Mars boys roll to semifinals
Butler Eagle
Written by:
February 25, 2013
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Mars’ Mitch Buzard drives to the basket past Uniontown’s Joe Campbell on Friday night at Baldwin High School as the Planets rolled to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals.

WHITEHALL — Uniontown brought an impressive 17-3 record into its WPIAL Class AAA boys basketball quarterfinal against Mars Friday night.

The Red Raiders, however, crumbled against a Planets’ team running on all cylinders.

Four Mars players reached double figures in scoring, led by 22 points and 22 rebounds by senior center Josh Goetz, as the Planets rolled to a 79-55 triumph at Baldwin High School.

The win sends the team to the district semifinals for the first time in program history, where they will face Montour, who defeated Thomas Jefferson, on Tuesday, at a site and time to be determined.

Mars (21-3) wasted no time getting the upper hand, starting the game with an 11-0 run.

“Tuesday night (against South Park), we were tight at the start,” said Mars coach Rob Carmody. “The pressure seemed to be off of us tonight and we opened the game well.”

Uniontown (17-4) battled back and cut the Planets’ lead to 26-20 midway through the second period. Mars responded with a 16-5 run to close the half. Baskets by Goetz, Matt Getsy, Mitch Buzard and Zach May contributed to the spurt, which put the Planets up 42-25 at the break.

Over the first two periods, the Planets drained 18 field goals.

“Two years ago, we played Mars in a WPIAL playoff game and we beat them (59-42),” said Uniontown coach Rob Kezmarsky. “They struggled shooting the ball in that game and we were able to sit back in a 2-3 zone. Unfortunately for us tonight, they got hot.

“They did a great job against our guards. The fast tempo was too much for us.”

Uniontown never threatened in the second half as Mars continued to get balanced scoring.

Buzard finished with 18 points, Owen Nearhoof 16 and Getsy — who spent most of the night on the bench in foul trouble — pitched in 11 points.

“It’s very difficult when you’re playing a team that has a bunch of guys making baskets,” said Carmody. “We are quick and athletic.”

For the second straight game, the Planets dominated the boards, grabbing 40 rebounds to Uniontown’s 26.

“Uniontown’s lowest point total this season was 58 points and they regularly scored in the 70s,” noted Carmody. “Tonight, we held them to 55. Rebounding and defense, that’s the backbone of our program. The kids have bought into it.”

After making the state playoffs last season for the first time in program history, the Planets returned all five starters and several key bench players this year, which placed high expectations on the squad.

“It hasn’t been tough to keep our focus,” said Buzard. “I think last year’s playoff experience has helped us.”

Jordan Pratt led the Red Raiders with 19 points.


Dreher Winfrey 3 2-5 8, Christian Kezmarsky 2 0-0 4, Xavier Ellis 4 2-4 10, Jordan Pratt 7 5-7 19, Chris Eilam 2 0-0 4, Jeremy Perkins 4 0-0 8, Joe Campbell 1 0-0 2, Nate Guerriere 0 0-0 0, Deondre Winfrey 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 9-16 55.


Matt Getsy 5 0-0 11, Josh Goetz 9 4-5 22, Mitch Buzard 8 1-4 18, Owen Nearhoof 5 2-2 16, Zach May 3 0-0 7, Adam Bayuk 1 0-0 2, Alex Locher 1 0-0 2, Ben Erdahl 0 1-2 1, Nick DeCamp 0 0-2 0, Garrett Ashbaugh 0 0-0 0, Graham Easom 0 0-0 0, Ethan Lewis 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32 8-15 79.

Uniontown 11 14 19 11—55

Mars22 20 23 14—79

3-point goals: Uniontown none; Mars 7 (Nearhoof 4, Getsy , Buzard, May)

Tuesday: Mars vs. Montour, time and site TBD