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Mars dominates Kittanning behind Getsy's 28

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 10:18 p.m.

When all else failed for the Mars boys basketball team Friday night at home against unbeaten Kittanning, one option was continually reliable: Get the ball to Getsy.

Senior guard Matt Getsy scored a career-high 28 points, including 17 in the first half, during the Planets' 65-45 win over Section 1-AAA challenger Kittanning (10-1, 3-1). His offensive outburst in the opening two quarters helped Mars (8-2, 3-0) take a 27-14 lead into halftime, and the team's cushion never dwindled to fewer than nine points in the second half.

“My teammates were finding me in an open spot, and I couldn't pass up the shots,” Getsy said. “But it was mostly those guys; they were finding me, and all I had to do was take the shot.”

Mars, which defeated Kittanning for the 18th time in a row, dominated the glass and paint with Getsy, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, and 6-8 senior center Josh Goetz. The Planets, ranked No. 2, grabbed 37 rebounds, including 13 in the offensive end, while Kittanning, ranked fifth, finished with 26 rebounds, only six of which were offensive. And Mars scored 16 points in the paint.

Kittanning's 18 turnovers did not help, either. Particularly in the first quarter when they had eight giveaways, the visitors appeared rattled by Mars' speed and aggressive defense.

“I think the speed that they played at, we had not seen that,” Kittanning coach Bill Henry said. “Especially you saw it on the loose balls and rebounding on the offensive end. … Sometimes, we were standing flat-footed, and they were a little more aggressive to the ball in the offensive end, and they got some extra possessions out of that.”

Getsy scored the first 11 points for Mars, draining two jumpers, making three free throws and getting two buckets in the paint. Owen Nearhoof ended Getsy's run with a 3-pointer that put the Planets ahead, 14-3, with 2:11 left in the first.

A scary moment for Getsy followed shortly after the start of the third quarter. The senior and Kittanning's 6-6 forward, Vince Mead, fought for a rebound, and the tussle ended when Getsy was slammed to the floor. Getsy walked off the court and appeared to head for the locker room, but within two minutes, cleared of any concussion worries, he was back.

“Matt has gained a new nickname for me, and it's Rambo,” said Mars coach Rob Carmody, who explained the multitude of injuries Getsy endured during a tournament in Florida. “Matt's that guy who is kind of our X-factor. He's very athletic. He can score. He really did a great job getting into the middle of their zone.”

As Kittanning began to focus on slowing Getsy, Mitch Buzard stepped up his scoring. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the second half. Sterling Henry, Kittanning's leading scorer, didn't score in the first half. He ended with 16.

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at wwest@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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