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The Ridgway Elkers used a strong second half to advance to the championship game of the 32nd annual Elk County Boysâ€™ Holiday Basketball Tournament to defeat the St. Marys Area Flying Dutchmen by a 58-49 score.
The Elkers will now meet the Johnsonburg Rams tonight at 8 p.m. for the boysâ€™ championship. Johnsonburg defeated the Elk County Catholic Crusaders 40-37 in Wednesdayâ€™s nightcap.
Ridgway outscored the Dutch 13-4 in the third period to turn a 34-30 St. Marys halftime lead to a 43-38 Elker lead at the end of the third quarter.
â€śIn the first half (SMAâ€™s) Jimmy Werner and Justin Quiggle outplayed everybody on our team. In the second half Tony Leithner, our energy guy, came in for Josh Mitchell, who had three fouls and picked us up,â€ť said Ridgway head coach Anthony Allegretto.
â€śWe played with more energy in the second half. We didnâ€™t have the energy in the first half and it showed,â€ť said Allegretto.
â€śJosh Mitchell played a solid game and Eric (Matheson) played well. Heâ€™s our leader out there. He took over the game,â€ť added the coach.
Matheson led the Ridgway offense with 33 points on 11 twos, one three and an eight-for-eight night from the foul line. Mitchell was next with six points.
For St. Marys, Jimmy Werner led the way with 16 points on five field goals and a six-for-six night from the foul line. Justin Quiggle scored 15 points on six twos and a three.
â€śThe entire second half, they (Ridgway) did a better job defensively,â€ť said St. Marys coach Mark Guido.
â€śWe didnâ€™t get enough good looks in the second half,â€ť said Guido.
â€śI didnâ€™t do a good enough job getting the defense to do better in the second half,â€ť he added.
Matheson and Quiggle traded buckets to open the contest, with Quiggle giving the Dutch the 4-2 lead. Mitchell sank a foul shot before the teams traded buckets, 6-5 St. Marys. A three by Caleb Bennett gave the Dutch the 9-5 lead. Jordan Lundin scored on a putback for Ridgway. Quiggle and Matheson again traded points before Werner closed out the scoring in the first period with two foul shots, 18-11 St. Marys.
Matheson connected on a three to open the second period. Shajuan Carrero hit a field goal, with Matheson answering with two foul shots. Alex Oknefski, Matheson and Tony Leithner scored for the Elkers as they tied the game at 22. Brandon Vollmer and Bennett scored for the Dutch, 26-22. Matheson sank two foul shots and scored off a steal, 26-26. Vollmer scored off a steal with Lundin scoring for Ridgway, 28-28. With the score tied at 30, Werner would score the final points of the half as the Dutch led 34-30 at halftime.
The third period saw the Elkers outscore the Dutch 9-2 in the first four and a half minutes to take a 39-36 lead with 3:37 left in the period. Werner scored on a putback, with Matheson sinking two foul shots and hitting a field goal as Ridgway led 43-38 at the end of three.
Mitchell sank one foul shot and Matheson two as the Elkers led 46-38. Sam Guido scored for the Dutch, 46-40. Oknefski sank a foul shot and Matheson made it 49-40. Bennett sank one of two foul shots, 49-41. A bucket by Leithner made it 51-41 with 2:46 left in the game. In the closing minutes St. Marys outscored Ridgway 8-7, but it wasnâ€™t enough as Ridgway won 58-49.
The Elkers are now 5-0 on the season while the Dutchmen are 5-2 on the season.
Todayâ€™s schedule will see Ridgway and Johnsonburg meeting in the girlsâ€™ consolation at 3 p.m. Elk Catholic and St. Marys will meet in the boysâ€™ consolation game at 4:30 p.m. Elk Catholic and St. Marys will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the girlsâ€™ championship, while the Elkers and the Rams square off tonight at 8 p.m. in the championship game.
St. Marys 49
Justin Quiggle 6-1-0-1-15, Sam Guido 1-0-0-1-2, Jimmy Werner 5-0-6-6-16, Brand Vollmer 3-0-2-2-8, Caleb Bennett 1-1-1-2-6, Justin Beimel 0-0-0-0-0, Shajuan Carrero 1-0-0-0-2, Michael Fox 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 7-2-9-12-49.
Eric Matheson 11-1-8-8-33, Jesse Reynolds 0-0-4-4-4, Jordan Lundin 2-0-0-2-4, Aaron Sorge 0-0-2-4-2, Josh Mitchell 2-0-2-4-6, Alex Oknefski 2-0-1-2-3, Robbie Byrd 0-0-0-0-0, Tony Leithner 3-0-0-0-6, Joe Jaques 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 20-1-17-24-58.
Score by quarters
St. Marys 18 16 4 11 49
Ridgway 11 19 13 15 58