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Straub’s Runner With 3 Seconds Left Lifts ECC Past St. Marys Setting up Potential Three-way Tie for D9 League Title

Sami Straub hit the game-winning runner with just over 3 seconds left to give ECC a shot at the D9 League title. File photo by Barb Close
            

ST. MARYS, Pa. – Sami Straub’s runner from the right corner about nine feet from the basket hit the iron, hit the backboard, and rattled home with 3.6 seconds left to give Elk County Catholic a 50-48 win over visiting crosstown rival St. Marys Saturday night.

                  

Watch Straub’s game-winning shot off a pass from Lucy Klawuhn

The game-winning shot came about 10 seconds after Jayssa Snelick had tied the game at 48 on a 3-pointer from the right win.

Watch Snelick’s game-tying shot off a Molly Hansolvan pass.

                                      

Also see: Feb. 10 girls’ recapsFeb. 10 Boys Recaps

Straub’s game-winning shot capped a tremendous final 3:18 for the senior point guard, who wasn’t about to let an opportunity at a possible shared D9 League title go by the wayside.

With her team down five, 43-38, following a Taylor Gornati 3-pointer with 3:25 to play, Straub,m following a timeout, drained a 3-pointer of her own from the top of the key seven seconds later to make it 43-41.

Then, with 2:29 left, Straub gave ECC (19-2 overall, 7-2 D9 League) the lead, 44-43, with another 3-pointer from the identical spot.

                          

But in a game that saw 13 lead changes, St. Marys (18-4, 8-2) wasn’t done yet.

Maura Caskey hit a pair of charity shots to give the Lady Dutch one last lead, 45-44, with 1:43 to go.

Emily Mourer, though, scored from inside to give the Lady Crusaders the lead back for good, 46-45, with 1:34 to play.

The advantage crept to three points when Klawuhn hit a pair of free throws with 21.9 seconds left before Snelick nearly sent the game to overtime with her 3-pointer.

Rewatch the entire game

In the back-and-forth affair, St. Marys held a one-point lead, 21-20, at halftime before ECC outscored the Lady Dutch, 16-11, in the third quarter to take a 36-32 lead into the fourth.

Tori Newton scored all six of her points during the third-quarter spurt for the Lady Crusaders.

St. Marys, though, retook the lead, 38-36, early in the fourth quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Snelick (at 6:21) and Alexa Schneider (at 5:19).

After Mourer tied the game at 38 with 4:45 to play, Caskey missed a pair of free throws before Hansolvan scored and was fouled with 3:25 left giving the Lady Dutch a 40-38 lead. She missed the bonus point, however.

                                   

But after Gornati, only a freshman, hit the 3-pointer to put St. Marys up five, the Lady Dutch looked like they were about to rally for the second time this year against ECC.

Straub led ECC with 15 points with Mourer adding 14 and Syd Alexander 10.

Snelick paced St. Marys with 17 points with Caskey scoring nine and Gornati and Hansolvan eight each.

ECC’s comeback denied St. Marys a chance to clinch its first outright D9 League title since 2011.

The Lady Dutch, whose regular season is over, still could secure an outright title if both ECC (Tuesday on the road) and Punxsutawney (Friday at home) lose to Bradford (4-15, 1-7). ECC beat Bradford, 46-21, on Jan. 24 in St. Marys, and Punxsutawney beat Bradford, 57-32, on Dec. 15 in Bradford.

If either or both beat the Lady Owls, then it is a shared league title, which would be the first since 2010 when ECC and St. Marys shared the crown at 10-2. That was the last time that the league champion had more than one league loss.

If ECC beats Bradford, the Lady Crusaders will have a piece of the league title for the first time since that 2010 season, while a Punxsutawney victory would give the Lady Chucks at least a share of their eighth consecutive league crown dating back to 2016 (there was no league in 2021 because of the COVID-19 bubble of northern District 9 teams). It would also give Punxsutawney at least a share of the league crown in 14 of the last 22 seasons.

                       

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