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Three-peat AML crown for Crusaders, 59-44

ST. MARYS, Pa. — After surviving a semifinal scare in Thursday night’s game against Brockway, Elk County Catholic pulled away from Ridgway for its third straight Allegheny Mountain League title Saturday night at St. Marys Area High School.

Dan Stauffer scored 17 points to lead the Crusaders to a 59-44 win over Ridgway in Saturday’s AML Championship game.

The Crusaders’ 59-44 win over the Elkers improved their perfect record to 24-0 going into the seven-team District 9 Class 1A playoffs. As the top seed, they received a bye into the semifinals and will play the winner of Thursday’s No. 5 Port Allegany at No. 4 North Clarion quarterfinal game at a site and time to be announced.

Against Ridgway, the Crusaders trailed 11-10 after the first quarter and went on to outscore the Elkers 28-14 the next two quarters. They led 30-18 by halftime and took a 38-25 lead into the fourth quarter before outscoring Ridgway 21-19 in the final eight minutes.

Three Crusaders reached double figures in scoring, led by Dan Stauffer’s 17 points. Ryan Newton and Nate DaCanal each scored 10 points.

Ridgway (20-4) also had three double-figure scorers with Andy Breier scoring 12 points, and Justin Kasmierski and Neil MacDonald each scoring 11 points.

The Elkers are the No. 2 seed in the new Class 2A bracket and have a bye into the semifinals. They’ll play the winner of Wednesday’s No. 6 Brockway vs. No. 3 Keystone quarterfinal game at a site and time to be announced.

It’s the Crusaders’ sixth AML title since the conference started its playoff format in the 2005-06 season.



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