Crusaders reach AML finals with 49-42 OT win

The Elk County Catholic Crusaders advanced to tonight’s Allegheny Mountain League championship game by defeating the DuBois Central Cardinals 49-42 in overtime Friday at the ECCHS gym.The Crusaders will meet the Ridgway Elkers who defeated the Johnsonburg Rams 56-38 last night at Ridgway for the league title. The game is set for 8 p.m. at St. Marys Area High School.After three quarters of play the Crusaders trailed the Cardinals 25-24. In the fourth quarter Elk Catholic outscored DuBois Central 7-6 to knot the game at 31 at the end of regulation on a driving lay up by Tyler Herzing. Neither team scored in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter as DCC’s Jake Krause converted a three-point play at the 3:51 mark, 28-24 DCC. Herzing hit a field goal at the 1:35 mark, 28-26. DuBois Central called a timeout at the 1:03 mark with the ball. Dan Fitzpatrick sank one of two foul shots for DCC, 29-26. Ricky Pearsall scored for ECC with 24 seconds remaining, 29-28. Chris Marshall of the Cardinals sank two foul shots giving DCC the 31-28 lead with 18 seconds left. Herzing sank one of two foul shots with 11 seconds remaining, 31-29. Marshall was fouled with 10 seconds left and missed a foul shot with Pearsall getting the rebound. Herzing hit the field goal with three seconds to force overtime.In the overtime period, Elk outscored DuBois 18-11. The Crusaders were able to convert 14 of 18 foul shots in the four minute overtime.“It was a good win. The kids are finding a way to win,” said ECCHS coach Aaron Straub.“We were fortunate to put down some free throws in overtime to beat an exceptional team,” said Straub.“We’ll learn a lot from this game. We are proud to be playing in the championship game Saturday,” added Straub.The Crusaders were led by Ricky Pearsall with 17 points on four twos, two threes and a three for four night from the foul line. Tyler Herzing scored 13 points on three field goals and a seven for 11 night from the foul line.DuBois Central was led by Chris Marshall with 17 points on seven field goals and a three for four night from the foul line. Jake Krause was next with seven points.Pearsall gave Elk the first points of the game on a putback. Marshall answered for DCC. ECC’s Darren Simons scored with Marshall converting a three-point play, 5-4, DCC. A three by Pearsall gave Elk the 7-5 lead. Marshall tied the game at seven. Krause gave DCC the 9-7 lead. Herzing and Brad Gallagher traded buckets as DCC led 11-9 after the first period.Brock LaBue scored for DCC to open the second period. A three by Simons made it 13-12. Ben Daghir’s field goal made the score 14-13, ECC. LaBue scored on a putback, 15-14. Pearsall hit a three, 17-15, ECC. Marshall hit a field goal to tie the game at 17 at the half.Mitchel Haberberger of ECC sank two foul shots to give the Crusaders the 19-17 lead. DuBois went up 23-19 as Fitzpatrick, Krause and Marshall each scored field goals. A three by Ben Daghir made it 23-22. Marshall increased the DCC lead to 25-22 with a field goal. Two foul shots by Luke Daghir cut the DCC lead to 25-24 at the end of three quarters.Elk Catholic outscored DCC 7-6 in the fourth quarter to force overtime. The overtime opened with Pearsall scoring off a steal. Herzing added two foul shots, a field goal and two more foul shots giving Elk the 38-31 lead. Simons sank two foul shots before Pentz scored DCC’s first points in overtime on a foul shot with 1:42 left. Ben Daghir sank a foul shot before Marshall hit a field goal, 41-34. Herzing sank one of two foul shots with Pentz answering with a field goal for DCC, 42-36. Herzing sank two more foul shots with Fitzpatrick hitting a three, 44-39. Pearsall sank two foul shots with Simons adding two more, 48-39. A.J. Nesbit hit a three for DCC, 48-42. Pearsall sank a foul shot to close out the scoring with Elk on top 49-42.Game notesThe Crusaders are now 19-4 on the year.Tonight’s game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start between the Crusaders and the Elkers.DCCHS 42A.J. Nesbitt 0-1-0-0-3, Brock LaBue 2-0-0-0-4, Chris Marshall 7-0-3-4-17, Jake Krause 3-0-1-1-7, Brad Gallagher 1-0-0-0-2, Taylor Pentz 1-0-1-2-3, Dan Fitzpatrick 1-1-1-6-6. Totals 15-2-6-13-42.ECCHS 49Ricky Pearsall 4-2-3-4-17, Tyler Herzing 3-0-7-11-13, Ben Crowe 0-0-0-0-0, Eric Wehler 0-0-0-0-0, Darren Simons 1-1-4-4-9, Mitchel Haberberger 0-0-2-3-2, Ben Daghir 1-1-1-2-6, Luke Daghir 0-0-2-2-2. Totals 9-4-19-26-49.Score by quartersDCCHS 11 6 8 6 11 42ECCHS 9 8 7 7 18 49