Second Half Push Leads Mars Past Highlands

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The future was looking bleak for the Class 5A WPIAL champions at halftime of its PIAA quarterfinal game.

Down 24-17 to Highlands, Mars turned things around in the second half to come away with a 60-51 win at Gateway High School and advance to its second PIAA semifinals in three years.

The Planets shot 57 percent from the field in the second half and were able to close the game out from the free-throw line, making 15 of 16 from the charity stripe.

The Planets were led by senior Robby Carmody with 24 points. Carmody fouled out in the fourth quarter, but Highlands couldn’t push past the Planets with him off the court. Junior Andrew Recchia tallied 16 points and sophomore Mike Carmody added 10 points.

Sophomore Luke Cochran paced the Golden Rams with 16 points. Senior Shawn Erceg followed with 13 points.

The win improves Mars to 24-4 and they will face Milton Hershey on Monday in the semifinals at a time and place to be determined.