With the winter season in full swing, coaches know which players they can rely on to step up and help deliver a win.
Berlin’s Mike McCarthy and Lyzi Litwinko both come stepped up their performances in the last week to help their teams come out on top.
After being pushed around the court in a loss to St. Bernard over a week ago the Redcoats pushed back harder for a 75-63 win over Conard last Wednesday with McCarthy was leading the way.
The senior scored 17 total points, tying with fellow Redcoat Dylan Fisk, for team highs of the evening.
“McCarthy is tall and lengthy so he’s good on the defensive end,” teammate Zach Hrubiec said. “He’s a great shooter and good on the inside. All around, he’s a player and a great teammate.”
The 6-foot-4 forward and shooting guard uses his size to his advantage and finished his night with pulling down a majority of the 20 rebounds Berlin had.
“Using my body and my strength helps me a lot on the court, especially when it comes to getting rebounds,” McCarthy said.
He then followed that game up with a game-high 24 points in the 61-55 win over Maloney Saturday afternoon.
McCarthy has a tremendous amount of potential, Berlin head coach Mike Veneziano said and the losses of Spencer Duke and Jack Lynch to graduation has allowed McCarthy to flourish in his new role.
“First of all, he’s a great kid,” Veneziano said. “I’m blessed to coach just great kids which I don't know if every coach can say that in high school, so it’s a pleasure to come coach them every day and Michael is no different.”
“But Michael’s biggest enemy is himself. He gets very upset if he misses one shot so with him, it’s trying to keep him positive all the time and not letting him get down on himself. The last two games, he’s been more aggressive rebounding than he ever has in his four years here. And if he plays like he did [Wednesday], aggressively, then he’s a difference maker on the court.”
The Redcoats currently sit 4-2 on their season and will see Platt today at home at 6:45 p.m.
The Berlin girls basketball improved their season record to 3-4 Saturday afternoon when the Redcoats beat Maloney 37-28.
The Redcoats were trailing 13-12 by halftime, but were able to pull away in the second half thanks in part to the play of Litwinko. The sophomore guard put away 20 points for Berlin and came away with nine rebounds as well.
On the season, Litwinko is leading the team in points scored, assists, rebounds and blocked shots.
“Lyzi has dedicated herself to the game of basketball,” Berlin girls basketball head coach Sheila King said. “It is the game she loves and her work ethic and desire for daily improvement makes that obvious. She has many skills in her pocket.”
“She is a strong and crafty ball handler, drives incredibly well and has developed an outside shot with good range. Needless to say, she is extremely difficult to defend. She loves to play defense and create turnovers and rebounds. Her play is selfless and makes those around her better.”
Litwinko has started every single game since her freshman year and due play on the court as well as her demeanor off it, is one of the team’s three captains despite being just a sophomore.
“It is exciting to know that she has two and a half more years of high school basketball at Berlin High,” King said. “Her game is limitless. After all is said about her exceptional basketball ability, the best and most important thing to know about Lyzi is that she is a better person than she is a player.”
The Redcoat will be back in action tonight at 6:45 p.m. at Platt.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org