Crusaders open D9 League with 45-38 win over Beavers

ST. MARYS – The Elk County Catholic Crusaders opened play in the District 9 League with a 45-38 victory over the DuBois Area Beavers at the ECCHS gym. This was also the home opener for the Crusaders.The Crusaders were able to take a 19-9 lead at the half, then outscore the Beavers 18-10 in the third period to take a 37-19 lead in the final eight minutes of play. DuBois outscored Elk 19-8 in the fourth quarter, cutting Elk’s margin of victory to 45-38.“It was a good win tonight,” said ECCHS coach Aaron Straub. “Obviously DuBois missed a lot of shots early.”“I think we’re getting a little bit better with our offense. We finished pretty well against their pressure but not very well against their transition,” said Straub.The Crusaders were led by Clayton Housler with eight field goals and a two-for-three night from the foul line. Brock McCullough scored 12 points on six field goals.Tanner Gooden led DuBois with 13 points on four field goals and a five-for-seven night from the foul line. Nate Liddle, Nate Avery and Kyle Hoffer were next with five points each.Mark Felix gave DuBois the early 2-0 lead before Housler scored for Elk. Liddle hit a three to give the Beavers the 5-2 lead. Elk went on an 8-0 run as Michael Jacob and Brandon Schlimm each had field goals and Luke Kraus added two as ECC led 10-5 at the end of the first period.A three by Devin Constable gave Elk the 13-5 lead to open the second quarter. He added a two, as did McCullough, 17-5. Avery scored for DuBois, 17-7. Housler converted two foul shots. Hoffer scored at the buzzer for DuBois, cutting Elk’s lead to 19-9 at the half.DuBois scored the first five points of the second half to make it 19-14. Housler scored the next three buckets for Elk, the last one off a steal, 25-14. Gooden sank a foul shot before McCullough scored twice, 33-17. Avery scored on a putback for DuBois, 33-19. Housler scored the final four points of the period as the Crusaders led 37-19 at the end of three quarters.DuBois scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to cut Elk’s lead to 37-26 with 5:36 remaining. McCullough scored two field goals to give Elk the 41-26 lead at the 4:33 mark. Gooden and Andy Pfingstler scored for DuBois, 41-30. Hank Cappiello scored for Elk before Gooden scored for DuBois, 43-32. Avery sank a foul shot for the Beavers, 43-33 with 2:20 left. McCullough scored for the Crusaders, 45-33, with 1:51 left. DuBois would score five points in the closing minutes to make the final score 45-38 in favor of Elk Catholic.The Crusaders are now 2-1 on the season. They are 1-1 in the AML and 1-0 in District 9 League play.The Crusaders return to action Thursday when they travel to DuBois Central Catholic for an AML encounter. Junior varsity tips off at 6 p.m., with the varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.The ECC junior varsity defeated the Beavers by a 56-36 score.Elk took a 12-9 first-period lead. They outscored the Beavers 14-13 in the second quarter to take a 26-22 halftime lead.The Crusaders outscored the Beavers 12-9 in the third period and 18-5 in the fourth quarter to win the game 56-36.ECCHS scoring: Vincent Jacob 10, Colton Lecker 3, Ivan Wortman 6, Ryan Childs 17, Luke Kraus 6, Andrew Gebauer 4, Corey Huff 10.DuBois scoring: Sanko 2, Mohney 2, Rawson 4, Heckathorne 11, Hillebrand 13, Hopkins 4.