DuBOIS — What started out as a big run eventually skidded out of control for the DuBois Central Catholic High School boys’ basketball team as it fell to Bradford, 62-58, Wednesday.
The Cardinals (1-3) came out of the locker room and quickly gained control of the pace, and the game, leading by as many as 11 points early in the second quarter.
However, the Owls slowly nibbled away and eventually took the lead just before the half before DCC regained the advantage and took a one-point lead at the break.
Things were neck-and-neck through much of the third quarter with both teams holding an advantage before Bradford took the lead for good early in the fourth.
While the Cardinals made several runs in the final eight minutes, it wasn’t enough as Bradford kept them at bay down the stretch to pick up the win.
DCC’s Justin Miknis, a junior, turned in another big game as he accounted for nearly half of the Cardinals’ scoring with 27 points. But he wasn’t the only DCC player to hit double figures as seniors Jon Swalligan and Thomas Grecco each finished with 10 points.
Dan Manion led the way for the Owls as he tossed in 20 while Tyler Gigliotti added 13 and Deondre Terwilliger finished with 11.
With just a four-point margin separating the two teams, either could have easily taken control had they only hit their foul shots.
The two combined to go 22-for-46 (48 percent) with DCC hitting slightly better than 50 percent (11-for-21) while the Owls hit 44 percent (11-for-25).
DCC’s Miknis was the only player to hit on all of his free throws, putting in 5 of 5 while Gigliotti was 5 of 6 for Bradford.
Miknis and Grecco fed the DCC run early as they each hit three shots from the field while Miknis also added two from the line to score 15 of the Cardinals’ 17 first-quarter points.
Unfortunately for DCC, while Miknis kept up the torrid pace scoring seven more times from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers, the rest of the team struggled to keep up as the other eight players to see action managed to hit just eight field goals over the same stretch.
It also didn’t help the Cardinals that Bradford’s Manion scored all 20 of his points after the first quarter.
But, the Bradford big man wasn’t a factor in the first as DCC quickly climbed out to a 10-2 lead.
The Owls eventually closed the gap but DCC pushed it all the way to 11 points, 21-10, less than a minute into the second quarter.
However, that’s when Manion started to make his move, scoring the next eight points for the Owls.
A pair of free throws by Gigliotti with just 13 seconds left in the half gave Bradford its first lead of the game, 32-31, before a bucket by Miknis put DCC up a point at the intermission.
The lead changed hands seven times in the third quarter before a bucket by Manion gave Bradford a two-point advantage to open the fourth.
The Owls opened up their biggest lead of the game, four points, midway through the fourth.
DCC cut that to just one point, 59-58, on a 3-pointer by junior Anthony Kness with just under a minute to play but it was the last time the Cardinals put the ball through the net as Bradford scored the final three points of the contest to take the win.
DCC will now host A-C Valley Monday.