The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Columnists

December 14, 2013

MIKE MASTOVICH| Huskies hot again this season

JOHNSTOWN — Cosie Aliquo heard people talking about how talented his Bishop Carroll boys’ basketball team is this season.

He’s read the preseason news clippings and certainly noticed that the Huskies were ranked third in the state in one Class A preseason poll.

Aliquo has been part of the area basketball scene long enough to know the hype won’t mean much if his team doesn’t perform to its abilities.

“Without a doubt we’ve got a target on our back,” Aliquo said earlier this week. “Everybody wants us. I told our guys that ranking doesn’t mean anything. In our conference, you can’t take anybody lightly. We’ll worry about the rankings at the end of the year and see where we go.”

Bishop Carroll won its first three games over Conemaugh Valley and Bedford on the road, and against LHAC rival Bishop McCort at home Friday.

The Huskies haven’t allowed more than 35 points in those games, and Carroll held Bedford to a paltry 19 points.

“The experience factor is big,” Aliquo said. “I tell our guys if they think this is a big game they’re playing in the regular season, just think what they were doing last year in March. Let’s keep battling and fighting and playing hard and see where we go.”

Bishop Carroll had a march to remember in March.

Despite a tough loss to LHAC opponent Bishop Guilfoyle in the 6-A title game, Bishop Carroll made noise in the state playoffs, beating a highly regarded WPIAL champion Vincentian Academy team and nearly shocking the state in a tight game against Lincoln Park.

The Huskies brought back four starters from that playoff-tested 23-6 team, including junior playmaking guard Brandon Martinazzi and inside presence Marcus Lee, a 6-6 senior who got better and better as last season progressed.

“Brandon opens up a lot for the other guys,” Aliquo said. “The other team’s defense is more cautious of him. He’s been passing the ball really well. When he’s unselfish he’s really hard to guard.

“Marcus is starting to hit the outside shot,” he added. “That opens it up for Marcus and Scott and Nick Burk on the inside. We’re trying to make it harder for them to guard him and he’s doing a pretty good job right now.”

Seniors Mitchell Madonna and David Maruca, and junior Nik Suckinos bring experience to the floor. The addition of 6-8 junior Scott Holsinger, a transfer from Central Cambria, provides more size as the Huskies fill the void left by lone graduated starter, Scott Ranck.

“Holsinger is doing well. He fits right in. He’s learning the system. More and more, once he learns the system, he’ll be a big help. At Bedford he had blocked shots and that’s big for him.”

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