The Bishop Carroll Huskies make their return to Gateway High School tonight when the District 6 and Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference champions take on District 7 Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic at 7:30 p.m. in a Class A quarterfinal of the PIAA tournament.
Bishop Carroll carries an unbeaten record into the contest against the Trojans after pulling out a 69-65 win over WPIAL runner-up Monessen on Tuesday at the Monroeville school. A 22-0 second-half run spurred the Huskies (27-0), who trailed 51-43 before the run commenced.
Nik Suckinos sparked the Huskies’ run with a trio of 3-pointers while the Greyhounds couldn’t generate any offense during a 6-minute stretch.
It was only the fourth game this season where a team stayed within 16 points of Bishop Carroll. Bishop Guilfoyle was responsible for the other three instances.
Brandon Martinazzi (28 points on Tuesday) paces the offense with 19.8 points per game while Marcus Lee (nine points on Tuesday) follows with an average of 16.7 points and a team-high 7.5 boards per game. Scott Lucas (8.2 points) is one of a quartet of players which has taken portions of the scoring load when opponents have halted Bishop Carroll’s scoring punch. David Maruca (5.6), Suckinos (5.4) and Mitchell Madonna (5.1) follow Lucas’ lead in secondary scoring.
On the other end of the second-round pod, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic used 6-foot-2 senior guard Ryan Kirby’s 21 points along with 16 coming from 6-6 senior forward Dominic Robb and 10 from 6-2 sophomore guard John Savulchak in a 58-43 win over Ridgway at Clarion University.
The Trojans (17-10) trailed just once - 31-30 in the third quarter - on their way to the second-round win. North Catholic - the third-place finisher in District 7 - bounced District 5 champion Berlin Brothersvalley 56-44 in a first-round game last week. Robb had 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots in that win at UPJ.
Tonight’s winner draws either Lincoln Park Charter or Vincentian Academy in Tuesday’s semifinal. A site and time will be announced later. Last season, Lincoln Park eliminated Bishop Carroll in the PIAA quarterfinal.
Shawn Curtis is the sports editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/shawncurtis430.