The Elk County Catholic Crusaders advanced to the finals of the 31st annual Elk County Boysâ€™ Holiday Basketball Tournament with a 64-52 victory over the St. Marys Area Flying Dutchmen last night at the SMAHS gym.
The Crusaders will meet the Ridgway Elkers in tonightâ€™s championship game scheduled for an 8 p.m. start at the St. Marys Area Dutch Oven. Ridgway beat Johnsonburg 55-52 in overtime.
The Crusaders were able to use a strong first half to come away with the victory. Elk took an 11-3 first-period lead, then outscored the Dutch 17-11 in the second quarter to lead 28-14 at the half. The second 16 minutes of play saw the Dutch outscore the Crusaders 28-26.
â€śI thought we played pretty well except for a two-minute stretch and weâ€™ll clean that up,â€ť said ECCHS coach Aaron Straub.
â€śIt was a good game and we are happy to be in the championship game. But we have to cut down on our turnovers.â€ť
â€śObviously, Ricky (Pearsall) played pretty good tonight,â€ť Straub noted.
Pearsall finished as the gameâ€™s leading scorer with 23 points. He also had four rebounds and three steals on the night.
The Crusaders were led by Pearsallâ€™s 23 points on six twos, three threes and a two-for-four night from the foul line. Tyler Herzing was next with nine points and Darren Simons added eight.
Dylan Reigel and Justin Quiggle led the Dutch with nine points each. Both scored their points on three twos and a three. Bob Vollmer was next with eight points.
â€śThey (ECC) came out and put us in a hole. When you do that against ECC they can play their style,â€ť said St. Marys coach Mark Guido.
â€śThe key to the game was us getting down early. Our offense needs to be more efficient. We have to learn from this and move on,â€ť he added.
The Crusaders jumped out to the early 5-0 lead as Pearsall connected on a three and a two. Reigel and Pearsall traded threes, 8-3. Pearsall converted a three-point play, giving Elk the 11-3 lead after the first quarter.
Jimmy Werner converted a foul shot to start the second period, 11-4. Pearsall connected on another three before Ryan Mancuso scored for the Dutch. A foul shot by Herzing was answered by a field goal by Vollmer. Herzing hit a two, with Mitchel Haberberger adding two foul shots for ECC. Haberberger scored a field goal, giving Elk the 24-10 lead with 3:49 left in the half. Quiggle scored for St. Marys, 24-12. Pearsall and Haberberger scored for Elk, with Vollmer getting the final points of the half, making the score 28-14 in favor of ECC.
A field goal by Josh Gebauer gave Elk the 30-14 lead to start the second half. Reigel scored twice, 30-18. Pearsall and Vollmer traded buckets, then Pearsall hit a two and later converted a foul shot, 35-20. Ben Daghir and Werner traded buckets with Pearsall and Haberberger scored for Elk, 41-22. Ryan Uhl and Jordan Weinzierl hit field goals, 41-26. Ben Daghir scored on a putback, giving Elk the 43-26 lead at the end of three quarters.
The Dutch outscored the Crusaders 11-2 in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, making the score 45-37 with 3:12 left in the game. Quiggle had eight points in the run for the Dutch, while Reigel added two and Vollmer one. Simons converted two foul shots and Luke Daghir added a two, 49-37. Vollmer sank a foul shot, with Simons getting two for ECC, 51-38. Werner scored with 57 seconds left, making the score 51-40. Herzing sank three of four foul shots, giving Elk the 54-40 lead with 31 seconds remaining. Uhl converted two foul shots, making the final score 54-42 in favor of the Crusaders.
Both the Crusaders and the Dutch are now 4-2 on the season.
St. Marys meets the Johnsonburg Rams this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in the consolation game.
Elk Catholic takes on Ridgway tonight at 8 p.m. in the championship game.
Ricky Pearsall 6-3-2-4-23, Tyler Herzing 1-1-4-5-9, Ben Crowe 0-0-0-0-0, Eric Wehler 1-0-0-0-2, Mitchel Haberberger 3-0-2-2-8, Darren Simons 0-0-4-6-4, Ben Daghir 2-0-0-0-4, Luke Daghir 1-0-0-0-2, Josh Gebauer 1-0-0-0-2, Ben Wortman 0-0-0-0-0, Kevin Kraus 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 15-4-12-17-54.
St. Marys 42
Rocco Harshbarger 0-0-0-0-0, Jordan Weinzierl 1-1-0-0-5, Ryan Hockman 0-0-0-0-0, Sam Guido 0-0-0-0-0, Bob Vollmer 3-0-2-4-8, Dylan Reigel 3-1-0-0-9, Ryan Uhl 1-0-2-2-4, Justin Quiggle 3-1-0-0-9, Ryan Mancuso 1-0-0-0-2, Jimmy Werner 2-0-1-2-5, Michael Fox 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 14-3-5-8-42.
Score by quarters
ECCHS 11 17 25 22 54
SMAHS 3 11 12 16 42