Through its first five games, Northern Cambria was 3-2 and not looking like a team that returned a majority of key components from a team that won the 2011-12 District 6 Class A championship and qualified for the state playoffs.
There was a two-point loss to Blacklick Valley in the finals of the Rockwood Tournament. The Colts lost by three at Ligonier Valley and a two-point loss to rival Cambria Heights put Northern Cambria's record at 5-3.
The shaky start raised some eyebrows as expectation were high in Northern Cambria, even if the Colts moved up to Class AA this season.
Well, that 5-3 record has morphed into a 13-3 record. In District 6 Class AA, only Bald Eagle Area and Bellwood-Antis have better won-loss records.
Northern Cambria is coming off its most impressive performance – a 62-24 victory over Ligonier Valley in a game where senior guard Adam Polites reached 1,000 career points.
Polites is averaging 22.3 points per game for the Colts. Jeff Hogan (13.7 ppg) and Josh Bonatesta (12.7) add depth to the Colts' offense. With a 9-1 league record, Northern Cambria sits in first place in the Heritage Conference, a game ahead of Homer-Center and a game-and-a-half over Marion Center.
They're also holding steady as the No. 2 team in The Tribune-Democrat boys' basketball rankings.
1. Bishop Carroll 13-2
Huskies host Bishop Gulfoyle on Friday in matchup of top two teams in LHAC Section 1.
2. Northern Cambria 13-3
Colts on an eight-game win streak.
3. Penn Cambria 12-3
Panthers earned big win last week versus Bishop McCort
4. Conemaugh Township 11-2
Indians earned gritty win last week at Shanksville.
5. Greater Johnstown 10-5
Trojans face two tough games on road – Somerset, Richland – this week.
6. Somerset 11-5
Golden Eagles can force tie in LHAC Section 2 if they beat Greater Johnstown.
7. Bishop McCort 8-5
Crushers have lost three of five and dealt tough blow with Nemo Trexler injury.
8. Shade 14-1
Without Ryan Fyock, Panthers beat Blacklick Valley. Fyock may return before end of regular season.
9. Shanksville-Stonycreek 12-2
Three consecutive road games loom for Vikings.
10. Chestnut Ridge 12-2
Lions are unbeaten in the Sideling Hill Conference with a 7-0 record.