DuBOIS — After trailing by just three points at the half, DuBois was outscored by Punxsutawney 30-13 in the second half as it was defeated 52-32 at home Thursday.
The Lady Chucks (21-0) led 22-19 at the half before opening the third quarter on a 8-0 run to take their first double-digit lead of the night.
Punxsutawney got the scoring started on a basket by Sarah Weaver at the 6:22 mark of the quarter, as DuBois’ Chelsea DeSalve was fouled on the other end and headed to the line with a chance to cut the deficit back down to three.
Instead, both of the senior’s free throws rolled of the rim and Punxsy regained possession, as Kate Horner scored on the other end to stretch the lead to eight with 5:42 remaining.
Then, back-to-back buckets by Horner and Riley Presloid over the span of 20 seconds stretched the Lady Chucks’ lead to double figures at 30-19 with 4:25 left in the third.
“They’re a good team and you can’t let them get separation from you,” DuBois head coach Keith Kriner said. “I would say the reason we lost that game is because we didn’t rebound, they were getting three or four chances on the offensive end.”
Punxsutawney finished with a 43-29 advantage on the boards, with a handful of those rebounds coming on the offensive end.
The Lady Beavers (10-10) were finally able to get on the board in the third quarter when DeSalve scored on the inside with 3:23 remaining.
DuBois closed out the quarter with a 5-2 run, as Olivia Johnson scored all five points for the Lady Beavers to cut into the deficit slightly at 36-28 heading into the final quarter of play.
Ryley Casaday and Presloid each scored early in the fourth to push the Lady Chucks’ lead back out to 12 at 40-28, as Johnson responded with a bucket for DuBois to bring the deficit back down to 10 with 6:28 remaining in the game.
Punxsutawney then went on a 12-0 run over the next 3:43 to take a 52-30 lead and put the game away.
Five different players contributed in the scoring run for the Lady Chucks, as on the other end DuBois was unable to get anything going offensively.
The Lady Beavers converted their second and final bucket of the fourth quarter with 1:00 left to play when Sarah Henninger scored inside while drawing a foul, but was unable to finish off the three-point play.
Henninger’s bucket ended a 5:28 scoreless drought for DuBois, as it was outscored 16-4 in the fourth quarter on its way to the 20-point defeat.
A key to the Lady Chucks’ offensive success in the second half was their ability to drive into the paint and dish it off to an open teammate for easy looks inside.
“They would force us to come out when we were in the zone and that opened up some driving lanes for them,” Kriner said.
The opening quarter was much more tightly contested, as DeSalve scored 30 seconds into the game to get the scoring started.
After a free throw from Sophie Wyant, Weaver hit a shot at the 5:30 mark of the quarter to put Punxsy in front 3-2.
DeSalve went 1 of 2 at the line on the next trip down the court to tie the game at 3, then Horner hit a three-pointer to put the Lady Chucks back in front.
DeSalve responded right away with a three of her own on the next possession to tie the game for a second time at 6-6.
The Lady Chucks then went on a 6-0 run on baskets from Weaver, Presloid and Horner to take a 12-6 lead.
DuBois closed out the quarter on a 5-0 run in the final 1:20 on a pair of free throws by Maddie Smith and a three-point play from DeSalve, who finished with nine points in the opening quarter as Punxsy led 12-11 after eight minutes.
Smith got the scoring started in the second quarter with a basket on the inside to put the Lady Beavers in front 13-12 with 6:15 left in the first half.
Punxsutawney then went on a 10-0 run, aided by three-pointers from Horner and Presloid to take a 22-13 lead with 3:54 remaining in the second quarter.
Horner led the balanced Lady Chucks’ attack with 14 points, while Weaver also finished in double figures with 11.
DuBois then responded with a 6-0 run over 1:20 on a three-point play from DeSalve, a bucket by Saige Weible and another free throw from DeSalve to cut the deficit to three at 22-19.
DeSalve finished the night with a game-high 15 points, while Johnson added nine points for DuBois.
Both teams were held scoreless over the final 2:06 of the first half, as the Lady Chucks took the three-point lead into the half.
Kriner noted that if his team had rebounded better in the opening half, they could have very well had the lead at halftime.
That is when Punxsy went on an 8-0 run to open the third quarter to take control of the game on the way to keeping its undefeated season alive.
“We made some mistakes and we are going to try to learn from it,” Kriner said. “I think we showed a lot, we are improving and we still have a long way to go.”
“We have two more games then going to the playoffs and we’ve gotta keep going forward. We told the girls that we can’t hang our heads over this loss and look at finishing the season strong.”
DuBois is back in action Thursday as it hosts Elk County Catholic.