DuBOIS — The DuBois boys basketball team used a stifling defensive effort and balanced scoring attack to upend visiting St. Marys, 43-26, Wednesday night for its fifth win a row.
The game was in stark contrast to the teams’ first meeting in the finals of the season-opening Keystone Tip-0ff Tournament — a game DuBois rallied to win 65-63 in double-overtime.
There were no late-game heroics needed this time around as DuBois grabbed control of the game with a strong second quarter, outscoring the Dutchmen 14-6, to take a 12-point lead (26-14) into the half. In contrast, St. Marys led 30-25 at the break in the first meeting.
That 12-point advantage proved to be more than enough for the Beavers, who held off an early spurt in the third quarter by the Dutch before ending the game on a 17-4 over the final 11:30 of the game.
DuBois (8-2) limited St. Marys to just one field during that closing stretch — and two points in the fourth quarter — on its way to holding the Dutch (4-6) to their lowest point total of the season. St. Marys also scored 26 in a 48-26 loss at Brookville on Dec. 21.
St. Marys’ defensive effort wasn’t all that bad either, as the Dutch held DuBois to a season low in points as well. The Beavers also scored 43 points on Dec. 18, but that came in a 51-43 loss to Elk County Catholic.
The Beavers’ patient offensive attack was led by Jonathan Cruz and Chase Husted, who tied for a game-high 11 points. Husted added eight rebounds. Alex Beers and Justin Manduley both chipped in eight points for the Beavers.
“We’ve been working very hard on defense and containing the dribble,” said DuBois coach Dave Bennett. “At the Keystone Tournament, they (Dutch) did a great job of penetrating and kicking it out and their shooters made a high percentage of those shots. Tonight, I thought we did a fantastic job defensively.
“We had a little bit of a letdown at the beginning of the third quarter, but I thought that was more turnovers than necessarily our defense. But, we regained control after that.”
DuBois jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on back-to-back baskets by Husted before the teams traded scores. Dutchmen Mitchell Reiter and Luke Lasko each made hoops around Husted’s third to make it 6-4. Lasko had just five points on the night after scoring 21 in the first meeting.
The Beavers then put together a 6-0 spurt to go up 12-4 before St. Marys scored the final four points of the quarter to get back within four at 12-8. Husted scored eight of his 11 points in the opening eight minutes.
The second quarter turned into a 3-point shooting contest, as the teams combined for five treys in the first five minutes of the quarter. Cruz hit two of those, while Manduley added one of his own as the Beavers pushed their lead to 21-14. The teams, who combined for 18 3-pointers in the first game, hit eight Wednesday.
Beers then converted a 3-point play before he teamed up with Franco DeSantis to create a turnover on a jump ball. That led to a basket by Manduley with just over a minute on a clock to give DuBois its 26-14 halftime edge.
St. Marys tried to turn the tables on DuBois to start the second half. Cahil Parrish scored just over a minute, then he and Nick Catalone drained 3-pointers to pull the Dutch within four at 26-22 midway through the quarter.
DuBois owned the game from there, though, as St. marys managed to score just four points over the final 11:30.
Back-to-back hoops by Husted and Beers quickly pushed the DuBois lead back to eight points (30-22). The Beavers eventually led by 11 (35-24) after three quarters.
Parrish scored seven of his 10 points in the third quarter but he never scored again after making two free throws with 1:40 left in the third.
St. Marys scored the opening points of the fourth when Anthony Cortina made a layup on fast break following a steal by Parrish. The basket was St. Marys’ first since Catalone’s trey with 4:03 left in the third.
However, those proved to be the last points of the night for the Dutch as DuBois closed the game on an 8-0 spurt.
Beaver Alex Kovalyak scored inside with 6:45 to play before DuBois went 6 of 8 at the foul line over the final 5:34.
“St. Marys made some nice (defensive) adjustments against us too in the second half,” said Bennett. “We weren’t able to get Chase (Husted) the ball very easily. We wanted to be a little more deliberate with how we executed, but we did get a little disjointed (offensively). Fortunately, we were able to step our defense back up and gain control.”
DuBois is back in action Saturday at Warren, while St. Marys hosts cross-town rival ECC Friday night.