CLARION - The Elk County Catholic Lady Crusaders earned the District 9-A third spot in the PIAA playoffs on Saturday as they defeated the Clarion Lady Bobcats by a 42-34 score in the 9-A consolation game at Clarion University.
Elk County Catholic's defensive effort can be attributed to the victory, as they held the Clarion girls to just 34 points. Elk's offense once again struggled as they shot a very poor percentage from the field at 10 of 58 (a little over 17 percent).
"Overall we are pleased with the win and are looking forward to moving into the PIAA State playoffs on Saturday. We will face a very tough test Saturday as we drew the Bishop Guilfoyle girls, who are 25-1 on the season," stated Coach Ken Pistner of the Lady Crusaders. This game will be at the Altoona High School on Saturday at 3 p.m.
"This was a very important win for us after the tough loss on Tuesday to Union. The win gives us a positive note to enter the PIAA playoffs.
"We played a very solid defensive game and in most cases, like today, defense does win ball games. Offensively, we struggled once again from the field, hitting on only 10 of our 58 shots.
"In the first half, we turned the ball over way too many times, but in the second half we protected the ball much better, even though our shooting didn't improve. I have to give credit to Anna Hawkins and Emily Gregory, who came up with some big points for us in the final period. Anna came off the bench and made four key foul shots to keep us in the lead and Gregory came up with a key field goal. Abbi Petrosky also came up with key foul goals for us when we needed them to hold on to the lead."
Abbi Petrosky led the Lady Crusaders in the scoring department on Saturday with 18 points on four field goals and a 10-for-21 day at the line. She was followed by Emily Gregory with seven points, Anna Hawkins with five points, Karly Carnovale and Ellie Petrosky with four points each, and Kristy Hanes and Lexie Meholic with two points each.
Clarion was led in the scoring department by Bri Nellis with 10 points on three field goals and four foul goals. She was followed by Kelly Peterson and Kyla Miles with five points each, Hannah Wolf with four points, and Dara Durkin and Kate Fillman with three points each. Ashley Hummell, Matti Thornton and Mercy Kroh each had two points to round out the Clarion scoring.
A. Petrosky scored the first point in the game on a foul goal. Clarion's Wolf hit a field goal to put the Lady Cats up 2-1. Another Petrosky foul goal was followed by a field goal by E. Petrosky and Gregory to give the Lady Crusaders a 6-2 lead at the end of a very low-scoring first quarter.
A. Petroski opened the second-period scoring with two field goals followed by a Carnovale field goal, 10-2. A Clarion foul goal was followed by three more Petrosky foul goals, 13-3. Miles turned a three-point place for the Lady Cats, followed by a Hawkins foul goal, 14-6. Just before the half ended, Kroh and Petrosky exchanged field goals to make the halftime score 16-8 in favor of the Lady Crusaders.
Gregory and Hummell exchanged points at the start of the second half, then Petrosky hit a field goal to give Elk a 20-10 lead. Dunkin hit a trey for the Lady Cats, followed by a foul goal and field goal by Fillman to cut the ECCHS lead to four 20-16. In the closing minute of the third period, Meholic and Gregory both hit a foul goal, but the Lady Cats connected on two field goals to cut the lead to two points, 22-20, at the end of three periods.
E. Petrosky scored at the start of the final period to push the lead back to four. Nellis hit a foul goal for the Lady Cats, but Elk responded with an A. Petrosky field goal and foul goal to make it 27-21. Nellis and Hanes exchanged field goals, 29-23. Both teams then hit a foul goal and field goal (Carnovale field goal, Meholic foul goal) to make it 32-26. Nellis and Petrosky exchanged points, then Peterson hit two foul goals to make it 34-30 with 1:26 remaining in the game. Hawkins hit two foul goals for Elk at the 1:12 mark, then Miles scored for the Lady Cats at the one-minute mark, 36-32. Hawkins and Gregory both scored foul goals over the next 30 seconds to give Elk a 40-32 lead. Nellis and Petrosky closed out the scoring with field goals as Elk held on for a 42-34 victory.
Elk County Catholic is now 19-9 on the season and will enter the PIAA Class A playoffs on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., when they take on the District 6-A champion Bishop Guilfoyle girls in a game set for the Altoona High School.
The Lady Crusaders had 17 turnovers in the game, with 14 of them coming in the first half. Clarion had 25 turnovers.
The Lady Cats are now 18-8 on the season and will take on the North Catholic girls (District 7-A champions, 21-7 record) at North Allegheny High School in Wexford on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Elk Catholic 42
Abbi Petrosky 4-0-10-21-18, Maggie Sorg 0-0-0-0-0, Lexie Meholic 0-0-2-4-2, Karly Carnovale 2-0-0-0-4, Emily Gregory 1-0-5-6-7, Ellie Petrosky 2-0-0-0-4, Taylor DaCanal 0-0-0-0-0, Kristy Hanes 1-0-0-0-2, Anna Hawkins 0-0-5-6-5. Totals 10-0-22-37-42.
Clarion High 34
Bri Nellis 3-0-4-6-10, Kelly Peterson 1-0-3-4-5, Kate Fillman 1-0-1-2-3, Kyla Miles 2-0-1-1-5, Ashley Hummell 1-0-0-0-2, Kara Durkin 0-1-0-0-3, Hannah Wolf 1-0-0-2-4, Mercy Kroh 1-0-0-1-2, Matti Thornton 1-0-0-0-2. Totals 11-1-9-16-34.
Score by quarters
ECCHS 6 10 6 20 42
Clarion 2 6 12 14 34