ST. MARYS – The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders will play in the championship game of the Elk County Girls' Holiday Basketball Tournament after a 59-25 victory over Ridgway Thursday afternoon at St. Marys Area High School.
Elk County Catholic took control of the game by scoring the first 10 points of the game. Lexie Meholic opened the game with a field goal and Abbi Petrosky followed with another. Kristy Hanes added a jumper and a Petrosky layup made the score 8-0 with 5:24 left in the first quarter. Taylor DaCanal upped the lead to 10-0 before Jenni Thomas hit a jumper. Morgan Onink and Hanes hit consecutive field goals to make the lead 14-2 before Nicole Breier of Ridgway and Michelle Imbrogno of ECC alternated field goals which would be the last two hoops of the opening quarter.
"We played with intensity, they did a good job," Elk County Catholic coach Ken Pistner said. "Fundamentally, they were pretty sound."
ECC burst out on an 8-0 run to start the second quarter and take a 24-4 lead. Breier had all four of Ridgway's points in the second quarts as the Lady Crusaders continued to increase the lead up to 29-8 at the end of the first half.
The Lady Crusader dominance continued into the third quarter as a 14-0 run put Elk County Catholic with a 43-8 lead with around two minutes left in the quarter. A Thomas field goal broke the scoreless drought for the Lady Elkers. Katie Oknefski nailed a 3-pointer in the third quarter and a 2-point field goal in the fourth. Another Thomas field goal gave the Lady Elkers a 7-2 spurt. Ridgway finished the game with 12 points in the fourth quarter as the teams wound down the game with ECC in control en route to a 34-point win.
Ridgway coach Glenn Schauer said the team played better as the game went on.
"We played too timid and they played the best team in the area," Schauer said. "The last few games our shooting has been bad but we were making some shots in the fourth quarter.
"At the end of the third quarter and the fourth quarter, the team showed what they're capable of," Schauer said.
Nine players scored points for Elk County Catholic. Petrosky was the leading scorer with 12 points for the Lady Crusaders.
"We got a lot of younger kids playing time," Pistner said.
Oknefski had seven points to lead Ridgway. Breier, Thomas and Taylor Roseto each had six points.
"Defensively, we're not too bad," Schauer said. "Offensively, we've got to get better."
Ridgway will play Johnsonburg in the consolation game at 3 p.m. today while Elk County Catholic will play St. Marys in the championship game scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Both games will be at St. Marys Area High School.
"It will be a lot of fun. They're playing well," Pistner said. "We're going to have to play a good game to be successful."