PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – Shooting 55.8 percent from the field, District 9 champion Punxsutawney rolled past visiting Everett, the District 5 champion, 72-38, in the opening round PIAA Class 3A girls’ playoffs Tuesday night.
“We were expecting a fight to the end,” Punxsutawney head coach Mike Carlson told D9and10Sports.com via a phone interview after the game. “It was a tight first quarter, and we went on a little run to get some separation at the end of the quarter. We then started the second quarter on a little bit of a run. We never thought the second half would go the way it did. We executed well, and it let us coast.”
The unbeaten Lady Chucks (19-0) led 18-13 at the end of the first quarter before taking a 36-25 halftime lead. They then outscored Everett 21-5 in the third quarter to put the game away.
“We shot the three will and our drives ended up in layups tonight,” Carlson said. “We were doing a nice job getting their bigs to help and them dumping to the blocks to score.”
2021 Basketball Playoff coverage on D9and10Sports.com is provided in part by Olewine Financial Group, Fran Morelli Sales & Service, Morelli’s Family Restaurant, Computer Support, Allegheny Grille of Foxburg, Oil Country Crates, Simpson Excavating (814-379-3346, Mike’s Bilo Foods Reynoldsville, BGM Custom Wear by Brookville Glove, and Laurel Eye Clinic
Punxsutawney made 29 of 52 shots from the field including 8 of 19 (42.1 percent) from 3-point range.
“We were making really good decisions when attacking the hoop,” Carlson said.
Amazingly, the Lady Chucks won despite leading scorer Sarah Weaver being held to just four points.
But with Weaver shooting 2 of 10 from the floor, Riley Presloid hit 50 percent (6 of 12) of her shots on her way to a 20-point game, Katelyn Griebel added 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting, and Kierstin Riley was 5 of 6 from the field scoring 10 points. Also, freshman Danielle Griebel was a perfect 3 of 3 from the floor and scored eight points.
“I turned around in the third quarter and that was the first time I noticed Sarah was not scoring,” Carlson said. “I said that was a great sign that we were doing it without her (scoring). She can save the big one for later in the playoffs. But it has been like that all season. We have seven kids capable of scoring 10 points on any night.”
Carlson said Everett tried to slow Presloid down by doing to a box-and-1 defense on her, but that didn’t last long.
“The other kids knocked down open looks and that got them out of that pretty quick,” Carlson said.
In addition to her 20 points, Presloid added six assist, a blocked shot and a rebound. Her cousin, Chloe Presloid, chipped in with four assists, three rebounds, and two steals to go with five points, while Katelyn Griebel added five steals, four assists, and three rebounds. Riley snagged a team-best seven boards.
Cloe Price scored 16 points for Everet (6-10).
The PIAA win was the first for Punxsutawney since 2017 when the Lady Chucks beat Central Valley, the fifth-place team out of the WPIAL, 46-40, in the first round.
“It’s good to get one with this group,” Carlson, who had watched his team lose its last four PIAA postseason games, said. “For all the success they have had for four years, it’s nice to get a win (in the PIAA playoffs). It is getting to the point where anything can happen.”
Punxsutawney will play in the PIAA quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Friday at WPIAL champion Mohawk.
“I hope (our players) can see that we can carry offense into the state playoffs and just get the offense on the bus and play a tough team. We have to be confident going into their gym.”
PUNXSUTAWNEY 72, EVERETT 38
Score by Quarters
Everett 13 12 5 8 – 38
Punxsutawney 18 18 21 15 – 72
EVERETT – 38
Annie Nave 1 3-4 5, Kylee Harman 0 0-0 0, Cloe Price 6 4-4 16, Olivia Hillegas 3 0-0 7, Brenna Leasure 1 0-0 2, Lainie Treece 2 2-2 6, Lily Mills 1 0-0 2, Kara Valentine 0 0-0 0, Rebekah Mills 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 9-10 38.
PUNXSUTAWNEY – 72
Chloe Presloid 2-4 1-1 5, Emily Dobbins1-2 0-0 3, Madi Shiock 2-4 1-3 5, Katelyn Griebel 7-10 0-0 14, Kierstin Riley 5-6 0-0 10, Danielle Greibel 3-3 0-0 8, Maeve Hanley 0-0 0-0 0, Riley Presloid 6-12 3-6 20, Emily McMahan 0-0 0-0 0, Sarah Weaver 2-10 0-2 4, Amy Poole 1-1 1-1 3. Totals 29-52 6-13 72.
Three-pointers: Everett 1 (Olivia Hillegas). Punxsutawney 8-19 (Riley Presloid 5-9, Danielle Griebel 2-2, Emily Dobbins 1-1, Sarah Weaver 0-4, Katelyn Griebel 0-2, Madi Shio k 0-1).