Crusaders hold off Punxsy Chucks for 47-45 win

Clayton Housler converted a one-and-one situation with 2.8 seconds remaining and Ben Wortman blocked a Punxsutawney shot at the buzzer to give the Elk County Catholic Crusaders a 47-45 District 9 League victory over the Punxsutawney Chucks last night at the ECCHS gym.The Crusaders held a two- to four-point lead throughout most of the fourth quarter. Two foul shots by Daniel Triponey of the Chucks with 54 seconds left tied the game at 45. Elk Catholic ran the clock down to 35 seconds before calling a time out. Elk again called time out with 4.8 seconds left as they became trapped in the corner. Out of the time out, Housler was fouled and sent to the foul line for what would prove to be the winning foul shots.The Chucks had an opportunity on a shot by Brandon Mancuso but Wortman was able to get the block to preserve the victory.“That was a good win. We beat a very good Punxsy team and I thought we battled really hard,” said ECCHS coach Aaron Straub.“I thought our intensity was pretty good tonight. The win comes at a good time for us. Tonight we had a consistent effort from all 15 guys,” said Straub.“I was proud of the effort tonight. I was critical of the effort in Sheffield but tonight we had a good effort,” he added.The Crusaders were led by Clayton Housler with 18 points on seven field goals and a four-for-four night from the foul line. Brock McCullough scored 13 points on five field goals and a three-for-five night from the foul line.Punxsy was led by Alex Fedigan with 12 points on three threes and a three-for-five night from the foul line. Daniel Triponey and Garrett Zimmerman each added nine points.McCullough gave Elk the early 2-0 lead. The Chucks came back with a 7-0 run on a three by Fedigan and twos by Triponey and Zimmerman. McCullough made one of two foul shots and Brandon Schlimm added a two for ECC, 7-5. Triponey scored for Punxsy, with McCullough hitting a field goal and Housler sinking two foul shots to knot the game at 9-all. Fedigan hit a a three and later connected on one of three foul shots, 13-9. Housler scored with 1:40 left, then scored on a putback to knot the game at 13 at the end of the first period.Ian Miller scored for the Chucks to open the second quarter. Alex Herzing connected on a three for the Crusaders to knot the game at 16. Luke Janocha scored for the Chucks. McCullough converted a three-point play and Mitchell Vallone hit a three as ECC went up 22-18. Jesse Venturini and Housler traded buckets. Fedigan connected on two foul shots and later hit a three to give the Chucks the 25-24 lead at the half.Schlimm opened the second half by scoring twice for Elk Catholic, 28-25. Zimmerman converted a three-point play for the Chucks. Housler and Zimmerman traded buckets with Ben Wortman scoring for Elk, 32-30. Triponey sank one of two foul shots. McCullough made it 34-31 before Brandon Mancuso sank two foul shots for the Chucks, 34-33. With 1:06 left in the quarter, McCullough gave Elk the 35-33 lead. Housler scored on a putback to give Elk the 37-33 lead at the end of three quarters.Janocha scored off a steal to start things in the fourth quarter for Punxsy. Wortman sank one of two foul shots at the 6:07 mark and one of two at the six-minute mark. Housler made it 41-35 at the 5:44 mark. Punxsy went on a 4-0 run, 41-39. Housler hit a two and Miller converted two foul shots for the Chucks, 43-41. McCullough made it 45-41 at the 2:34 mark. Janocha cut it to 45-43 with 2:12 left. Triponey sank two foul shots to tie the game at 45 with 54 seconds left. Housler would convert the winning foul shots with 2.8 seconds remaining as Elk Catholic won 47-45.Game notesThe Crusaders are now 10-8 on the season and 4-2 in District 9 League play. Elk finished AML North Division play with a 3-3 record.The Crusaders return to action Tuesday when they play host to the Brookville Raiders in another District 9 League game. Junior varsity starts at 6 p.m., with varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.Last night was Grade School Appreciation Night for Elk Catholic. The Catholic grade school teams and their coaches were recognized at halftime of the junior varsity team.Punxsutawney 45Daniel Triponey 2-0-5-6-9, Luke Janocha 3-0-0-0-6, Garrett Zimmerman 4-0-1-1-9, Brandon Mancuso 0-0-2-2-2, Jesse Venturini 1-0-0-0-2, Ian Miller 0-1-2-2-5, Alex Fedigan 0-3-3-5-12. Totals 10-4-13-16-45.ECCHS 47Clayton Housler 7-0-4-4-18, Mitchell Vallone 0-1-0-0-3, Brandon Schlimm 3-0-0-0-6, Ben Wortman 1-0-2-4-4, Brock McCullough 5-0-3-5-13, Hank Cappiello 0-0-0-0-0, Michael Jacob 0-0-0-0-0, Devin Constable 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 16-2-9-14-47.Score by quartersPunxsy 13 12 8 12 45ECCHS 13 11 13 10 47JVs winThe Elk Catholic junior varsity team knocked the Punxsy squad from the ranks of the undefeated by recording a 48-41 win over the Chucks.Elk took a 10-6 first-quarter lead. They outscored the Chucks 16-11 in the second period for a 26-17 halftime lead.The Crusaders outscored the Chucks 9-7 in the third period. Punxsy outscored Elk 17-13 in the fourth quarter, cutting Elk’s margin of victory to 48-41.ECC scoring: Vincent Jacob 18, Colton Lecker 4, Ivan Wortman 8, Luke Kraus 2, Corey Huff 16.Punxsy scoring: Tyler Young 9, Matt Burkett 2, Michael Klingensmith 4, Devin Nicholas 20, Will Curtis 6.