WPIAL Class 5A boys basketball preview: Mars vs. Moon

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | 1:30 AM

Class 5A boys

Mars (23-1) vs. Moon (23-1)

9 p.m. Friday, Petersen Events Center

Starting lineups

No. 1 Mars (23-1)

Coach: Rob Carmody

No. Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

2 Khori Fusco, F, 6-3, Sr.

3 Michael Carmody, F, 6-6, Jr.

13 Andrew Recchia, G, 5-11, Sr.

21 Joseph Craska, G, 5-11, Jr.

23 Brandon Caruso, G, 5-11, Sr.

No. 3 Moon (23-1)

Coach: Adam Kaufman

No. Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

3 Jioni Smith, G, 6-2, Sr.

5 Donovan Johnson, F, 6-6, Jr.

10 Austin Ryan, G, 5-11, Sr.

12 Connor Ryan, G, 6-0, Sr.

33 Taru Jones, G, 6-2, Sr.

Title-game history: Combined, Mars and Moon claimed the past two WPIAL Class 5A titles. Mars won in 2018 and Moon in 2017. Last year’s WPIAL title was the first for Mars. Moon has four including three in a row from 2004-06. Moon coach Adam Kaufman also won two WPIAL titles at Montour (2011, 2013).

Stat leaders: Mars: Recchia 18.2; Moon: Johnson 22.6

Notable: Each team only lost once all season. Mars lost 64-60 to Birmingham (Calif.) Charter in Las Vegas on Dec. 20. Moon lost 69-66 in two overtimes to section opponent Chartiers Valley on Feb. 1. Mars leads WPIAL Class 5A offenses at 71.2 points per game behind Andrew Recchia, Khori Fusco (15.5) and Michael Carmody (15.3). Moon averaged 64.0, but has the WPIAL’s stingiest defense at 46.3 points allowed. Carmody is a major-college football recruit with offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan and others. His older brother Robby, now a Notre Dame freshman, led Mars to the WPIAL title last season. Donovan Johnson, a D1 basketball recruit, transferred home from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in July. He’s the younger brother of former Pitt and current North Carolina basketball player Cam Johnson. Johnson reached the WPIAL Class 2A finals each of the past two years with OLSH.

Predicted winner: Mars

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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