Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beaver Falls in Final Highlands Upsets No. 1 New Castle

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beaver Falls in Final Highlands Upsets No. 1 New Castle

Article excerpt

The situation was just about identical as a year ago. Mars' Robby Carmody at the free-throw line in a playoff game. Against Beaver Falls. A few ticks left on the clock. A chance to send the game into overtime.

Clank. Off the front of the rim.

History didn't repeat itself, and Mars' hopes of making history were over.

Beaver Falls edged Mars, 59-58, in a thrilling WPIAL Class AAA semifinal Tuesday night at Ambridge. Mars, the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, was hoping to make a trip to the WPIAL final for the first time in school history, and Carmody, a talented sophomore guard, was fouled with 1.7 seconds left and Mars trailing by two. His first attempt of the one-and-one hit the front of the rim and rolled in.

His second hit the front and bounced backward.

A year ago, Beaver Falls led Mars by two points in a PIAA playoff game when Carmody was fouled with 8.3 seconds left and Mars trailing by two. He made both, and Mars eventually won in overtime.

This time, it was No. 2-seeded Beaver Falls (22-3) celebrating a fourth trip to a WPIAL final in the past five years and the eighth in the past 15. The Tigers will play Highlands, which upset No. 1 seed New Castle, 79-76.

"This is what I love about athletics, you build character through it," said Rob Carmody Sr., Mars' coach and Robby's father. "I mean it hurts, but you build character. My first thought wasn't about him. We have 12 seniors, and he's only a sophomore. So, he's going to play a lot more.

"What I loved is what I saw from Robby. He walked over to the bench without a tear in his eye ... Instead of wallowing in self pity or being distraught, he said 'My fault, I let you guys down.'

"That tells me the character in kids is what we're developing."

Mars made a valiant comeback after falling behind by 11 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Robby Carmody stole an inbounds pass and scored a layup to bring Mars within 52-51 with 1:31 left.

Beaver Falls came back and went ahead, 59-54, with 21 seconds left when Donovan Jeter made two free throws. …

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