Catholic High coach Mark Cascio gave his team the green light to shoot 3-pointers Tuesday night at Glen Oaks, and the Bears took his words to heart.
Five players combined to make 11 3-pointers for Catholic, and the Class 5A Bears rolled to a 75-52 win over the 3A Panthers.
The biggest benefactor of Cascio’s instructions was sophomore Kentrell Garnett, who made six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 30 points. All of Garnett’s scoring came in the first half when he was 12 of 12 from the field.
“My teammates found me open, and I was knocking down my shots,” Garnett said. “After the first two (3-pointers) went in, the others just came. I got hot.”
Also making 3-pointers for Catholic (6-0) were Collin Holloway, Hunter Williams, Nick Judice and Mason McCullough. Holloway was the only other Bear in double figures with 16.
“We knew Glen Oaks was going to throw a lot of different zones at us,” Cascio said. “We figured we’d have to take a lot of perimeter shots so I told our guys to shoot with confidence.
“It definitely takes pressure off our offense when you’ve got a shooter like (Garnett).”
Glen Oaks (4-4) trailed 42-25 at halftime and appeared to be a one-man show at times behind the play of James Weathers, who scored 29. Jaiden Honore added 10. He helped the Panthers pull within 14 points of Catholic, 58-44, with five minutes left in the game.
Judice’s 3-pointer highlighted a 10-4 Catholic spurt that pushed the Bears out in front by 20 points. Catholic coasted in the game’s final three minutes.
“Weathers is having to do a bit much,” Glen Oaks coach Harvey Adger said. “There is so much pressure on him in terms of trying to create. Our other teammates around him are going to have to step up.”
The Panthers, who were 20 of 22 at the foul line, kept within striking distance much of the game behind steady their free throw shooting.
Glen Oaks’ shooting from the field was cold to start the game. The Panthers missed their first nine shots and didn’t score until Weathers’ 3-pointer at the 4:27 mark. Glen Oaks went on to make just 5 of 23 shots in the first half.
Garnett’s first two 3-pointers put Catholic on top 10-3. The baskets began a string of 12 consecutive points by Garnett, and helped the Bears take a 20-11 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Garnett hit two quick 3-pointers to ignite a 13-2 run. Weathers’ second 3-pointer had Glen Oaks as close as 35-19 midway through the quarter, but Garnett responded with his sixth 3-pointer of the half. Catholic went on to lead 42-25 at halftime.
“We’re having a great start to the season,” Cascio said. “We’re playing together and we’ve got a great group of guys that enjoy playing with each other. It makes my job a whole lot easier.”