DuBOIS — The DuBois Lady Beavers used an all-around team effort to hold off Elk County Catholic, 36-29, Wednesday night to move back over the .500 mark on the season.
Seven of the eight Lady Beavers who hit the floor scored, and DuBois needed that well-balanced scoring as ECC did a nice job collapsing its defense on Ashley Hallowell en route to holding the Lady Beaver senior to just six points and 11 rebounds.
With Hallowell held in check, DuBois guards stepped up around her to make enough plays to pull out the seven-point victory to push its record to 3-2 on the season.
Junior Chelsea DeSalve led that push for the Lady Beavers, scoring a game-high 11 points. DeSalve scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, including a long 3-pointer, in what turned out to be a crucial point of the game.
DeSalve’s five-point spurt turned a six-point game (25-19) into an 11-point contest in the opening minutes of the fourth. The cushion proved key as Hallowell then notched her third and fourth fouls in a 46-second span on offensive end of the floor.
With Hallowell out, ECC cut the lead to four points (32-28) with just over a minute to play. However, DuBois freshman Abby Guiher then scored two huge baskets in the final minute to help seal the victory.
The first of those baskets was one of the biggest of the game. Following a DuBois turnover, Guiher came up with a steal of her own on a trap in front of the Lady Beavers bench.
Guiher promptly drove to the basket and scored as she was fouled. She missed the foul shot, but DuBois led 34-28 with 43 seconds remaining. Guiher iced the game 16 seconds later when she tracked down a long inbounds pass from the ECC end of the court and scored on a layup. Guiher finished with six points.
Elk County’s Josie Smith went 1 of 2 at the line with 14 seconds left, but it was too little, too late as the Lady Beavers pulled out the seven-point win.
“We talked to Ashley and told her teams know who she is now because she had a great year last year, and they are going to be trying to take you out,” said DuBois coach Keith Kriner. “We’ve talked to the other girls and told them they need to hit some shots from the perimeter, and all the guards need to be a threat.
“And, I thought they (guards) stepped it up today. We spread it around a little more, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make everyone a threat and not just rely on one or two players to do everything.
“Chelsea had a nice game and her run there to start the fourth gave us a little cushion. But, we still need to make our foul shots. If we make those, we could have closed it out (easier) at the end.”
The first quarter belonged to DuBois, as the Lady Beavers outscored ECC, 10-2, in the period. DuBois scored the first six points of the game on hoops by DeSalve, Morgan Henry and Caitlin Drahushak.
Elk County finally found the scoreboard when Taylor Newton hit a jumper with 4:41 left in the quarter before DuBois scored the final four points of the quarter. Drahushak collected four of her five points in the opening eight minutes. She also pulled down nine rebounds in the game.
Elk County’s Josie Smith and DeSalve traded baskets in the first minute and half of the second quarter, but both offenses struggled from there before the half.
Smith drained a 3-pointer just past the 5-minute mark to make it 12-7, and the teams combined for just three points the rest of the quarter. Smith had five of her six points in the quarter.
DuBois’ Maddie Smith hit a jumper from the corner with just over three minutes on the clock, while Lady Crusader Sady VanAlstine hit 1 of 2 at the line with 18 ticks left to send the teams into the break with DuBois up 14-8.
Elk County opened the third quarter with a strong push, using a 9-4 spurt to get within a point at 18-17. VanAlstine sparked that surge with seven points, including a 3-pointer to open the second half. VanAlstine scored a team-high eight points.
A jumper in the lane by Newton made it 18-17 with 4:27 left in the third. But, that’s as close as ECC got as DuBois responded with a 7-0 run of its own. Sarah Snyder jump-started that run with a basket, with Hallowell and Guiher also scoring hoops to push the Lady Beaver lead back to eight at 25-17.
Lady Crusader McKayla Wilson banked in a shot in the final minute to make the score 25-19 after three quarters.
DeSalve drilled a long 3-pointer to open the fourth before scoring on a fastbreak, pushing the Lady Beaver lead to 11 (30-19) — a lead the Lady Crusaders couldn’t overcome.
“I thought on the defensive side of the ball we played pretty well,” said ECC coach Ken Pistner. “We wanted to keep Hallowell and DeSalve in check, and i thought we did a pretty good job of that. But, when you shoot as poorly as we did in the first half and only scoring seven points (in half). We shot about 25 percent for the game, and in the first half we were probably in the low teens.
“We had a good effort tonight, and DuBois is a nice team. It’s a game we could have won, but sometimes the ball isn’t going in the hoop and you don’t have look much farther than that. I’m happy with the effort, we just need to shoot a little better.”
Both teams are back in action at home Friday. DuBois hosts Clearfield, while ECC welcomes Brockway.