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BROOKVILLE - The Damsels of Union High School handed the Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders a 38-35 setback on Tuesday evening in the District 9-A semifinal playoff game at the Brookville Area High School.
The Damsels held a three-point lead with 3.1 seconds remaining in the game with the Lady Crusaders getting the ball out of bounds under the Union bucket. Anna Hawkins threw a half-court pass to Karly Carnovale, who took one step, then threw up a 30-some-foot shot which went in and out of the hoop as time ran out, giving the Damsels the victory.
"We played very well at times tonight, but then we had some trouble at other times during the game," said Ken Pistner, ECCHS head coach. "We handled their pressure early on, but in the fourth quarter we struggled against their press, turning the ball over quite often. They had trouble handling out pressure defense in the third quarter.
"Once again, we couldn't put the ball in the hoop as we missed quite a few layups, especially in the fourth quarter when we didn't score a field goal. We had opportunities to win the ball game, but our shooting just went cold in the final period. We set the final play up with 3.1 seconds left and Karly nearly made the shot as it was in and out.
"We will have to regroup now and get ready for Clarion High, which lost in the other semifinal game tonight to Coudersport. I have to give the girls a lot of credit tonight, as they never gave up and gave 100 percent the entire contest. It just wasn't in the books for us to win tonight, but the good thing is we are still alive and will advance to the state playoffs."
Only four Lady Crusaders were able to reach the scoring column on Tuesday with Karly Carnovale leading the way with 12 points on a field goal, two treys and a four-for-four night at the line. Lexie Meholic was next with 10 points, three field goals, a trey and a one-for-two night at the line. Abbi Petrosky finished with nine points, followed by Emily Gregory with four points.
Union put six players in the scoring column with Delaini Priester, Tina Lipps and Mariah Winchester each scoring 10 points. Priester's points came on two field goals and two treys, while Winchester's and Lipps's came on four field goals and two foul goals each. Ashley MacKinlay followed with four points, while Daneka Stuart and Sierra Smith each had two points.
Union took a 4-0 lead at the start of the game on field goals by Winchester and Lipps. Carnovale hit a trey to cut it to 4-3. Two more Union field goals were followed by a field goal by Gregory and two foul goals by Carnovale to make the score 8-7 at the end of the opening period.
Union pushed the lead to 10-7 on a field goal early in the second period. Meholic hit a field goal to cut it to 10-9 before Winchester connected for the Damsels to make it 12-9. Meholic hit a trey to tie the score at 12-12. Union then scored the next four points to go up 16-12. Meholic hit a foul goal and Carnovale a trey to tie the game at 16-all. Winchester hit a foul goal just before the period ended to give the Damsels a 17-16 halftime lead.
The first six minutes and 10 seconds of the third quarter belonged to the Lady Crusaders as they scored 15 straight points to go up by a 31-17 score. In that stretch, Abbi Petrosky scored five points, Karly Carnovale and Lexie Meholic four points and Emily Gregory two points. In the final minute and 50 seconds of the period, the Damsels scored six straight points to cut the lead to 31-23 at the end of three periods.
Priester hit two straight treys to open the final period, then Union connected on three straight foul goals to take a 32-31 lead with 3:10 left in the period. Petroski tied the game at 32-all. MacKinlay hit a field goal to put Union up by two, 34-32. Petrosky hit three out of four shots to give Elk a 35-34 lead with 1:42 remaining in the game. Winchester gave the Damsels a 36-35 lead at the :59 second mark, then with 33 seconds left MacKinlay hit two foul goals to push it to 38-35. Following an exchange of turnovers, Elk had the ball out of bounds under the Union bucket with 3.1 seconds remaining. A pass from Hawkins to Carnovale set up a long three-point shot which went in and out, thus preserving the win for the Union girls at 38-35.
Elk County Catholic is now 18-9 on the season and will play in the consolation game against the Clarion Lady Bobcats at a site, time and date to be determined. The winner of this game will advance to the PIAA playoffs as the No. 3 seeded team out of D-9A and the loser will enter as the No. 4 seeded team.
Union upped their record to 22-3 with the win and will now take on Coudersport on Saturday at Clarion University for the District 9-A title. The champion will enter the PIAA playoffs as the 9-1 team, while the runner-up will be entered as the 9-2 team.
The Lady Crusaders were led in the rebounding department by Abbi Petrosky with 13 and Emily Gregory with seven. Lexie Meholic led the Lady Crusaders in steals with three.
Elk County Catholic 35
Abbi Petrosky 2-0-5-8-9, Maggie Sorg 0-0-0-0-0, Lexie Meholic 3-1-1-2-10, Taylor DaCanal 0-0-0-0-0, Ellie Petrosky 0-0-0-0-0, Morgan Onink 0-0-0-0-0, Anna Hawkins 0-0-0-0-0, Kristy Hanes 0-0-0-0-0, Emily Gregroy 2-0-0-0-4, Karly Carnovale 1-2-4-4-12. Totals 8-3-10-14-35.
Union Damsels 38
Delani Priester 2-2-0-2-10, Mariah Winchester 4-0-2-4-10, Ashley MacKinlay 1-0-2-4-4, Daneka Stuart 1-0-0-0-2, Sierra Smith 0-0-2-2-2, Tina Lipps 4-0-2-2-10. Totals 12-2-8-14-38.
Score by quarters
ECCHS 7 9 15 4 35
Union 8 9 6 15 38