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Huskies overcome first-half woes, St. Joe’s

EBENSBURG — A young basketball team that features no senior starters can try the patience of most coaches. And then there’s Cosie Aliquo, whose demeanor sets the tone.

“The one thing that I’ve learned (is) they’re young,” the veteran Bishop Carroll basketball coach said. “So, they go how I go. If I stay relaxed, they stay a little more relaxed.”

Patience was more than merely a virtue for the Huskies, who overcame an 11-point deficit, pulled within six at halftime and dominated the second half in a 45-38 victory against Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy in a District 6 Class 1A playoff game on Friday night at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School.

“We obviously were not playing how we wanted to,” junior guard Timmy Golden said. “We also thought a lot of things were not going our way … a lot of balls off the backboard, off the rim and going to the other team. That kind of straightened itself out. We made some adjustments, and it’s all we needed to do.”

The Huskies will meet top-seeded Williamsburg, an 87-49 winner against Harmony, in a rematch of the district championship game at 7 p.m. Tuesday at a site to be determined.

“We’ve played them before. We’ll just get them back for a second time,” junior forward Thomas Heinrich said.

Rebounding and turnovers turned the game in the reigning District 6 champion’s favor. Bishop Carroll held the edge in rebounds, 37-25. Offensive rebounds heavily favored the Huskies, 23-3.

“We haven’t gotten this many the whole year combined,” said Heinrich, who led all players with 12 rebounds, including six on offense. Spencer Myers grabbed nine total rebounds, seven on offense.

“I told our guys that’s more offensive rebounds in one game than we’ve totaled the whole year,” Aliquo said, “because we don’t get to the offensive boards very well. We worry more about getting back in transition.”

“This is pretty much the first game where we haven’t been outsized,” Golden said. “I mean we’re a really small team, and they matched our height. So, our big guys kind of went at it.”

Saint Joseph’s coach Richard Ciambotti said rebounding has been an issue with his team the entire season.

“(Bishop Carroll) kind of wanted it a little more on the boards in the second half,” he said. “It’s hard to watch because I thought we had position a couple of times. We just didn’t get two hands on it and those guys did.”

The Huskies forced 23 turnovers while giving it away only eight times.

“That was huge. I told our guys our best offense is our defense tonight. And it probably worked out perfectly for us,” Aliquo said.

“It comes down to our coaching,” Golden said. “Cosie always has us playing aggressive, that’s how we play, and it’s worked out pretty well for us all year.”

“Rebounding and turnovers are two things we keep a very close eye on,” Ciambotti said. “We always like to say if we can keep below 12 turnovers and 12 offensive rebounds for them, we feel like we’d have a shot to win.”

Ayden Smorto led Bishop Carroll with 12 points, followed by Golden’s 11.

Brendan Scanlon led the WolfPack with 12 points. Noah Straub added 11 points. Jonah Clark grabbed eight rebounds for Saint Joseph’s, which was awarded only two free throws the entire night.

SAINT JOSEPH’S ACADEMY (38): Scanlon 6 0-0 12, Cross 1 0-0 3, Clark 1 2-2 4, Straub 5 0-0 11, Peters 1 0-0 2, Hall 3 0-0 6, Gigante 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Warner 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Warner 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 2-2 38.

BISHOP CARROLL (45): Amigh 1 0-0 3, Dumm 2 1-3 5, Repko 1 3-4 6, Heinrich 3 1-3 8, Myers 0 0-0 0, T.Golden 4 2-2 11, Farabaugh 0 0-0 0, Smorto 0 0-0 0, J. Golden 0 0-0. Totals — 15 12-17 45.

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

Saint Joseph’s Academy 14 8 8 8 — 38

Bishop Carroll 9 7 17 12 — 45

3-point field goals: Saint Joseph’s Academy 2 (Cross, Straub), Bishop Carroll 3 (Amigh, Repko, T. Golden).

Records: Saint Joseph’s Academy (6-13), Bishop Carroll (7-10).

Officials: Jason Moschgat, Drew Civis, Mark Surike.

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