WASHINGTON, D.C.- A few turnovers down the stretch doomed the Eagles on the road at Catholic as they lost, 61-53, Wednesday evening at Franny Murray Court.
The first four minutes of the game saw both teams play suffocating defense as neither team managed to score until the Cardinals drilled a three. Catholic built a 7-0 lead nearly seven minutes into the game until Marcus Hall (York, Pa. / Trinity) made a free throw to get the Eagles on the board. Nicholas Albert (Herndon, Va. / Westfield High) made a jumper. A minute later which made it 9-3 Catholic. A steal by Nate DaCanal (Johnsonburg, Pa. / Elk County Catholic) resulted in a layup by Hall of a pass from Albert to cut the deficit to four, 11-7. Albert continued to put his imprint on the game as he stole ball and found Paul Martello (York, Pa. / York Catholic) for a three. After Albert stole the ball, he rebounded his own miss on the other end and laid it in to cut the Catholic lead to one, 13-12, with under nine minutes to go in the half. after another JC stop Martello found Albert for a layup to give the Eagles their first lead.
Catholic momentarily retook the lead with a three before Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa. / Bishop Carroll) nailed a jumper with just over six minutes to go to make it 16-16. The teams went back and forth over the final few minutes, with Martinazzi making another jumper off pass from Jake Holsopple (Duncansville, Pa. / Hollidaysburg) with 55 seconds to go in the half. The Cardinals made two foul shots for the final two shots of the half as the teams headed to locker rooms knotted at 24-24.
Martello converted a layup while being fouled and tacked on the free throw to put the Eagles up one in the first minute. It was a fast and furious nine minutes as the teams went back and forth. The Cardinals built a seven-point lead, 38-31 but the Eagles quickly responded. Cameron Keck (Waynesboro, Pa. / Waynesboro) rattled home a three and two possessions later scored inside while being fouled. Following his free throw the Eagles only trailed by two, 42-40, with a little under 11 minutes to go.
The Cardinals scored the next four points to make it 46- 40 before another JC surge. DaCanal found Hall for a layup, Martinazzi scored from the midrange on back to back possessions to make it 46-46.
Later, trailing by one 49-48 with just under six minutes left, Albert stole the ball again and this time it resulted in a Martinazzi three off a find from Keck. Catholic scored on one end with a layup, and nine seconds later Albert was laying it on the other end to make it 53-51 with just under five minutes to go in the game.
The Cardinals closed the contest on a 12-0 run to earn the victory.
The Eagles will return to action this Saturday at Scranton. Tipoff is at 4:00.