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ST. MARYS â€“ The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusader basketball team remains undefeated after picking up a 47-29 victory over the visiting Punxsutawney Lady Chucks on Wednesday evening at ECCHS.
"I thought we played a pretty good basketball game," said ECC coach Ken Pistner. "It wasn't real sloppy, and I had us for 14 or 15 turnovers. I thought Punxsy played really hard, too. It was a good basketball game tonight."
Elk Catholic held a 12-5 lead at the end of the first period, was up 23-13 at the end of the second, and 29-22 at the conclusion of the third.
"We didn't finish each of the quarters," Pistner said. "The first and second quarters we didn't finish very well, but we ended up finishing the game very strong. I think that our depth kind of showed there. Punxsy played a lot of kids too, but I think our depth showed."
Foul trouble was one of the reasons that so many of the Lady Crusaders saw playing time in the contest.
"We had a few kids in foul trouble. We wanted to keep them from getting their third foul, so we kept them out for a little while longer than we would have liked to, but we were able to go the whole fourth quarter with a pretty good lineup," Pistner said.
Elk Catholic was led offensively by Taylor DaCanal with 24 points on 10 twos and a 4-for-4 night from the foul line. Abbi Petrosky added 10 points on four twos and a 2-for-4 night from the line.
Punxsy was led by Alyssa Reitz with 7 points on two threes and a 1-for-2 night from the foul line.
"I'm happy with it," Pistner said of the win. "I think we took a step in the right direction."
The Lady Crusaders got on the board first on a bucket by DaCanal. Punxsy's Taylor Newcome made a foul shot, and then ECC went on a 10-point run on a pair of baskets by DaCanal and buckets by Lexie Meholic, Petrosky, and Michele Imbrogno to take a 12-1 lead with less than a minute remaining in the period. The Lady Chucks made back-to-back buckets within the final 30 seconds to cut the Lady Crusader's lead to 12-5 at the end of the quarter.
ECC went on a 7-point run to start the second quarter after Meholic sank a foul shot, DaCanal made a pair of baskets, and Imbrogno added a bucket. The teams then traded scores for the rest of the quarter as Reitz hit a pair of threes for the Lady Chucks to make ECC's lead 23-13 headed into the half.
The Lady Chucks outscored the Lady Crusaders 9-6 in the third quarter. Petrosky and Punxsy's Ashley Reitz traded buckets to open the second half. Emily Horner then added another bucket for the Lady Chucks before the Lady Crusaders scored back-to-back buckets. The Lady Chucks then added five unanswered points to head into the final period of play with ECC up 29-22.
The lady Crusaders turned up the heat in the final quarter, outscoring Punxsy 18-7. Petrosky started things off by making a basket and adding a foul shot. DaCanal then added a bucket before Nicole DiPietro scored the Lady Chucks' first points of the period. DaCanal and Ashley Reitz exchanged buckets before the Lady Crusaders went on a seven-point run on a bucket and foul shots by DaCanal and a bucket and foul shot by Petrosky. Punxsy then added three more points on a foul shot by Newcome and bucket by Ashley Reitz. ECC scored the final five points of the game on a foul shot by Petrosky, a pair of foul shots by DaCanal and a bucket by Kayla Weis to take the 47-29 win.
The Lady Crusaders are now 10-0 and 2-0 in D9 League play. They will return to action on Saturday when they travel to St. Marys Area High School to take on the Lady Dutch, with junior varsity scheduled to get under way at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m.
The Elk Catholic Lady Crusader junior varsity squad picked up a 29-22 victory in the preliminary contest.
The Lady Crusaders opened the game by taking a 6-2 first-period lead. Punxsutawney added 9 more points in the second quarter while limiting ECC to 5 to knot the score at 11-all at the half.
In the third quarter, the Lady Crusaders outscored the Lady Chucks 8-7 to take a narrow 19-18 lead into the final period of play. ECC added 10 more points in the fourth quarter while limiting Punxsy to 4 to take the 29-22 win.