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The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusader basketball squad came up short 47-43 to the Bradford Lady Owls on Wednesday evening at ECCHS.
Elk Catholic took an early 15-11 lead in the first period, Bradford rallied to hold a 22-20 advantage at the half, and the Lady Crusaders took the lead back 37-33 headed into the final period of play before the Lady Owls fought back to take the win.
"In a game like this with two pretty good teams you have runs. Teams are going to make some runs. We got up early and we knew they were going to run at us, and then we got up (again) and then they came back," said ECC coach Ken Pistner.
"It was just a good basketball game," Pistner added. "We need to take care of the basketball, though."
The Lady Crusaders were led offensively by Lexie Meholic with 12 points on two twos, two threes, and a 2-for-2 night from the foul line. Kristy Hanes added 11 points on five twos and a 1-for-2 night from the line.
The Lady Owls were led by Alex Vinelli with 13 points on three twos, two threes, and a 1-for-1 night from the line.
Pistner remarked that he thought his squad shot well and played good defense early on, but then was hurt by Bradford's dribble penetration.
"Their dribble penetration there in the second quarter hurt us a little, that's what got them back in the game," Pistner said. "We switched to a zone in the second half and for the most part stopped their penetration, that was one of the keys to us. At the end, I think a couple empty possessions late in the game are what really got us and they had a couple ones that weren't empty."
The Lady Crusaders jumped out to a five-point lead on a three by Meholic and a two by Hanes. Ali Rinfrette made a bucket for Bradford to put them on the board and then ECC went on a six-point run on back-to-back buckets by Hanes and a bucket by Taylor DaCanal. The Lady Owls then added four points of their own on baskets by Vinelli and Emily Marshall. Hanes made another shot for the Lady Crusaders, Vinelli hit a three for the Lady Owls, Meholic sank two foul shots, and the period ended with a bucket by Bradford's Kaserra Owens with ECC up 15-11.
The momentum shifted right off the bat in the second quarter as Bradford went on a seven-point run to take the lead for the first time, 18-15. Meholic cut into their advantage with a bucket and then Vinelli and Hanes traded baskets to make the score 20-19 in favor of the Lady Owls with just over three minutes left in the half. Rinfrette made a bucket to extend Bradford's advantage, and Hanes sank a foul shot with just over 20 seconds left on the clock to send the game into halftime with Bradford up 22-20.
The Lady Crusaders found the momentum again in the third quarter, outscoring Bradford 17-11. Abbi Petrosky started things off by making a bucket to tie the game at 22-all. Bradford scored back-to-back buckets to briefly pull ahead. Petrosky made two foul shots, Owens made a bucket, and then the Lady Crusaders went on a 10-point run on threes by Meholic and Jena Struble, and a bucket and foul shots by DaCanal to take a 34-28 lead. The Lady Owls went on a five-point run of their own on a bucket by Haley Vinelli and a bucket and foul shot by Marshall. Petrosky ended the quarter by sinking a foul shot after she was fouled while making a basket, sending the game into the final period with the Lady Crusaders up 37-33.
Meholic gave ECC a six-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter after making a basket. The Lady Owls answered with seven points of their own to take a 40-39 lead with 3:48 left in the game. The Lady Crusaders took the lead back on a bucket by DaCanal, only to see Bradford quickly pull back ahead on a pair of foul shots by Marshall. ECC tied the game for the final time on a foul shot by DaCanal and then retook the lead on a foul shot by Maggie Sorg with 1:07 remaining. The Lady Owls scored their final five points with less than a minute to go on a bucket and foul shots by Owens and a foul shot by Haley Vinelli to secure the 47-43 win.
With the loss, the Lady Crusaders are now 12-2 on the season and 2-2 in the D9 League. They will return to action on Friday when they travel to Johnsonburg to take on the Lady Rams, with junior varsity scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Emily Marshall 4-0-3-5-11, Alex Vinelli 3-2-1-1-13, Ali Rinfrette 3-0-0-0-6, Haley Vinelli 4-0-1-2-9, Kaserra Owens 3-0-2-4-8. Totals 18-2-8-17-47.
Taylor DaCanal 3-0-3-4-9, Maggie Sorg 0-0-1-2-1, Abbi Petrosky 2-0-3-3-7, Jena Struble 0-1-0-0-3, Lexie Meholic 2-2-2-2-12, Kristy Hanes 5-0-1-2-11, Totals 12-3-10-13-43.
Score by quarters
Bradford 11 11 11 14 47
ECCHS 15 5 17 6 43
The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusader junior varsity squad was handed a 28-22 loss in the preliminary contest.
The Lady Owls outscored the Lady Crusaders 9-4 in the first period. Bradford added 9 more points in the second while again holding ECC to 4 to take an 18-8 halftime lead.
In the third period Elk Catholic outscored Bradford 5-2 to cut the Lady Owls' lead to 20-14 headed into the final period of play. In the fourth quarter Elk Catholic added 9 more points, but was only able to limit Bradford to 8, allowing the Lady Owls to come away with the 28-22 victory.
ECC scoring: Hayley DaCanal 9, Chiara Genevro 2, Maddy Schneider 6, Kirstie Wehler 5.
Bradford scoring: Marissa Vohe 2, Dana Kline 2, Hailey Burgess 7, Liz Coppella 6, Payton Ambrose 4, Mackenzie Race 1, Rylee Lundgren 2, Hannah Vezina 4.