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The Elk County Catholic Crusader basketball team was handed a 52-42 loss by the Brookville Raiders on Tuesday evening in a game played at ECCHS.
The Crusaders held a 7-4 lead after the first quarter. Brookville took over in the second quarter, outscoring ECC 15-6 to take a 19-13 lead at the half. The Crusaders closed the advantage slightly in the third quarter, outscoring the Raiders 18-15 to make the score 34-31 headed into the final period of play before Brookville put the game away with a strong fourth quarter.
ECC coach Aaron Straub indicated that there were two main factors contributing to the Crusaders' loss.
"I think the game came down to us not being able to match two of their runs. They had a big run in the second quarter when it was 7-4, and then I think they ran off 12 or 13 straight, and then they had a big run in the fourth quarter where we weren't able to match them. I think that was certainly one of the keys," Straub said. "I think the other key was our inability to make them miss shots. I think they shot 87 percent from the floor in the second half and 72 percent in the game from the floor."
Senior Ben Wortman led the scoring for the Crusaders in a game where the team's senior members were also honored. Wortman had 16 points on eight twos. Junior Clayton Housler added 13 points on three twos, two threes and a 1-for-1 night from the foul line. Wortman's fellow seniors also contributed to the team's total. Michael Jacob was 4-for-4 from the line, and Kevin Kraus hit a three with only a few seconds remaining in the game.
"I'm just really proud of our seniors and really proud of what they mean to our program," Straub said.
The Raiders were led by Zane Hackett with 21 points on nine twos and a 3-for-5 night from the foul line. Austin Burney added 18 points on seven twos and a 4-for-7 night from the line.
"(Hackett) was 9-for-10 from the field and Burney was 7-for-9 from the field. We gave them some easy shots. We let them convert and we did not match them offensively," Straub said.
The Crusaders started off strong in the opening period. Wortman put the team on the board with a bucket. Hackett cut into the lead by sinking a foul shot. Housler hit a three to give the Crusaders a 5-1 lead. Wortman and Seth Connor traded buckets to make ECC's advantage 7-3, and Hackett sank another foul shot with under a minute remaining to make the score 7-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Brookville started off the second quarter with an 11-point run to take a 15-7 lead. Brandon Schlimm finally scored for the Crusaders with 2:55 remaining in the half. Hackett had a pair of buckets for the Raiders, and the Crusaders ended the opening half with buckets by Housler and Wortman to make the score 19-13 in favor of Brookville at the half.
The third quarter started out with Housler and Jack Huggins trading threes. Wortman then drew cheers from the crowd as he dunked the ball after getting free on a breakaway. Burney and Connor added a pair of buckets for Brookville to make the score 26-18, but then ECC went on a six-point run on buckets by Brock McCullough, Wortman, and Housler to close the gap to 26-24. The Crusaders were unable to draw even though because Burney and Hackett each added two more points to the Raiders' total. Jacob sank a pair of foul shots for ECC, Connor had a bucket for Brookville, and then Jacob again was perfect from the line as he make two more foul shots to make the score 32-28 with a minute and a half left in the third quarter. Hackett scored another bucket for Brookville and Housler ended the period by making a bucket and a foul shot to close the gap to 34-31 with one quarter remaining in the contest.
ECC closed the gap even further at the beginning of the fourth quarter as Wortman made a bucket to reduce Brookville's lead to 34-33. The Raiders then went on a nine-point run to extend the advantage to 43-33. Schlimm scored a bucket for the Crusaders, Burney made a pair of foul shots, and then Wortman made another bucket for Elk Catholic to make the score 45-37. The Raiders then went on a seven-point run to extend their lead to 52-37. A bucket by Housler and a three by Kraus ended the game, with Brookville taking the 52-42 victory.
Elk Catholic is now 10-9 on the season and 4-3 in D9 League play. The Crusaders will be back in action on Friday evening when they travel across town to St. Marys Area High School to take on the Dutchmen in a D9 League game, with junior varsity at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m.
Senior players were honored during a pre-game ceremony.
Sebastian Kerr 0-0-0-0-0, Seth Connor 3-0-0-1-6, Jack Huggins 1-1-2-2-7, Levi Park 0-0-0-1-0, Zane Hackett 9-0-3-5-21, Nathan Shirts 0-0-0-0-0, Austin Burney 7-0-4-7-18, Jordan Young 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 20-1-9-15-52.
Clayton Housler 3-2-1-1-13, Kevin Kraus 0-1-0-0-3, Mitchell Vallone 0-0-0-0-0, Brandon Schlimm 2-0-0-2-4, Ben Wortman 8-0-0-0-16, Brock McCullough 1-0-0-0-2, Alex Herzing 0-0-0-0-0, Hank Cappiello 0-0-0-0-0, Michael Jacob 0-0-4-4-4, Ben Cortina 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 14-3-5-7-42.
Score by quarters
Brookville 4 15 15 18 52
ECCHS 7 6 18 11 42
The Elk County Catholic junior varsity squad picked up a 45-27 victory in the preliminary contest.
Elk Catholic led 9-6 at the end of the first period. The Crusaders scored 14 points in the second quarter while holding the Raiders to 6, giving ECC a 23-12 lead at the half.
Both teams scored 11 points in the third quarter, making the score 34-23. The Crusaders put the game away by adding 11 more points in the fourth quarter while the Raiders only managed 4, giving ECC the 45-27 win.
ECC scoring: Vincent Jacob 19, Luke Kraus 4, Andy Gebauer 2, Matt Jerko 4, Nick Werner 2, Corey Huff 14.
Brookville scoring: Aaron Ray 4, Nathan Shirts 2, Jake Huggins 8, Zach Byerly 4, Conrad Schindler 2, Tate Canavan 7.