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Boys Basketball: Mars Planets align at top of heap

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the Mars boys basketball team.

2015 0129 Mars BBasketball(Photo: Mars freshman Robby Carmody, driving around North Catholic's Tom Braun, has played a key role in the Planet's success this season. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, everything is starting to align for the Mars Area boys basketball team.

Entering the week, the Fightin' Planets have earned the right to be called the No. 1 team in Class AAA with a 17-1 record and 10-0 mark in Section 1.

"It has been a lot of fun," Mars coach Rob Carmody said. "Winning games is always nice but the reality is I am really blessed to have a super group of kids. They put their egos aside and do what is best for the team. As a coach, that is what you want to see. That is the most enjoyable part for me."

Carmody is in his 17th year as the lead man at Mars and has seen a lot of success the last few years but not as much potential for a deep run until this year."

 

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Girls Basketball: Mars has inside track on section title

Written by Joe Koch on .

With four section games remaining -- including tonight's game with Highlands -- the Mars High girls basketball team appears to have the inside track for the Section 1-AAA title with a record of 10-0 and an overall mark of 15-2.

Mars kept its section record perfect with a 69-10 victory over host Valley this past Thursday.

Second place is currently shared by Ford City and Hampton with 8-2 records. Something will break tonight as Hampton hosts Ford City. While that is going on, Mars hosts Highlands. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

Mars, Ford City and Hampton appear to be solid locks for the WPIAL Class AAA tournament that begins next month. The fight for the fourth playoff spot -- and possibly more post-season berths is definitely in play as Deer Lakes, Highlands and Kittanning are tied for fourth place at 4-6 apiece.

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Hockey: Players are stepping up for Mars

Written by Marky Billson on .

Marky Billson profiles the Mars hockey team.

"One of the reoccurring themes surrounding high school hockey is the relationship the players have with amateur hockey. How do players handle their commitment to their high school teams when their amateur schedules overlap?

That has been the dilemma with the Mars hockey team this season, yet they have handled the situation swimmingly, posting a 14-3 record, tops in Class A.

"We're kind of blessed with a lot of amateur players but it can also be a curse because they miss a lot," coach Steven Meyers said.

For starters, sophomore center Paul Maust, who leads Mars with 21 goals, has missed three games this season. This includes the Planets' 5-0 victory against Gateway a week ago because of his commitments with the Pens Elite program."

 

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Boys Basketball: Mars standout Castello playing out of this world

Written by Brad Everett on .

Mars coach Rob Carmody has called junior John Castello a "strange bird," but that bird continues to fly high for a Planets' team that is 15-1 (8-0 in Class AAA Section 1).

Castello, a 6-4 forward, leads the Planets in scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (15.4 rpg). He was particularly good in last Tuesday's section showdown with previously undefeated Hampton. Castello finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds in leading the Planets to a resounding 82-61 win.

"John is the best rebounder I have coached," Carmody said. "He has great athleticism, but even better timing and he reads the ball well off the shooter's hands. He has terrific hands and a soft touch around the basket."

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Girls Basketball: North Feature Athlete - Ali Goetz, Mars

Written by Joe Koch on .

Name: Ali Goetz
School: Mars
Grade: 12
Sport: Girls Basketball
Position: Forward

Background: Ali is a four-year starter and a captain for the Planets. She has earned all-section honors for the first three years of her high school career. Ali currently is averaging 14.3 points, 8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the Planets. She surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career in a 54-36 victory over Deer Lakes on Jan. 5. She also competes in track and field for Mars and is a member of the National Honor Society and the school's Student Council. Ali has not made a decision on where she will attend college, but she does want to play basketball.