DuBOIS — Neither as slow start, nor a poor night at the free throw line, could derail the DuBois girls basketball team Tuesday against St. Marys, as the Lady Beavers used a strong push over the final two minutes to pull out a hard-fought 47-45 victory.
The Lady Dutch (6-4) jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead in the opening minutes, and led by as many as eight points (14-6) in the opening quarter, before DuBois cut that lead to three (16-13) by quarter’s end.
DuBois (7-3, 3-0 District 9 League) quickly erased that deficit with an 11-0 run to open the second quarter to build a 24-16 advantage before taking a five-point lead (26-21) into halftime. The Lady Beavers use that run to lead for most of the second and all of the third quarter.
However, the Lady Dutch responded with a 7-2 run of their own to begin the fourth to regain the lead at 34-32 and again at 37-34 with just over six minutes left to play.
St. Marys extended its lead to as many as four points (42-38) on two free throws by Kaylee Muccio with 2:36 to go, but DuBois ended the game on a 9-3 spurt from there to pull out the victory.
The teams traded the lead four times in the final minute of the game, with DuBois senior Ashley Hallowell leading the Lady Beavers’ charge to victory — both in the closing minutes and throughout the game.
Hallowell scored seven of DuBois’ nine points, including going 3 of 4 at the line, in that closing stretch that saw the Lady Beavers rally for the win. Outside of those late, clutch free throws, the Lady Beavers struggled from the line.
DuBois was just 12 of 30 as a team. Hallowell accounted for more than half those attempts. She finished 8 of 17 at the stripe but was 5 of 8 in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
Despite her struggles at the line, Hallowell dominated the game inside, scoring a game-high 26 points to go along with 15 rebounds. She also blocked five shots, three in the fourth quarter. None were bigger than a huge block from behind on a drive to the basket by Bekka Bauer with the Lady Beavers clinging to a one-point lead (46-45) with 13 seconds left.
Hallowell then got a key offensive rebound on a missed free throw by teammate Chelsea DeSalve and went 1 of 2 at the line with just 3.2 seconds to play to seal the victory. The Lady Dutch turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play as time expired.
“To get out of that game with a win, I think we got away with one,” said DuBois coach Keith Kriner. “We didn’t shoot free throws well, but we made some big ones when it mattered. And, Ashley had the one big basket late where she pulled it (ball) free and made a left-handed layup. That put is up one (44-43).
“She (Hallowell) had a great game. She’s just putting so much pressure on herself right now. But to their (St. Marys’) credit, it seemed they made all their foul shots. They didn’t miss many.
“We gave them three days off after having the game cancelled (Friday), and only had one practice before this game (Monday). I thought that was a good practice, but they just didn’t seem to be here tonight. There are still a lot of things we have to work on, but we were able to pull out a win tonight not playing our best.”
Hallowell scored inside to start the game, but the Lady Dutch promptly went on a 14-4 run to take a 14-6 lead midway through the opening quarter. Muccio, Bauer and Megan Quesenberry each hit 3-pointers during that opening surge.
Muccio scored six of her 10 points in the first quarter. Hallowell had nine first-quarter points to help DuBois pull within three points (16-13) by quarter’s end.
DuBois then swung the game in its favor to start the second quarter, using an 11-0 spurt to turn a three-point decifit into an eight-point lead. DeSalve scored five of her eight points during the run, while teammates Morgan Henry, Caitlin Drahushak and Maddie Smith also made baskets during that stretch.
St. Marys got back within three points, but a late hoop by Hallowell sent DuBois into the break up 26-21.
Both teams struggled to get going offensively after halftime, with the Lady Dutch outscoring DuBois, 9-6, in the third quarter to get within two points at 32-30.
Quesenberry then regained the lead for St. Marys with back-to-back layups in the opening minute of the fourth to make it 34-32. Quesenberry led the Lady Dutch with 14 points.
Hallowell quickly tied the game with a pair of free throws, but a 3-pointer by Sam Vavala on an inbounds play put St. Marys back up 37-34 with 6:03 to play. Baskets by teammates Lauren Eckert and Mucccio helped push the lead back to four twice at 40-36 and 42-38.
However, DuBois had one final run left, with Hallowell leading the Lady Beavers back for the win.
“Games are won by defense, and that’s kind of what happened tonight,” said St. Marys assistant coach Kayla Hoohuli. “DuBois outworked us on the boards and we definitely got outrebounded today. Hallowell played really well for them, although she went 8 of 17 at the strip, she made them when it counted. And, she got some big rebounds for them late too.
“We have some smaller girls, but I don’t want height to discourage us. We want to pressure as much as we can in the half court to make (opponent) turn the ball over so they can’t see their bigs inside.
“I was pleased with the way we played today (even with the loss). I told the girls, it’s coming down to more consistency and then making huge plays at the right time. Obviously, when it is a close game, and they have a big girl inside, we have to get those rebounds.
“I was pleased with the way Quesenberry and Muccio played though. I told them not to be discouraged because they fouled out because they worked hard offensively and defensively.”
DuBois is back in action Thursday at Ridgway, while St. Marys hosts cross-town rival Elk County Catholic Saturday.