Elk County Catholic opened the girls basketball season with a 43-9 victory over Ridgway Friday night at Ridgway Area High School.
ECC scored the first 14 points over the initial seven minutes of the first quarter as the Lady Crusaders used a balanced scoring attack, a theme which would carry on through the rest of the game. Taylor DaCanal opened with a layup and Maggie Sorg finished a backdoor play with a layup of her own to make the margin 4-0 with 5:40 left in the opening quarter. After another Sorg basket, Jena Struble and Morgan Onink capitalized on back-to-back trips down the floor. Struble added a pair of free throws to bump the lead to 12-0 and Kayla Weis added another field goal to put the lead to 14-0.
"We have to do better than we did," Ridgway coach Glenn Schauer said. "Things we were working on offensively, we really didn't do well. We wanted to push the ball. The few times we did push the ball, we got a shot. We're going to work on some things and get better at it."
Elk County Catholic used a full-court press early in the game and it seemed to frustrate the Lady Elkers.
"I think we were aggressive early," Elk County Catholic coach Ken Pistner said. "We got to all the loose balls and that's one of our goals. We have to be aggressive. We were pretty quick, I thought. Quickness and aggressiveness, I thought those were the two things."
Taylor Roseto put the Lady Elkers on the board with a mid-range jumper with one minute left in the first quarter as Ridgway trailed 14-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Neither team was effective on the offensive end through the early portion of the second quarter as the score stayed stationary for the first 3:15 of the period. Struble broke the stalemate with a basket with 4:45 left in the quarter. Nicole Breier hit a basket for Ridgway before Elk County Catholic closed the half on a 6-0 run. Onink had a basket and Julia Sweeney poured in two field goals as ECC led 22-4.
"I thought our execution was fairly good," Pistner said. "Our shooting percentage, I'm not quite sure what it was but it wasn't that good. But it's early in the season. If we keep executing, I'm sure the shots will fall."
The Lady Crusaders had seven players in the scoresheet at the half. Pistner was pleased with the amount of balance shown by the Lady Crusaders.
Hanes and Abbi Petrosky added field goals to start the third quarter, putting the lead to 26-4 and prompting a 30-second Ridgway timeout.
Breier added a field goal near the midpoint of the third quarter which would be Ridgway's only points of the third quarter. Kristy Hanes added consecutive field goals as part of an 8-0 run to close the third quarter as the Lady Crusaders led 35-6 at the end of three quarters.
Elk County Catholic had an 8-0 run throughout the duration of the fourth quarter before Katie Oknefski banked in a 3-pointer near the end of the game to round out the scoring.
Ridgway is slated to play at DuBois Central Catholic on Tuesday in an AML South matchup. Schauer summed it up by saying the team has to improve entering the DCC matchup.
"We have to do a better job," Schauer said.
Elk County Catholic is scheduled to host Johnsonburg on Wednesday. Junior varsity action starts at 6 p.m. with the varsity game to follow.
"Ridgway's a young team and they're going to continue to get better also," Pistner said. "We're happy to get out of here with a win and move on to Johnsonburg."
In junior varsity action, Elk County Catholic won by a 20-8 margin.
Elk County Catholic 14 8 13 8 - 43
Ridgway 2 2 2 3 - 9
Elk County Catholic – 43
Kristy Hanes 4 0-0 8, Julia Sweeney 3 0-0 6, Morgan Onink 3 0-0 6, Kayla Weis 2 0-0 4, Jena Struble 2 0-0 4, Maggie Sorg 2 0-0 4, Taylor DaCanal 2 0-0 4, Michelle Imbrogno 1 2-2 4, Abbi Petrosky 1 1-2 3, Totals 20 3-4 43.
Ridgway – 9
Nicole Breier 2 0-3 4, Katie Oknefski 1 0-0 3, Taylor Roseto 1 0-1 2, Christine Schauer 0 0-2 0, Totals 4 0-6 9.
3-pointers: ECC 0, Ridgway 1 (Oknefski).