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Second Quarter Surge Helps Send ECC Past St. Marys in AML Girls Championship Game

ST. MARYS – Elk County Catholic took control with a 21-4 run in the second quarter on its way to a 43-34 win over St. Marys in the AML championship game.

Rewatch the game:

In the rubber game between the two teams, the Crusaders overcame a slow start after they trailed 9-5 after the first quarter.

Syd Alexander hit a pair of 3’s in the run and Mya Pistner knocked down two as well in the final minute of the first half to extend the lead to 26-13.


“The last few times we played them, it felt like no one really went on a run the whole game,” Alexander said. “It felt good to finally go on a run and just get things going on offense.”

See Alexander’s full interview:

The Crusaders (22-2) went ahead on a Lucy Klawhn 3-pointer, 10-9 with 7:15 to go in the second quarter. They never trailed again.

“I thought the first quarter we had a few turnovers that were uncharacteristic,” said Elk County Catholic coach Ken Pistner. “I thought we got up and down the court and that paid dividents in the second quarter. We talk all the time about balance. That’s what we’re about. When we’re balanced, we’re hard to beat.


To Pistner’s point, the Crusader attack was very balanced, as Alexander led the way with 11 points, while Klawuhn had eight, Tori Newton seven and Emily Mourer and Pistner six each.

The lead stayed double digits until the fourth quarter despite a pair of 3’s, one traditional and one from behind the arc from St. Marys’ (19-5) Jayssa Snelick.

Taylor Goranti hit the second of back-to-back 3-pointers to get St. Marys within eight, 37-29 with 6:37 to play.

ECC responded, however, with consecutive buckets from Newton and Sami Straub to put the game away. Straub scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter.

“They’re a high-scoring team,” Pistner said. “So in theory, holding them in the 30s we thought was going to be the number we needed.”

Snelick led St. Marys with 17 points, while Maura Caskey had nine and Molly Hanslovan and Gornati eight each.

“We knew Jayssa was going to get her points, she’s such a good player,” Pistner said. “Our thought was let Jayssa not get crazy on us and clamp down on everybody else, which we did.”

ECC, the top seed in the D9 Class 1A playoff field, with play Thursday against the winner of Austin and Otto-Eldred.

St. Marys, the No. 2 seed in Class 4A, will take on Clearfield in the semifinals on Thursday, with the winner to face top seed Punxsutawney in the finals on March 2.

“We’re so excited,” Alexander said. “We’ve got three things that we wanted so far and on to the next. We’re always looking for the next thing.”


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