CHAMBERSBURG — In the first quarter of Friday night’s PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal playoff basketball game, New Castle, the fourth-place team out of District 7, more than held its own against Archbishop Carroll.
But then, the second quarter started.
The Patriots celebrated with a 10-point run, then skipped away with a 77-48 victory before a boisterous and partial New Castle crowd.
Carroll’s Derrick Jones had 22 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocks as Carroll hinted that it could be ready for a long postseason run.
The early going was even, with the Red Hurricanes grabbing a 9-8, first-quarter lead.
But the Patriots answered with a Ryan Daly trey, a David Beatty dunk and a Derrick Jones tap-in to go up, 15-9, and New Castle would never see the lead again.
The Hurricanes closed to within, 15-12, by quarter’s end.
But then came the 10-0 run to open the second.
Ryan Daly got it going with a 3-ball, Colin Daly, just off the bench, added another.
Beatty scored off an inbounds play and Josh Sharkey knocked down two free throws off his own steal.
The Carroll lead was 25-12, and the Hurricanes had no answers.
“I thought we were great in the second quarter,’ said Patriots head coach Paul Romanczuk. “It was kind of a feeling-out process early, and (New Castle) came and played with a champion’s heart, and I don’t know if our guys were ready for that.
“But we settled in.’
Carroll settled in, and with the Dalys combining for 10 points and Jones and Sharkey adding four each, the Patriots were able to go up, 37-17, at the break.
By then, Jones was quietly effective, and had 10 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots through just two quarters.
“(Jones) does a great job not forcing things,’ Romanczuk said. “He’s unselfish, and you try not to get excited and tell him to take the ball in certain situations. But he’s done the job for us.
“You can look like a pretty good coach when you have guys like him.’
By the third quarter, the Hurricanes were beginning to look demoralized.
Just 1:14 in, a simple pass in the backcourt as New Castle was slowly walking the ball up court skidded out of bounds, and the Patriots capitalized.
By the end of three quarters, Carroll was in command and pulling away.
By game’s end, Ryan Daly had 17 points, David Beatty had 13 and Carroll had a date in the Class AAA semifinals.
“This was a good test for us,’ Romanczuk said. “But we played well when we had to.’