NEW WILMINGTON — Michael Carmody closed out a basketball win Saturday night at Westminster College — just like his father helped to do on a regular basis years ago.
Carmody scored 21 points — including his team's final seven of the game — to help Mars post a 58-47 victory over New Castle in the final game of the Ron Galbreath Classic at Westminster.
“We ask him to do a lot of things on the floor for us,” Mars coach Rob Carmody said of his son. “We've lost over 2,000 points in scoring over the past couple of years.
“Michael's averaging around 21 points and 19 rebounds for us this year. He does stuff like this every night.”
The Planets (9-2) won their fifth straight, but had to withstand a late rally by New Castle. When Joe Craska sank a trey and netted a free throw to begin the fourth quarter, Mars had a 47-33 lead.
The Red Hurricanes (7-5) pulled within 51-45 on a trey by Sheldon Cox and lay-up by Michael Graham with three minutes to play.
“I'm a senior captain and I did feel some responsibility there,” Michael Carmody said of finishing strong. “They doubled me much of the game and did a good on me.
“I needed to break loose.”
The 6-foot-5 Carmody sank two free throws with 2:04 left. He completed a three-point play at the 1:47 mark, then sank both ends of a one-and-one with 1:03 to play. That series of scoring gave Mars a 58-45 lead and clinched the victory.
“They shot the ball better than we did. That was the difference,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said.
Blundo and Mars coach Carmody were teammates at Westminster. Their 1994 team finished 25-3 under Galbreath. Westminster recently renamed its basketball floor after Galbreath.
“To come back here and coach against Rob's team on the court named after our coach was a thrill,” Blundo said. “We've remained good friends for a long time.”
Carmody played high school basketball for legendary coach Don Graham at North Catholic and for Galbreath at Westminster.
“I've known Ralph for about 30 years now,” Carmody said. “We played against each other in high school and played on a great team here.
“After playing for Coach Graham and Coach Galbreath, it was impossible for me to not learn some things about basketball.
“Ralph's got a young team at New Castle and those guys are gonna be heard from. No basketball program has done more in the WPIAL than New Castle. Ralph grew up in that town. He went to school there, knows the kids, the families, the community. It's been fun watching him do what he's done at his alma mater.”
New Castle had two sophomores and a freshman in its starting lineup Saturday.
The lead changed hands six times before Mars took the lead for good (28-27) on a Michael Carmody lay-up with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
Carmody had 15 rebounds to go with his 21 points. Mihali Sfanos scored 18 points, hitting four treys. Craska had eight points and three steals, sophomore point guard Zach Schlegel eight assists and three steals.
“We've been fortunate at that (point guard) position in that w've had a line of two or three-year starters there for a number of years now,” Coach Carmody said. “Zach is developing nicely in that role.”
Michael Wells led New Castle with 22 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Cox had 16 points and nine boards.
Both teams were coming off wins Friday night. New Castle won by two at Central Valley and Mars cruised past Kiski Area at home.
Michael Carmody scored only three points in the first half Saturday.
“I made sure I rested my body Saturday, but it did take me a while to get going tonight,” Carmody admitted. “But like I said, they did a good job making it tough for me.”
Zach Schlegel 2-4 0-0 6, Michael Carmody 7-14 7-9 21, Anthony Vargo 2-3 0-2 5, Joe Craska 3-5 2-2 8, Mihali Sfanos 7-1`6 0-0 18, Chris Dvorak 0-0 0-0 0, Bryce Cunningham 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 21-44 8-13 58.
NEW CASTLE 47
Michael Graham 3-6 0-1 6, Donny Cade 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Wells 9-17 3-5 22, Isiah Bouice 0-7 1-2 1, Andrae Jackson 0-3 0-0 0, Sheldon Cox 6-14 2-2 16, Jon Anderson 0-2 0-0 0, Isiah Carter 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 19-51 6-10 47.
Mars 12 11 20 15 — 58
New Castle8 15 10 14 — 47
3-point goals: Schlegel 2, Vargo, Craska, Sfanos 4; Wells, Cox 2
Tuesday: Mars at Hampton