GROTON — An easy shot with 3:52 left in the first quarter changed the name in the record books at Marathon Central School.
Diego Castellot laid the ball off the glass and into the basket to become the Olympians all-time leading scorer which was the easy part of Tuesday’s Interscholastic Athletic Conference North Small School Division basketball game at Richard Court Gymnasium in Groton. Castellot passed Keith Pittman (1983-85) who had 1,165 career points.
Castellot was one of four Marathon players in double figures as the Olympians needed a fourth quarter rally to defeat the determined Indians 60-52. “It’s a great accomplishment, but there is much more go,” Castellot said on becoming the top scorer in Olympians’ history with 1,178 points and still counting. “We still have sectionals and other goals.”
Castellot is referring to the Olympians (7-1 division, 12-2 overall) wanting to defend their Section 4 Class D title and the resulting trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals one year ago.
“It was a goal and to get it (the record) is special in itself, but we have more to do,” the senior guard said. “Team chemistry is everything. Tonight was a tough game and we just have to get it going again in our next game.”
“Diego is a great scholar athlete who has been a tremendous representative for Marathon sports,” Olympians’ coach Jim Holland said. “He is a silent leader with a great work ethic during practice. I have enjoyed being his coach for the past five years. He has made me think about my actions and reactions to the game and has been a positive influence on my coaching practices and philosophy. He is a winner with loads of potential.”
It was a dogfight all night long as Groton (3-5 division, 7-8 overall) took a 19-12 lead in the first quarter with the help of a pair of 3-pointers from James Lucey. Marathon came back in the second quarter as the game was tied 26-26 at halftime.
The Indians hit four treys in the third quarter and led by as many as 12 points, before Marathon closed the gap to 46-39 entering fourth quarter play.
“I though we were lethargic at the start of the game,” Holland said. “Take nothing away from Groton, they shot lights out early in the game. Lucey was great for them.”
As the fourth quarter began, Holland wanted his team to get close and his players responded. The Olympians finally took the lead with four minutes to go and slowly secured the win. Marathon scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a nine for 16 effort from the foul line.
Marathon stepped it up defensively as well, allowing Groton to score just six points.
“As much as we talked about Diego scoring tonight, he made two big steals on defense in the fourth quarter help us win,” Holland said. “This was a good win for us. Groton is well coached and they are a good team.”
Castellot shared team scoring honors for the game with Conor Holland and Kenyon DePuy. Holland had seven points in the fourth quarter while DePuy did his damage in the second and third quarters with 11 of his points coming as the Olympians were trying to stay in the hunt. Andrew Tillotson added 11 points to the Marathon attack, again with nine of those points over the first three quarters.
Lucey scored a game-high 16 points for Groton as he nailed four 3-pointers in the game. Marathon was able to shut him down in the fourth quarter. Kalib Manning added 10 points to the Indians offense with nine points coming from Garrett VanBenschoten.
Marathon will make the trip to Union Springs Friday for a 7 p.m. game. Groton is on the road as well as the Indians travel to Candor for a 7:15 p.m. crossover game.