Colts rout Weatherly
For one quarter, Marian could do no wrong.
And that quarter - the second - proved to be the difference against visiting Weatherly Tuesday night.
Thanks to a second frame that combined balanced scoring, key three-pointers, solid defense and strong rebounding, the Colts gained a double-digit lead and coasted to a 51-36 Schuylkill League Division III victory.
"The second quarter may have been our best quarter of the year," said Marian head coach Mick Stefanek. "We did some nice things defensively, we did nice things offensively, and we got some separation going into halftime. After that we just maintained the distance throughout the game.
"We got a good consistent effort from everybody who took the court tonight."
The Colts (6-3; 3-0) actually trailed by a 10-5 score six minutes into the contest, but Stefanek's club owned the rest of the half.
Chris Barletta's driving bucket closed the first-quarter scoring and pulled Marian within three points. After Mark Stawick opened the deciding period with a jumper, Barletta's shot in the lane gave the host team a lead it would never lose.
Drew Sherkness added a clutch three-point play, Tommy Gottstein drained a pair of threes, and Cody Decker collected five points and three rebounds during a 21-5 quarter that resulted in a 13-point advantage.
"In the second quarter we didn't execute," said Weatherly mentor Ron Cann, whose team fell to 6-3, 1-2. "They switched to a man and took us out of our sets. We didn't shoot well and they were able to get a bigger lead.
"We played hard, but Marian's a very talented team. They have guard play, post play, and they have some shooters."
They also have defenders.
The Colts combined to limit the offensive production of Weatherly's big three - Keith Barna, Nate Pfeiffer and Brendan Rowan.
While the trio did combine for 33 of their team's 36 points, their output was well below their season average.
In fact, the Wreckers shot just 6-of-29 in the first half including a 1-of-11 effort from behind the arc.
"Chris Barletta and Cody Decker did a very good job on Barna and Pfeiffer and we rotated on Rowan. Tonight was our best man defense of their year. Those three are scorers and three-point shooters. We did a good job on tagging them.
"We were also able to limit them to one-and-done and also got out on transition which gave us some momentum. This was probably our best game since we lost (leading scorer) Matt (Yaich) to injury."
Gottstein led Marian's balanced attack with 12 points, while Barletta added 10. Decker chipped in with nine while Stawick and Ryan Gimbi had seven apiece.
In the JV game, Marian rolled to a 58-24 win. Anthony Pilla had 14 points for the Colts while teammate Paul Martin added 12. For the junior Wreckers, Steve Valkos tallied a team-high 10 points.
Ormiston 0-0-0-0, Barna 4-3-6-12, B. Rowan 4-0-0-10, Weichman 0-0-0-0, G. Wallish 0-0-0-0, Pfeiffer 4-2-4-11, Harris 1-1-2-3. TOTALS: 13-6-12-36.
Barletta 3-4-7-10, Stawick 2-2-2-7, Decker 3-2-2-9, Gimbi 3-1-2-7, Gottstein 4-1-2-12, Lack 0-0-0-0, Sherkness 2-2-4-6, Fital 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-12-19-51.
Weatherly 10 5 12 9 - 36
Marian 7 21 12 11 - 51
Three-pointers: Weatherly - B. Rowan 2, Barna 1, Pfeiffer 1; Marian - Gottstein 3, Stawick 1,Decker 1.