ST. MARYS, Pa. – Both Elk County Catholic teams, the Johnsonburg boys and the Kane girls advanced to the AML Championship games being played Saturday at St. Marys High School.
(Photo of ECC’s Taylor Newton. Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)
In girls’ action, ECC beat Ridgway, 43-32, and defending champion Kane topped DuBois Central Catholic, 37-31, to advance to the title game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
In boys; play, ECC rolled past Brockway, 57-20, and Johnsonburg knocked off defending champion Ridgway, 51-32, to advance to the title game at 8 p.m. Saturday.
GIRLS: ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 43, RIDGWAY 32
ST. MARYS, Pa. – The third time was the charm for the Elk County Catholic girls, as the Lady Crusaders got 16 points and 12 rebounds from Taylor Newton to knock off visiting Ridgway, 43-32, for the first time in three tries this year.
After losing to the Lady Elkers by scores of 32-30 and 36-31 during the regular season, ECC (14-9) jumped out to a 14-5 lead after the first quarter thanks to seven points from Newton, who recorded her sixth straight double-double and her 19th double-double of the season.
Ridgway (16-6), though, fought back and cut the deficit to just a single point, 20-19, by halftime thanks to seven points from Christina Fullem, who finished the night with a team-high 17 for the Lady Elkers.
But Newton scored four more points in the third quarter, and Brooke Bauer hit a big 3-pointer in the third to help the Lady Crusaders increase the lead to six, 31-25, going to the fourth quarter.
Then, Bauer hit another 3-pointer and scored five more points in the final eight minutes to keep ECC out in front.
Bauer added 11 in the victory for the Lady Crusaders with Tami Geci scoring nine.
Gabbi Rohr and Julie Peterson each chipped in six points for Ridgway.
GIRLS: KANE 37, DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC 31
DUBOIS, Pa. – Using an 8-1 run at the end of the first half, visiting Kane, the defending AML champion, built a 14-point halftime lead then held off a second-half surge by DuBois Central Catholic to pick up a 37-31 victory.
Thanks to the late first-half run, the Lady Wolves (14-9) led 29-15 at halftime before scoring just eight second-half points.
DCC (10-13) was only able to close within 12, 33-21, by the end of the third quarter before outscoring Kane 10-4 in the fourth quarter.
Sarri Swanson and Madi Koza each scored eight points to lead the Lady Wolves in the win with Rainee Wright adding seven tallies, all before halftime.
Shay Gulvas had a game-high nine points for DCC with Martina Swalligan and Jordy Kosko each scoring seven points.
BOYS: ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 57, BROCKWAY 20
ST. MARYS, Pa. – Allowing just four first-half points, Elk County Catholic rolled past visiting Brockway, 57-20.
The Crusaders (22-1), still playing without leading scorer Regis Wortman, led 29-4 at halftime and 38-9 after the third quarter.
Mark Kraus led ECC with 13 points with Isaac Wortman adding 10. Mason McAllister and Leo Gregory each chipped in six tallies.
Jon Wood scored five points to pace Brockway (6-17).
JOHNSONBURG 51, RIDGWAY 32
RIDGWAY, Pa. – Visiting Johnsonburg used a strong second quarter to beat defending champion Ridgway, 51-32.
Austin Green hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 14 points for Johnsonburg (16-7) with Eric Christoff and Gabe Watts each scoring nine points and Garrett Gregori eight.
Matt Dush, Zack Zameroski and Dan Park each scored eight points for Ridgway.