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House, ‘Huss’ get it going for Carroll in states win

Luke House goes to the basket for two points against the defense of La Salle in a January game. (Gene Walsh — Digital First Media)

READING — When Archbishop Carroll gets it going, you can’t tell the difference between House and Huss.

You just know you’re in trouble, which was the case Tuesday night when senior shooter Luke House and big Tairi “Huss” Ketner took over the third quarter to lift the Patriots to a 74-62 win over Lancaster Catholic and reach the elite eight in the PIAA Class 4A tournament.

The duo combined for a dozen points in a 17-3 run that turned a four-point lead into a 58-40 wrap entering the final frame.

“I call House-House and then I call Huss-Huss,” Carroll coach Francis Bowe said of the plays he calls from the sideline. “We want to go inside-out with those two. We challenged House in the locker room at the half. We said ‘Luke, get going.’ If Luke gets going, Huss gets going. If we can get outside-inside going all game, that’s when the runs really start happening.”

Huss is the nickname the 6-4 Ketner was given by his grandmother way, way back in the day.

“I used to make the sound ‘huss’ when I ate,” Ketner said. “So, she just started calling me that.”

Eat, Ketner did, the big guy scoring a game-high 22 points mostly from the blocks, including a couple of and-ones in that third quarter barrage to put the game away for the Patriots (17-10), the third seed from District 12.

“Coach told us they had some big kids, and a real athletic kid,” Ketner said, referencing 6-6 forward David Kamwanga. “So, I just tried to dominate as much as I could in every possible way.”

Kamwanga tallied a dozen points, including a thunderous dunk, but it was too little, too late for the Crusaders (17-11), who play a lot of teams that look like exits on the Pa. Turnpike; e.g. Lancaster Mennonite, Lampeter-Strasburg High, Eastern Lebanon.

The Patriots showed them it was going to be rough holding their opponent to just five points in the first quarter.

“I think we played really good defense,” Bowe said. “We were lucky tonight. We got a couple more runs than they did and I credit that to how hard these kids work in the weight room, and their conditioning. The one thing that we pride ourselves on is what does the other team look like in the fourth quarter? Are their hands on the knees? We punish these guys in the gym with conditioning and lifting and all that. I was just really proud. We looked really well conditioned.”

Johnny Besecker led Lancaster Catholic with 16 points.

House tallied 11 points, guard Ny’Mire Little 19 to advance the Patriots within one victory of the state Final Four in Bowe’s first year with the program.

“This is a very good win for this whole team, for this coaching staff, everybody,” said Ketner, who had seven rebounds. “Our job is to go get that ring. This gets us one step closer to that.”

Ketner thinks the Patriots best basketball is yet to come. It’s hard to argue the point, as the Patriots missed open looks but made their free throws, converting 22 of 31 at the charity stripe. That skill alone will serve them well in the next round.

“When we went on our spurts tonight, sometimes we’d get too lackadaisical and think that the game is over,” Ketner said. “We’ve got to pick up our intensity.”

To get to where the Patriots want to go, they’ll have to get after Bonner & Prendergast, which defeated them earlier this season. Bonner eliminated Nanticoke, 70-52.

“When we played Bonner the first time, we didn’t do as good as we would have liked to,” Ketner said. “We really weren’t ready to play. I think this time we’ll be ready to play. I didn’t play good. We didn’t play good. And they just took advantage of us.”

Bowe didn’t want to get ahead of himself or his players, who celebrated their hard work after the game. Clearly, however, the next game figures to be special. Especially if Carroll’s gets its “House-House” and “Huss-Huss” combination working.

“It would be pretty cool, Catholic League foes in the elite eight,” Bowe said. “So, we’ll see.”

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