Olympians hold on to edge Colts
James Adames of Jim Thorpe (right) knocks the ball away from Marian’s Keith McCall. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
The outcome of Saturday’s Marian-Jim Thorpe basketball game wasn’t decided until the final second as the Olympians hung on to post a 48-47 victory.
“We were very patient with the ball in the first half when we played our best part of the game,” said Jim Thorpe coach Jason McElmoyle. “In the second half, we took too many shots that we couldn’t make instead of taking shots we shouldn’t miss.
“We’re happy we won the game, but need to learn to let the game come to us, which we didn’t do in the second half. We’ll work on that before our next game.”
Thorpe went into the intermission ahead 29-21 behind the scoring of Nate Rosahac, who muscled his way through the paint for 15 of his team-high 19 points.
“It was a big part of our game plan to get the ball to Nate because we didn’t think they could match up well defensively with him,” said McElmoyle.
After Dante Agosti nailed a trey from the top of the key to give the Colts a 3-0 lead, Rosahac scored early and often, mostly with put backs off offensive rebounds. His bucket at 3:35 of the first period, and three straight three-pointers by Zach Searfoss, gave Thorpe a lead they would never relinquish for the rest of the game.
Last season’s Times News Player of the Year Tyler Fritz, of Marian, who averaged nearly 24 points a game for the Colts, struggled and finished with just nine points, thanks largely to great defense against him.
“Tyler Burek did an outstanding job denying Fritz the ball and keeping him far out from the basket. Fritz is a great foul shooter, too, but we were able to keep him off the line,” said McElmoyle. “If you can keep him and Ritsick from their usual scoring, you force the other three starters to beat you.”
Agosti took up the scoring slack and had a superb game for the Colts with a team-leading 19 points.
With 5:45 to play, Agosti drilled a three to cut JT’s margin to six points at 43-37 and a minute later, John Grutza cut the lead to four with a short shot off the glass.
Justin Cannariato’s driving layup at 3:45 put JT’s lead back at six points, but Agosti’s layup and Fritz’s put back trimmed the margin to 46-43 with a little over a minute to play.
The Olympians had a chance to lock up the game from the foul line with under a minute to go, but they were able to convert only three of nine from the charity stripe.
Grutza’s banker from inside the paint made the score 48-47 with three seconds to play, and the Colts would have another possession with 1.3 seconds left, but they ran out of time before they could get off a good shot.
“That’s high school basketball,” said Marian coach John Patton. “We fought hard to come back, but just didn’t have enough clock left to win it.
“We really didn’t shoot well in the first half. But I thought we showed some character after the break to put ourselves in position to pull it out at the end.”
BOOST FROM THE BENCH ... Marian’s John Grutza and John Malarkey came off the bench to spark the offense and combined to score seven points at critical moments in the second half to keep Marian within striking range.
THUMBS UP ...Both Jim Thorpe’s McElmoyle and Marian’s Patton were very pleased with their teams’ energy and effort despite a few lapses in execution at critical moments of the second half.
Fritz 3-3-4-9, Ritsick 2-0-0-5, Agosti 8-0-0-19, Sabalsky 2-0-0-4, Carullo 0-0-0-0, McCall 1-0-0-3, Goff 0-0-0-0, Malarkey 1-1-2-3, Grutza 2-0-0-4. TOTALS: 19-4-6-47.
Searfoss 4-0-2-11, Hurley 1-3-7-6, Adames 2-0-0-4, Lauer 1-0-0-2, Rosahac 8-3-7-19, Burek 0-0-0-0, Cannariato 3-0-0-6. TOTALS: 19- 6-16-48.
Marian 12 9 11 15 - 47
Jim Thorpe 15 14 12 7 - 48
Three-pointers: Marian- Agosti 3, McCall 1, Malarkey 1. Jim Thorpe: Searfoss 3, Hurley 1.