Bishop Guilfoyle’s shooters too much for Heights

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic’s Luke Ruggery and Justin Charlton were on fire from 3-point range Monday against a short-handed Cambria Heights team, and the Marauders mercy-ruled the Highlanders.

Ruggery and Charlton combined for 10 treys and 35 points as BG romped to a 69-24 Laurel Highlands Conference victory at the Pleasant Valley gym.

“When the ball is going in, you look a lot smarter,” BG coach Chris Drenning said with a smile. “It’s funny how that works.”

Drenning opened his post-game comments saying he felt badly for CH coach Eric Nagel, whose Highlanders dropped to 3-7.

“He’s got two of his better players hurt,” Drenning noted, “and when you lose 40 percent of your lineup on any level, you’re in a bad spot.”

Conversely, BG showed its athleticism and team depth by racing to a 29-6 lead in the first quarter. Junior A.J. Labriola’s followup opened the scoring, then sophomore Ruggery connected on four 3’s in a row. His backcourt mate, senior Josh Trybus contributed four straight layups — two on steals — and the Marauders opened a 22-4 lead.

“They came out and played zone,” Drenning said, “and we have a number of kids who can shoot the ball — Luke, Josh, A.J., Justin and Nick (Scaramozzino), plus a couple kids on the bench.

“It happened to be Luke (Ruggery) tonight,” Drenning continued. “He was open and the guys were finding him. I don’t think he hit the rim in the first quarter.”

Charlton, a 6-foot-4 junior, came off the bench and nailed three 3-pointers in the second quarter en route to a 17-point effort.

“Justin came in in the second, and he’s a very capable scorer,” Drenning offered. “He’s a really good offensive player.”

The Marauders led 40-6 at one point and held a commanding 51-20 advantage at intermission. Ruggery (15), Charlton (10) and Trybus (10) combined for 35 first-half points.

“We started shooting hot tonight,” Charlton said. “We started fast and kept up the pace. We all were making shots.”

Despite a slow start because of the extended football season, Charlton feels good about the Marauders.

“We played together all summer and played well,” Charlton said. “So when they (football players) came in, we transitioned well.

“We have good size and good depth and hopefully, we can take it pretty far.”

Ruggery’s sixth trey made it 63-22 and set the running clock in motion at the 4:27 mark of the third quarter.

Although their offense was dynamite, the Marauders’ defense pleased Drenning as well.

“We played three games last week and gave up 60 points twice,” Drenning said. “That’s not who we are or want to be. We’ve got to be better defensively.

“We emphasized defense in practice last Thursday and tried to get better defensively and get back to who we are,” he said, noting the Marauders then beat Central Cambria, 70-45, Friday.

“Everything is installed now and we’re trying to get back to our identity, which is defense,” Drenning said. “We did well Friday against a really good team and we did well tonight.”

Nagel was impressed with BG’s play.

“They’re definitely athletic, and they can shoot the ball,” Nagel said. “I don’t think No. 3 (Ruggery) missed and their shooting percentage was pretty impressive.

“We told our kids we’ve got to do little things better so we can improve on the season.”

Game notes: BG (4-3) hosts Penn Cambria in a LHAC game Thursday at Pleasant Valley and visits Bellwood-Antis on Saturday. … Heights entertains Forest Hills in a league game Thursday. … Highlanders played without starters Liam Wholaver and Nick Brawley, out with injuries.

CAMBRIA HEIGHTS (24): Scott 2 2-2 6, Campbell 0 0-0 0, Verdavoir  1 0-0 2, B. Bearer 3 1-1 7, Painter 1 0-0 2, Fox 2 2-3 7, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Maul 0 0-0 0, Weakland 0 0-0 0. Totals — 9 5-6 24.

BISHOP GUILFOYLE (69): Trybus 5 0-0 10, L. Ruggery 6 0-0 18, Frederick 1 0-0 2, Labriola 2 0-0 4, Scaramozzino 4 0-2 8, Irwin 0 0-0 0, Charlton 6 1-2 17, Patterson 2 0-0 4, Pleva 2 0-0 4, Carrieri 0 0-0 0, Montecalvo 1 0-0 2, K. Ruggery 0 0-0 0. Totals — 29 1-4 69.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Cambria Heights    6 14   2 2 — 24

Bishop Guilfoyle    29 22 14 4 — 69

3-point goals: Cambria Heights 1 (Fox); Bishop Guilfoyle 10 (L. Ruggery 6, Charlton 4 ).

Records: Cambria Heights (3-7); Bishop Guilfoyle (4-3).

JV: Guilfoyle, 48-17. High scorers–Michael Montecalvo, BG, 14; Lucas Fox, CH, 7.

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