The Elk County Catholic Crusaders suffered their second setback of the season on Tuesday evening, when they were nipped 66-65 by the DuBois Area High Beavers in a District Nine League encounter played at the DuBois gym.
The loss dropped the Crusaders to 2-2 on the season.
"DuBois played a nice game tonight, a game which we should have won," stated Aaron Straub, ECCHS head coach. "We had a three-point lead with less than a minute to go, but failed to come up with the defensive stops and lost by a point. We need to protect the ball a little better as we had nine turnovers in the first half, but did a much better job in the second half."
"We need to improve our free-throw shooting, as we were 19 of 31 from the line tonight," Straub noted. "We didn't do a very good job of guarding against the three-point shooting, as DuBois was five of six from that range, although one was a half-court bomb at the end of the first half. We also gave up too many easy buckets.
"We are showing improvement but we still have a ways to go. On Thursday night we have another big game against a very tough opponent. We need to play well in order to gain momentum for the upcoming holiday tournament."
The Crusaders were led in the scoring department by Ben Daghir with 22 points, followed by Darren Simons with 15 and Tyler Herzing with 14. Ricky Pearsall added eight and Eric Wehler six to account for the other ECCHS points.
Dom Kriner was the top gun for the Beavers, recording 22 points, followed by Garret Peterson with 16, Nate Liddle with 13, Tanner Gooden with 11, and Nate Avery and Mark Feliz with two each.
The DuBois Beavers jumped out to a big first-period lead, as they went up 19 to 11 after the first eight minutes of play. In this period, the Crusaders were led by Herzing with eight points and B. Daghir with three, while Kriner had 10 to pace the Beavers.
The Crusaders came charging back in the second period, outscoring the Beavers 18-10 to tie the game up at 29-all at the half. A three-point buzzer shot by the Beavers allowed them to tie the game at 29-all at the half. In this frame, Simons had three treys and a foul goal to lead the Crusaders with 10 points, while Pearsall, B. Daghir, Herzing and Wehler each had two points.
DuBois regained the lead in the third period, outscoring the Crusaders 21 to 15 to take a 50-44 lead into the final period. Pearsall led the way for Elk in this quarter with seven points, while B. Daghir had five, Simons two and Wehler one.
Elk County staged a comeback in the final period, as they managed to take a 65-62 lead with about a minute remaining in the game, but the Beavers scored the final four points to win by a 66-65 margin. B. Daghir had three treys and a foul goal in this period to lead the Crusaders, while Herzing had four points, Simons three and Pearsall one.
The Crusaders will return to action on Thursday when they play host to DuBois Central Catholic in a game set for the A.J. Straub gym on the Elk County Campus.
Thursday will be Santa Night at ECCHS - all youngsters will be admitted free. Children who bring their certificates will be eligible for prizes, which will be drawn at halftime.
Elk out-rebounded DuBois 30 to 26, with Pearsall and Simons leading the way with nine each.
Elk Catholic 65
Ricky Pearsall 2-1-1-3-8, Tyler Herzing 2-1-7-11-14, Darren Simons 0-4-3-4-15, Luke Daghir 0-0-0-0-0, Josh Gebauer 0-0-0-0-0, Ben Crowe 0-0-0-0-0, Eric Wehler 0-12-3-4-6, Mitchel Haberberger 0-0-0-0-0, Ben Daghir 4-3-5-8-22. Totals 8-10-18-28-65.
DuBois Area 66
Nate Liddle 1-3-2-2-13, Tanner Gooden 3-1-2-3-11, Nate Avery 1-0-0-0-2, Garret Peterson 6-1-1-2-16, Dom Kriner 10-0-2-3-22, Andy Pfingstler 0-0-0-0-0, Mark Felix 1-0-0-0-2, Austin Songer 0-0-0-0-0, Paul Butler 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 22-5-7-10-66.
Score by quarters
ECCHS 11 18 15 21 65
DuBois 19 10 21 16 66
The Elk Catholic JVs won the preliminary game by a 41-28 score.
Elk Catholic went up by a 10-0 score in the opening period, then outscored the Beavers 14-10 in the second period to take a 24-10 halftime lead. Elk put seven points on the board in the third quarter, while DuBois managed just two as the Crusaders went up 31-12 with one period remaining. DuBois claimed the final period 16-10, but it was too little too late as Elk County held on for a 41-28 victory.
ECCHS scoring: Clayton Housler 14, Hank Cappiello 8, Jack Herzing 4, Ben Cortina 1, Brock McCullough 12, Shea Meyer 2.
DuBois scoring: Mark Felix 4, Doan-Alec Shaffer 6, Austin Songer 6, Gab Hrecznyj 8, Evan Bush 4.