It seemed as though every time Bishop Carroll needed a big play in its first-round PIAA Class A showdown with Conemaugh Township on Friday night, a different player stepped up.

The District 6 champion Huskies were able to hold off the scrappy Indians for a 41-33 victory at Greater Johnstown High School.

“We made that game tougher on ourselves than anything,” Bishop Carroll coach Cosie Aliquo said. “We just didn’t play real hard.”

Bishop Carroll will face Reading Central Catholic, a 61-53 winner over Faith Christian, in a second-round game on Tuesday.

Victor Tranquillo topped the Bishop Carroll scoring with 19 points, including a trio of treys and 4-for- 4 shooting from the free-throw line in the final quarter.

“Everybody was hustling, that’s what kept us in the game,” Tranquillo said.

Luke Paronish added eight points and nine rebounds for the Huskies, who got seven points from Chad Panick and six from Joey Shrift.

Conemaugh Township got 13 points from Blake Zaman, including 11 in the first half. Kevin Byer added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Indians (21-4).

The District 5 third-place finisher led 9-6 after the first quarter, but trailed by three, 23-20, at the half.

“We knew that layoff would hurt us and we came out sloppy, but they came out aggressive and battled the whole way to the end,” Aliquo said. “Coach (Scott) Cable has over 400 wins, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. We knew Township wouldn’t be backing down.”

The low-scoring third quarter yielded just eight points between the two squads, with the Indians finally scoring a basket with less than five seconds left in the frame. Bishop Carroll led by seven, 29-22, heading into the fourth.

Early in the final quarter, the Indians narrowed the gap to three points, 29-26, on baskets by Zaman and Byer, but that was as close as Conemaugh Township could get. Bishop Carroll shot 10 of 14 from the free-throw line down the stretch to seal the win.

“Bishop Carroll kept their cool and kept their composure and looked for the best shot they had and when they got to the foul line, they converted,” Cable said. “It was disappointing because I thought we had a chance to win and the kids were excited early and weren’t patient offensively.”

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