Once-beaten Blairsville tightened its defensive clamps in the fourth quarter and finished the game on an 11-0 run to topple host Marion Center, 58-41, in a Heritage Conference boys’ basketball game Thursday.
Marion Center’s Todd Fetsko scored on a layup late in the third quarter to trim the deficit to two points, but the Bobcats made layups off turnovers on each of the next two possessions and took a six-point lead, 45-39, into the fourth.
Fetsko hit Marion Center’s lone field goal of the fourth quarter roughly a minute in before fouling out.
The Bobcats took advantage of Fetsko’s absence and scored the last 11 points to run away with the win.
“It was a combination of them cranking up their defensive pressure and us running out of gas,” Marion Center assistant coach Nathan Johns said.
Blairsville’s Colton McMillan made four 3-point field goals and matched his season high with 26 points.
“McMillan was really on fire,” Johns said. “Every time we’d fight and claw back in it he’d make a shot or we’d turn the ball over. He played an outstanding game.”
Mikey Badzik scored 13 points to lead Marion Center. Fetsko and Tim Betts added 12 points apiece.
Both teams play Monday. Blairsville (9-1, 7-0) plays host to Penns Manor, and Marion Center (8-5, 6-2) travels to Purchase Line.
UNITED 68, PENNS MANOR 55: United went on a big run to start the second half and then buried 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to win at Penns Manor in a Heritage Conference game.
The Lions extended their three-point halftime lead and scored 17 of the first 19 points in the second half to take an 18-point advantage, 46-28, with roughly 2:30 to play in the third quarter.
The Lions sank 11 of 18 free throws in a 22-point fourth quarter and finished the game with a season-high 22 free throws made.
“We got out of the press in the first half, but the big thing we talked about at halftime was creating turnovers,” United coach Tyler Stokes said. “We really turned them over with our press, and once we did, we got a lot of transition buckets.”
United’s James Currie and Caleb McAdoo each scored 13 points, Jake Beacker chipped in 11 points, a game-high seven assists and three steals, and Mike Gill and Weylon McGeary added four steals apiece.
Mitch Hamilton led Penns Manor with 13 points. J.T. Horwat added 11 points.
Both teams play Monday. United (5-7, 3-5) travels to Saltsburg, and Penns Manor (0-13, 0-9) visits Blairsville.
PURCHASE LINE 73, LIGONIER VALLEY 53: Taylor Antisdel played just three quarters but scored a career-high 31 points to power Purchase Line to a lopsided win over Ligonier Valley in a Heritage Conference game.
Antisdel, who drilled a career-high five 3s, scored nine points in the first quarter and helped the Red Dragons carry a 17-point lead, 27-10, into the second period.
After taking a seat in the second quarter, Antisdel scored 14 of Purchase Line’s 26 third-quarter points, stretching the Red Dragons’ lead to 24 points, 64-40, heading into the fourth.
“He was just unbelievable,” Purchase Line coach Steve Woodrow said. “Taylor just played an outstanding game, even though he only played three quarters. He picked up his second foul late in the first quarter and we sat him the entire second because I figured it’d be a tight game and we’d need him.”
Eric Faught chipped in 16 points and six rebounds for the Red Dragons.
Jordan Jones scored 23 points to guide Ligonier Valley. Jacob Nemeth added 11.
Purchase Line (5-4, 3-3) travels to Northern Cambria tonight, and Ligonier Valley (4-8, 3-4) visits Homer-Center on Monday.
CALVARY BAPTIST 55, MOUNT CARMEL CHRISTIAN 23: Calvary Baptist bolted to a 20-point first-quarter lead and more than doubled up Mount Carmel Christian in field goals to earn a win in a non-conference game in Clymer.
Tyler Chambers registered 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and five steals. Joel Knupp posted a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, and Jerry Zhang scored 11 points.
Calvary Baptist (9-3) visits DuBois Christian on Thursday.