Lehighton downs Marian
mike feifel/TIMES NEWS Players for Lehighton and Marian go after a loose ball. Lehighton's James Farano and Vince Mele are in the middle of the action and are surrounded by Marian's Matt Karnish, Anthony Agosti (42), Mike Vercusky (10) and Nico Agosti (14).
If you look at the box score from last night's Marian-Lehighton boys basketball game and see that the Indians didn't score a point in the third quarter, it wasn't that the Colts played outstanding defense or the Indians just went cold offensively.
After Kyle Sweitz hit a jumper 30 seconds into the second half to pull the Colts within 11, the Indians decided to hold the ball and let their opponent sit back in a zone defense.
And the way the Indians came out firing in the final eight minutes, Marian head coach John Patton might have made the right move.
The bucket by Sweitz was the only points scored in the third period, but it didn't matter as the Indians went on to pick up a 48-27 non-league win for their second straight win to start the season.
"We talked about it at halftime," said Lehighton head coach Rich Oertner. "We're up 11 points and if they're going to do that. We didn't talk about holding the ball, per se, but when they came down and hit shot I figured lets just change this game and make sure it goes our way. I wasn't worried about winning by 25 or 30, I was just worried about winning the game. If you go into the last quarter up by 11, you should win."
The Indians (2-0) scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to go up 34-17. Marian cut it to 38-22 with 3:28 left, but Lehighton outscored Marian 10-5 the rest of the way to grab the win.
"We actually did what we were supposed to do early," Oertner added. "They surprised me a little bit coming out in the box-and-one so I called an early time out and we went over it. We got some wide open shots and it was a matter of just making some shots. We didn't shoot that well in the first half. I think we were like 2-for-15 from the three-point line. We usually shoot better than that even with the second or third guy. So we're going to have to work on that.
"We still won the game methodically. We did what we had to do, especially on defense. Defensively, the kids are starting to get that 3-2 matchup down. They should, they played it all last year."
Early on through the first four minutes of the opening quarter, the two teams were tied at 6-6 before the Indians went on a 15-0 run that carried into the first two minutes of the second quarter for a 21-6 advantage, thanks to six points by Anthony Rossino and five by Jordan Knappenberger. All the Colts (1-2) could do was cut it to 13 at intermission.
"I was really happy with the way we started the game," Patton said. "We knew it was going to be a tough matchup for us all around. We held our own until about the five minute mark. We wanted to make sure we protected the paint. They're good, they're big and they're athletic and the shots they missed they were able to get the offensive rebounds and that put us behind the eight ball.
"We did a decent job on Knappenberger, but the other guys stepped up and we're still feeling our way, with the number of guys we're playing. We knew we had to shorten the game at some point and they didn't score in the third quarter, but scored 22 in the fourth. They're a tough team."
Rossino finished with a game high 14 points and was the only player in the contest to hit double figures. Jordan Knappenberger and Tyler Krum added nine apiece. Nick Wesner came off the bench to lead Marian with seven points.
Karnish 0-0-0-0, Vercusky 1-1-2-3, N. Agosti 2-0-0-4, Kuczynski 2-0-0-4, Legath 1-0-0-3, Latham 0-0-0-0, Mussoline 0-0-0-0, Wesner 3-0-0-7, Sweitz 1-0-0-2, Weber 0-0-0-0, Myers 0-0-0-0, Inama 0-1-2-1, A. Agosti 1-0-0-3. TOTALS: 11-2-4-27.
Rossino 4-5-6-14, Farano 4-0-0-8, Krum 4-1-3-9, Williams 0-0-0-0, McCandless 0-0-0-0, K. Knappenberger 1-0-0-2, Ruzicka 0-0-0-0, J. Knappenberger 2-4-4-9, Mele 3-0-0-6, Greene 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-10-13-48.
Marian 6 15 2 10 - 27
Lehighton 15 13 0 22 - 48
Three-pointers: M - A. Agosti 1, Legath 1, Wesner 1; L - Rossino 1, J. Knappenberger 1.