Anthony Holmes and Eric Marbury combined for 33 points, as District 11’s Pius X eliminated Old Forge, 44-31, at Wyoming Area in the PIAA Class A first round game. The Royals (19-5) advance to the second round to take on New Hope Academy.
Marbury drained a 3-pointer to open the game. Then, Pius X forced two turnovers, coupled with an Old Forge miss that led to two buckets by Klein Duviella to make the score 7-0, forcing the Blue Devils to call a timeout to try to regroup.
The bleeding wouldn’t stop as Marbury scored 7 of his 10 first-quarter points after the timeout and gave the Royals a 19-7 lead after one.
Old Forge (11-13) got within eight in the middle of the second after Jimmie Aversa’s bucket. Holmes, who finished with 13 points, countered with a 3 to put Pius X back up by 11.
But the Blue Devils clamped down on defense and Jake Manetti, who finished with 12 points, and Ben Grochowski each added buckets in the final minute to cut the lead to 24-17 at halftime.
A back-and-forth third quarter in which both teams had trouble making shots and hanging onto the ball saw Pius X extend its lead to nine, 31-22.
Old Forge would get within seven twice in the fourth. First, a Joey Gutowski steal and a layup cut the lead to 33-26. A.J. Cantarella, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, added two free throws to make it 35-28.
But that’s the closest the Blue Devils would get. Marbury, who finished with a game-high 20 points, and Holmes iced the game, combining to make nine free throws down the stretch.
Old Forge shot 22.2 percent from the field, while not making a three all evening in 10 attempts. The Blue Devils also missed five free throws in the final period.