Huskies keep rolling into final four
JOHNSTOWN — After Bishop Carroll Catholic opened the second quarter with a 12-0 run in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals against Shade, the Huskies maintained a double-digit lead into the second half before the District 5 champs threatened to pull within single digits early in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers had just scored five straight points to pull within 11 and came out of a timeout with the ball at the 5:44 mark.
After Shade missed a pair of long 3-pointers on the ensuing possession, Tristan McDannell grabbed the rebound and sprinted the length of the court for a layup to start an 8-0 run and seal the team’s spot in the final four.
“That was huge,” BC coach Cosie Aliquo said of McDannell’s bucket. “If we get the rebound, we’re going with it. Going from 11 to 13 was big because the clock was running.”
The Huskies advanced to the state semifinals for the fourth time in school history, first since 2014, with a 68-54 win over Shade Friday at Richland High School.
“I’m so happy for the school. I’m happy for the players. They’re awesome. I love ’em,” Aliquo said.
McDannell led Carroll with 16 points. Carson Ertter, Scotty Semelsberger and Ben Eckenrode all finished with 11 points. Eckenrode, one of just two seniors on the team, pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
“We’re excited. We get to go play in the final four. First time for me and everyone else. It’s a good feeling,” Eckenrode said.
The Huskies play Kennedy Catholic in the semifinals Monday at a time and site to be announced. The District 10 champ knocked off Shanksville-Stonycreek, 77-53, Friday to advance.
Bishop Carroll (20-8) took advantage of turnovers on four of Shade’s first five possessions to take an early lead.
Eckenrode followed a layup with a 3-pointer, and Alex Karlheim added another 3. When Alec Ratchford scored on a layup, BC had a 10-2 lead.
Shade pulled to within a point, 12-11, later in the quarter before the Huskies scored five of the quarter’s final seven points for a 17-13 edge.
Eckenrode knocked down his second trey of the quarter, and Nolan Burk scored on a short turnaround jump shot from the baseline.
Bishop Carroll carried that momentum into the second quarter, turning a series of steals into 12 straight points.
After Carson Ertter scored driving to the basket, McDannell drained a 3-pointer. Semelsberger followed with a 3-pointer off the bench then scored on putback.
McDannell finished the run driving through two defenders to the other side of the basket for a reverse layup that gave the Huskies a commanding 29-13 lead.
“That was the steals,” Aliquo said. “We’re not going to get it on the offensive end. We’re going to get it on defense. When that’s going and we can take it from eight to 12 or 14, we’re pretty good.”
BC shot 6-for-12 from the 3-point line in the first half for a 35-20 lead at the break. Shade, a team that shot 32 percent on 3-pointers entering the game, made just 2-of-12 from beyond the arc.
“When you’re trying to climb out of a hole, you need to take (3-pointers),” Shade coach Wade Fyock said. “I thought were getting some good ones. We just weren’t knocking them down. We could never get everything going at the same time. Unfortunately, we didn’t play our best game, but Bishop Carroll had a little bit to do with that.”
For the game, the Panthers made just 3-of-20 3-pointers, the third one coming on a desperation shot at the final buzzer.
“That’s one of the better shooting teams we played all year. Any one of them can shoot it. Our game plan was to run ’em off the 3-point line,” Aliquo said. “We did, but then we couldn’t box out. We just didn’t box out. That almost cost us.”
Carroll carried the third quarter, 14-12, before the run in the fourth quarter put the game away.
After McDannell’s layup, Ertter put in a runner, and Burk added a layup off a McDannell assist. Semelsberger’s short jumper from the baseline put BC up 60-43.
Noah Pyles led Shade with a game-high 17 points. Brady Fyfe and Vincent Fyock scored 14 apiece. The Panthers’ season ended at 24-4.
BISHOP CARROLL (68): Karlheim 1 0-1 3, Ertter 3 5-7 11, H. Rodkey 1 2-3 4, Ratchford 3 0-0 6, Eckenrode 4 0-0 11, McDannell 6 3-4 16, Burk 3 0-0 6, Semelsberger 3 4-4 11, M. Rodkey 0 0-0 0. Totals — 24 14-18 68.
SHADE (54): Fyfe 6 0-0 14, Mauger 1 2-3 5, Pyles 6 5-7 17, Fyock 5 4-8 14, Valine 0 2-2 2, Hartman 1 0-0 2. Totals — 19 13-20 54.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Carroll 17 18 14 19 — 68
Shade 13 7 12 22 — 54
3-point goals: Bishop Carroll 6 (Karlheim, Eckenrode 3, McDannell, Semelsberger); Shade 3 (Fyfe 2, Mauger).
Records: Bishop Carroll (20-8); Shade (24-4).