The Elk County Catholic Crusaders advanced to tonightâ€™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 DCCâ€™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.
â€śIt was a good win. The kids are finding a way to win,â€ť said ECCHS coach Aaron Straub.
â€śWe were fortunate to put down some free throws in overtime to beat an exceptional team,â€ť said Straub.
â€śWeâ€™ll learn a lot from this game. We are proud to be playing in the championship game Saturday,â€ť 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. ECCâ€™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 Daghirâ€™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 DCCâ€™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.
The Crusaders are now 19-4 on the year.
Tonightâ€™s game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start between the Crusaders and the Elkers.
A.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.
Ricky 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 quarters
DCCHS 11 6 8 6 11 42
ECCHS 9 8 7 7 18 49