JOHN C. COTEY
Travis Karto and Aaron Holmes combine for 53 points in 78-62 win.
ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg Catholic's dynamic duo of Aaron Holmes and Travis Karto not only create a dilemma for opposing teams but present a quandry for fans: just who is Batman, and who is Robin?
With Holmes scoring 13 in the first quarter and Karto tossing in 13 in the second, the Barons strode to a big halftime lead en route to knocking off Northside Christian 78-62 Tuesday night.
The pair of standouts finished with 53 points. Karto scored a game-high 29 and Holmes added 24. Once again, they proved unstoppable, even when teams know they are going to score the bulk of the SPC's baskets.
"Stopping both is easier said than done," Mustangs coach Chip McAllister said.
Impossible so far this season. The Barons improved to 11-1, the loss coming to one of Kentucky's best teams at a holiday tournament. Ranked No.2 in the state in Class 3A, the Barons can lay claim to being Pinellas County's best, Holmes said.
"We beat Largo, we beat Countryside," Holmes said. "We've been killing all the public schools. I think this is the best team in the county."
Ahead 49-28 at halftime, Karto had a pair of baskets in a 8-0 run to start the second half before Northside Christian mounted a mild comeback.
Led by the strong inside play of John Burke (12 points) and Scott McClain (a team-high 17), the Mustangs (7-5) overcame some inconsistent outside shooting to get within 12. But for every Northside Christian push, there was an SPC answer, usually from Holmes and Karto, who combined to score 10 of the final 11 for their team.
"(Aaron and I) have a pretty good flow," Karto said. "I think we do a good job of looking for each other on the court. If he's hot, then we try to get him the ball, and if I'm hot we try to get it to me. We seem to know where the other one is at."
Does that make the Barons a two-man team? Moran has heard some suggest it but said his other players were eager to disprove it. Though only one other player had more than four points, Moran said when they have to, they'll score.
"I think when a team comes in and makes it evident (that we're a two-man team), you'll see guys like Billy (Tapp) and Carl (Teague) and Larry (Christian) score more," Moran said.
Until then, he'll keep on sending out the Bat signal.