AML Boys’ Semifinals Roundup.
(Cover photo of ECC’s Gabe Kraus. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)
ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 60, BROCKWAY 52
ST. MARYS, Pa. – Gabe Kraus scored eight of his game-high 18 points in overtime, and Elk County Catholic survived a bad fourth quarter to hold off an upset bid from a physical Brockway club, 60-52 in overtime, to advance to the AML Championship Game for the fifth straight season.
The Crusaders looked in control of the game going to the fourth quarter leading 39-32 but were outscored in the quarter 14-7 thanks to eight points from Jake Wineberg, who hit a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter.
Brockway tied the game at 46 with just over two minutes to play, and ECC held for a last shot before Dan Stauffer was fouled with about 15 seconds left. Stauffer, however, missed the front end of a one-and-one with Brockway getting the rebound. The Rovers were unable to connect late, and the game headed to overtime.
Stauffer then hit a 3-pointer and Nate DaCanal also scored a basket in the extra session with the Crusaders going 9 of 10 from the free-throw line as well to pull out their second overtime win of the year.
DaCanal chipped in 15 points for ECC, which is searching for its third straight AML Title Game victory and its sixth since the title game started in 2006. Ryan Newton also scored 15 points.
Wineberg and Jarrett Esposito each scored 13 points to pace Brockway, which was seeking its first-ever title-game appearance.
ECC will play Ridgway for the third straight season in the championship game having beaten the Elkers 47-46 in 2015 and 43-41 last year. The game is for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Marys High School.
RIDGWAY 59, KANE 41
RIDGWAY, Pa. – Big second and fourth quarters helped Ridgway advance to the AML Title Game for the third straight season with a 59-41 win over visiting Kane.
The Elkers led by two, 9-7, after one quarter before outscoring the Wolves 18-9 in the second quarter to take a 27-17 halftime lead.
Kane fought back in the third quarter cutting the deficit in half to 37-32, but a 22-10 fourth-quarter advantage helped Ridgway pull away.
Neil MacDonald, who hadn’t scored more than 18 points in any game this season, exploded for a career-best 27 points to lead Ridgway, which is looking for its first AML Crown since 2012. Daunte Allegretto and Kyle Jordan each added 10 points.
Davis Gardner paced Kane with 14 points with Andrew Bucheit adding 12.
Ridgway takes on ECC for the third straight year in the title game having lost heartbreakers in each of the last two years including 47-46 in 2015 and 43-41 last year. Ridgway is 0-3 all-time vs. ECC in AML Championship Games also losing to the Crusaders in 2011. The title game is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Marys High School.