DuBOIS –While the DuBois Area High School boys’ basketball team had no trouble dialing long distance against Elk County Catholic, it was ultimately their inability to hang on the line long enough that cost them a chance at a win as they fell to the Crusaders 63-55 Wednesday.
DuBois (8-8 overall, 2-4 District 9 League) hit four of their nine 3-pointers during the final eight minutes of play to all but erase the 16-point lead the Crusaders held to open the final frame and eventually cut the margin to just three, 56-53, with just under three minutes to play.
The Beavers could have put even more pressure on ECC moments later but missed on a 3-pointer that would have tied the game.
After that, ECC (16-2, 7-0 D-9) regained control, outscoring DuBois 7-2 the rest of the way to hang on for the win.
While DuBois clearly held a big advantage from beyond the arc, outshooting ECC 9-3, the Beavers stumbled when it came to much shorter shots as they went just 2-for-8 from the line. Meanwhile, the Crusaders didn’t have the same issues as they went 18-for-27.
“We’ve been getting to the line and shooting pretty well from there this year,” Elk County Catholic head coach Aaron Straub said. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well tonight as we have been but I thought that we still did a pretty good job of drawing fouls.”
ECC senior Ryan Newton went 5-for-5, hitting all of them in the second half, helping to push him to a game-high 21 points.
In all, the Crusaders had three players finish in double figures as Leo Gregory followed Newton with 11 and Logan Hoffman finished with nine.
Senior Kenny Garvey and junior Justin Manduley led the Beavers with 17 points each while sophomore Chase Husted also finished in double digits with 11.
While DuBois used the 3-pointer well to close the game, it also did well hitting them to start things.
Alex Beers and Cruz each hit the long ball to help DuBois stay within a point through the middle of the first before ECC started to stretch things and built a seven-point lead, 19-12, after the first.
The lead grew to 13 points, 32-19, at the break and then to 16 to start the fourth.
However, DuBois caught fire from there, outscoring ECC 19-6 to close within three before finally giving way.
Both teams will be in action again Friday as ECC travels to Sheffield and DuBois plays host to St. Marys.