The Elkers never trailed in their 42-24 win over Johnsonburg Friday night. The victory, their fourth straight, upped their mark to 8-3. The Rams pulled within 22-16 at the half but could not complete a comeback and fell to 4-7.
Dan Park, who led all scorers with 16 points, opened the game with a three-pointer, 36 seconds in. He then blocked a shot before Domenic Allegretto made it 5-0 a little over a minute later. After an Eric Panebianco trey, Jake Lobaugh got the Rams on the board with one of his own with 5:33 to go. Allegretto scored again, and Aaron Sorg hit a foul shot before Lobaugh made it 10-5. Another three by Park and a free throw by Allegretto ended the quarter 15-5.
Jack Elmquist hit a three 17 seconds into the second to pull the Rams within seven. Sorg scored then completed a three-point play before Jefferson Freeburg hit, and Eric Hoffman made a three making it 20-13. Park extended the lead to nine, but the Rams pulled within in six at the half when Isaiah Jackson scored and was fouled with under five seconds to play. Lobaugh grabbed the missed free throw, was fouled while trying to put in the rebound, and made the second foul shot ending the half 22-16. The Paper City boys would get no closer.
Ridgway opened the third period with buckets by Park and Allegretto. Then, Johnsonburg’s Aaron Myers hit one from the line, and Freeburg scored, making it 26-19, but a foul shot by Panebianco and buzzer-beating three by Allegretto extended the lead to 11.
Park added six, Sorg a three, Will Howard a bucket, and Jack Benninger a foul shot to round out the Elkers scoring. Freeburg and Kole Asti scored, and Jackson added a free throw to end the scoring for the Rams, who were without starter Luke Zimmerman due to injury.
“We did a lot of good, and that’s a good team. We had a little adversity before Aaron (Sorg) came out and hit the three to start the fourth quarter. Then we got a turnover and ran a play and scored, then Aaron scored again on another [set] play - now you can relax a little bit,” said Ridgway head coach Anthony Allegretto.
While happy with the win, the Ridgway coach had good things to say about Johnsonburg.
“Obviously, missing Luke hurt them, but they have good athletes and shooters, and JP (Freeburg) does a great job as the point guard. You have to watch Lobaugh everywhere he goes, and the other guys aren’t slouches. When you take Luke off the court, it’s one less guy you have to worry about shooting a three, so that’s obviously to our advantage. They battled hard, and coach Nelson (Dan) switched some things up defensively and had us mixed up a little.”
Both teams are at home on Monday. Union (6-3) visits the Elkers and Port Allegany (4-8) the Rams.
More on the game will and week ahead will appear in Monday’s print and e-edition.