EMPORIUM — The ninth-seeded DuBois Central Catholic girls basketball team built a 10-point lead at halftime in their District 9 Class A first round game on Tuesday evening against No. 8 Cameron County.
However, the Lady Cardinals saw that lead dwindle to just three late in the fourth quarter. But in the end, that big lead at the half proved to be enough as the Lady Cardinals held off the Lady Raiders, 48-42.
Central Catholic got two big free throws each from Haley Pettenati, and Abbey Pettenati in the final minutes before Shayleigh Gulvas put the game away with a layup in transition with 25 seconds left.
“They got it to three at one point, and it just seemed like one of those games where they were using a lot of energy to get back in it,” said DCC coach Jordan Hoover. “I was thinking, ‘When are we going to make our counter-run?’ It just came a lot later than I would have liked to for comfort.
“I thought Cameron played a nice game. I thought we had certain athletic advantages that they minimized really well. It’s a well-coached team. I thought they played a good game. I thought we played a solid game.”
Despite falling behind 12-9 after the first quarter, the Lady Cards responded with a 16-3 second quarter to go up 25-15 at the break.
Central scored the first nine points of the quarter in four minutes, capped by an Ashley Wruble layup off a Cameron County turnover. The Lady Raiders’ Alyvia McKimm hit a three-pointer to stop the run, which was Cameron County’s only points of the quarter.
Up 22-15, Jordan Kosko had a layup and drew a foul before sinking the free throw with 5.6 seconds left in the half to give DCC the 10-point advantage.
The offense kept coming for Central in the third as they started with an 8-3 run, thanks to a pair of treys from Haley Pettenati. The second gave her team a 33-17 lead with 4:32 to play in the third.
Cameron County cut the DCC lead to 37-27 by the end of the third quarter.
Cameron County’s Kamme Guisto hit a pair of three-pointers in the last period, with the second cutting the Lady Cards’ lead to three at 42-39 with 2:25 to play.
Central finished the game with a 6-3 run to hold off the Lady Raiders.
Gulvas and Haley Pettenati each had 12 points to lead DCC, while Wruble put in 10 points.
Guisto had 14 to pace Cameron County, which ended the season at 10-13.
DCC (10-14) will now play top-seeded and unbeaten North Clarion in the Class A quarterfinals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Clarion High School.
“I’ve been foreseeing this matchup for a while,” said Hoover. “They’re really good overall and a lot of it comes down to how (Tori) Obenrader plays. I feel like if we can contain her somewhat, and she’s still going to get hers, you just kind of have to limit her and hope the others don’t show up as much as they have in the past.”