The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 15, 2014

Bishop Carroll wins in overtime

Cory Isenberg

Monroeville — Trailing by two points with time winding down, Bishop Carroll’s Brandon Martinazzi fired up a shot that went in at the buzzer forcing overtime against Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in PIAA Class A boys’ quarterfinal basketball action Friday night at Gateway High School.

In the extra frame, the Huskies survived a 10 of 18 performance from the free-throw line and moved on to the semifinals with a 63-59 victory. Bishop Carroll (28-0) plays Lincoln Park, a 99-64 winner over Vincentian Academy Friday, on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.

“We just don’t give up,” Bishop Carroll coach Cosie Aliquo said. “This group just stays together.

“We practice free-throw shooting, but we’ll go back to work on it.”

Martinazzi finished with a game-high 22 points and added 11 rebounds. Marcus Lee contributed 11 points and six boards before fouling out with 24.3 second left in the fourth.

Mitchell Madonna added 11 points, all in the second half and the overtime with David Maruca chipping in eight and Nik Suckinos off the bench for seven.

“In the second half, the lanes opened up a lot and I was able to get to the bucket and luckily I made a few,” Madonna said. “There was a lot of pressure, but we have three seniors that we start so we’re used to the pressure although we need to practice our foul shots a little more.”

Celebrations erupted from the Huskies fans when Martinazzi’s shot went in because many thought it was a 3-pointer.

But the officials called it a two, and the overtime began.

“Scott (Lucas) swung me the ball and I shot it and it went in and I really didn’t know where I was on the floor,” Martinazzi said about the basket at the end of regulation.

“Scottie had a pretty good look and he said he didn’t think it was a three. When they put the three on the scoreboard I thought we had won. It was pretty upsetting to be going to overtime, but we are moving on.”

The final play of regulation was nothing like the one that was drawn up.

“I was supposed to run a ball screen and they doubled and we started to swing the ball and yelled for Scott to throw me the ball and he did and I was able to get the shot in,” Martinazzi said. “It was awesome.”

The Huskies never trailed in the extra frame and led by as many as seven, before missed free throws kept it interesting. Dominic Robb’s 3-pointer with 45.1 seconds left pulled the Trojans to within three, 60-57.

North Catholic got to within two, 61-59, on two free throws by John Savulchuk, who finished with a team-high 21 points.

Scott Lucas and Madonna each got one of two free throws to set the final and seal the Bishop Carroll victory.

North Catholic led 10-9 after the first quarter and was up 20-15 at the half.

The Huskies looked as though they had control of the game in the third, outscoring the Trojans 21-10 for a 36-30 lead.

Martinazzi had a pair of free throws on a technical foul on the North Catholic bench to open the fourth quarter, giving the Huskies their biggest lead.

But the Trojans weren’t done, inching their way back to even, 44-all, with 3:03 in the fourth.

Savulchuk had a pair of free throws and Timon Gribben had one to put North Catholic ahead by three with 2:23 left.

Carroll never tied or had the lead the rest of the fourth until pulling even on Martinazzi’s buzzer beater to extend the game.

Robb and Ryan Kirby finished with 12 points each for the Trojans (17-11).

North Catholic coach Dave Long exited the building after the game and was unavailable for comment.