kline came off the bench and drained four 3-pointers for a team-high 12 points and Shawn Lacue scored in double digits as well with 10 points.
After scoring 16 points in Saturday’s opening round win over Moshannon Valley, A.J. Huber added eight points to go along with 10 rebounds and four blocked shots to win tournament MVP honors.
Patrick and Josh Serafin scored seven apiece.
“That’s what this team is all about is. It can anybody on any given night,” Nagel said. “We need that kind of balanced scoring to win games. We don’t have one guy that’s going to go out there and scored 25 a night.”
Heights trailed 8-2 three minutes into the game before scoring eight straight points to take the lead. Patrick hit a runner and a 3-pointer followed by another 3-pointer from Kline.
Heights knocked down five 3-pointers in the first half.
“We started the game in a zone, but they started hitting some shots so we had to make a change to slow them down,” Glendale coach Ryan Pastva said.
Glendale reclaimed the lead on buckets by O’Donnell and Dakota Sinclair, but Lacue answered with back-to-back buckets down low to close out the first quarter and give the Highlanders a lead they would not surrender.
Glendale trimmed Heights’ 7-point halftime advantage to two midway through the third quarter but would get no closer the rest of the way. Every time the Vikings looked to make a run, they would give the ball right back to Cambria Heights. In all, Glendale committed 25 turnovers. It’s been an issue for the team throughout the early part of the season, Pastva said.
“That’s the story of our season,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. We don’t value taking care of the basketball. You’re not going to win many games when you do that.”
Glendale got 12 points from Barnhart, 10 from Shea O’Donnell and eight apiece from Dakota Sinclair and Jared Schultz.
O’Donnell, who scored 27 points in a win over Northern Cambria Saturday, was named to to the all-tournament along with Cambria Heights’ Christian Bills, Northern Cambria’s Seth Bearer and Mo Valley’s David Bubb.
GLENDALE (45): O’Donnell 4 2-2 10, Potutschnig 3 0-0 7, Sinclair 4 0-2 8, Schultz 4 0-2 8, Barnhart 4 4-4 12 Wigfield 0 0-0 0, Kimberly 0 0-0 0. Totals – 19 6-9 45.
CAMBRIA HEIGHTS (52): Milanesi 1 0-2 3, Patrick 2 2-4 7, Serafin 2 2-2 7, Bills 0 0-0 0, Huber 4 0-0 8, Kline 4 0-0 12, Lacue 4 2-2 10, Strasser 0 5-6 5. Totals – 17 11-16 52.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Glendale12 6 11 16 – 45
Cambria Heights14 11 12 15 – 52
3-point goals: Glendale 1 (Potutschnig); Cambria Heights 7 (Kline 4, Milanesi, Patrick, Serafin).
Records: Glendale (2-5); Cambria Heights (4-4).