Hot start propels Colts over Indians
Marian’s Jaryn Eroh (11) and Lehighton’s Benjamin Schatz battle for a rebound. At right is Dante Agosti of the Colts. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Live by the three and die by the three.
On Monday night, the Marian Colts didn’t die, rather they thrived from a hot start from beyond the arc, helping them come away with a convincing 69-52 non-league victory over Lehighton for the program’s 1,000th all-time victory.
Getting out to a good start is always important, but getting off to a good start shooting from the outside can ignite an offense. The Colts were on fire early and went on a big first quarter run that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Trailing by three in the first few minutes, the Colts (2-0) used the three-ball to go on a 13-0 run and build double-digit advantage with two minutes remaining in the first. Four triples in the quarter inspired the run as Marian built an 18-8 lead.
In the second quarter, it was much of the same from the Colts’ offense as they connected on four more trifectas, with four different players hitting from deep. Marian extended its lead by outscoring the Tribe by eight in the quarter, carrying a commanding 41-23 lead into half.
Marian’s prolific scorer Tyler Fritz was also able to get out to a hot start, scoring 16 points in the first half to lead the Colts early onslaught.
“We made shots tonight that we weren’t able to make in our last game (Friday against Jim Thorpe) and you could see the different impact it had on our offense. We were able to get comfortable and in rhythm offensively early, because we were able to knock down shots,” said Marian head coach John Patton. “The key for us too was getting second and third chances. We did a great job on the offensive boards and we were able to convert on those second chance opportunities.”
A lot of three-point attempts equals a lot of long rebounds and the Colts were able to beat the Indians to the ball, collecting an impressive 12 offensive rebounds in the game, scoring on most of those boards.
“Before the game we talked about and put an emphasis on offensive rebounding and our goal was to win that battle, but instead they did,” said Lehighton head coach Trevor Miller. “I think that was the difference in the game, they just got more scoring opportunities, and you can’t give a team with that kind of shooting ability extra chances.”
In the third, a switch to a half-court 1-3-1 trapping defense for Lehighton was able to slow down the Marian offense as the Indians were able to cut the lead to 12 late in the quarter. A Carter Strauss triple put Lehighton within striking distance of cutting the lead to single digits, but the Colts answered to extend the lead back to 53-38 after three quarters.
The Colts offense stayed consistent in the final quarter preventing Lehighton from making a serious run.
“Lehighton is a tough team, a physical team and they really battled us. It’s just great to get an early win on the road and it’s especially nice to get win number 1,000 for the program. It’s certainly a special win,” said Patton.
LEADERS ... For Marian, Fritz led the way with 30 points, Chris Ritsick added 15, Dante Agosti scored 12 and Logan Fritz added 11. Zach Hunsicker and Ben Schatz paced Lehighton with 13 points each.
LOW POST D ... Marian was able to thwart the low post attack of a bigger Lehighton team, constantly doubling down on passes to the post spots on the floor, forcing 15 Tribe turnovers.
L. Fritz 4-0-0-11, T. Fritz 10-8-8-30, Agosti 4-1-2-12, Ritsick 5-3-4-15, Eroh 0-0-0-0, Cerullo 0-0-0-0, Malarkey 0-0-0-0, Hnat 0-0-0-0, Gibson 0-0-0-0, Wargo 0-1-2-1, Pan 0-0-0-0, Cervasio 0-0-0-0, Goff 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-13-16-69.
Strauss 3-0-0-7, Hoffman 0-0-0-0, Hunsicker 4-5-8-13, Lorenz 2-1-2-7, Wolverton 1-0-0-3, Smith 0-0-0-0, Beatty 1-0-0-2, Haydt 1-2-4-5, Yturrino 0-2-2-2, Schatz 6-0-1-13. TOTALS: 18-10-17-52.
Marian 18 23 12 16 - 69
Lehighton 8 15 15 14 - 52
Three-pointers: Marian - L. Fritz 3, Agosti 3, T. Fritz 2, Ritsick 2; Lehighton - Lorenz 2, Wolverton 1, Haydt 1, Schatz 1, Strauss 1.