HAMPTON TWP — One down, three to go.
Mars’ boys basketball team claimed its sixth straight section championship, winning this one outright with a 57-44 victory at Hampton Friday night.
The Planets (17-4, 11-1) had clinched at least a share of the title with a win over Chartiers Valley on Tuesday. Friday’s win denied Moon a piece of the crown.
But as senior guard Robby Carmody explained, it is only one of several things the Planets aim to achieve.
“Winning the section is the first goal on our list every year,” he said. “The others are winning all of our home games, winning WPIAL and then state. We crossed one thing off our list tonight and have a chance to get another against Shenango (Monday).”
Carmody, a University of Notre Dame recruit who is averaging 30-plus points per game, was joined by guards Cade Hetzler and Andrew Recchia as returning starters from last year’s team.
“We knew what we had coming back in those guys,” said Mars coach Rob Carmody, “but Michael (Carmody) and Brandon (Caruso) have stepped in as starters and given us a lot of flexibility on defense. Brandon is a top-flight defender and Michael is 6-6, 260 pounds, but is athletic enough to defend on the perimeter.”
Caruso said he felt the pressure of stepping into a starting role on a perennial power.
“It was there,” he admitted, “but I got enough playing time last year that I felt comfortable becoming a starter.”
“I think we’ve meshed well,” said Robby Carmody.