Late rally not enough during Punxsy defeat

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The 2010-2011 Punxsy girls' basketball team may lose more times than it wins this season, but the Lady Chucks never give up.

The Lady Chucks (4-11, 1-4 District IX League) trailed 32-16 early in the third quarter before a furious comeback led to 38-38 game.

DuBois (10-4, 3-2) made its free throws down the stretch, and Punxsy couldn't keep up during the Lady Beavers' 50-45 victory.

The Lady Chucks received a dribble penetration game from Jenna Reitz that Punxsy girls' basketball hasn't seen in a while. In addition to hitting three three-pointers, Reitz took it to the basket and scored a number of points in the paint.

Reitz scored a game-high 21 points, and she added four rebounds and three steals.

"Jenna needs to start doing that. That frees other people up," Punxsy head coach Randy Reitz said. "Hopefully, that'll be a learning lesson for her and the rest of her teammates for the rest of the season. She can penetrate and take it herself or kick it to the wide open shooter."

Shawnna Crago followed with 13 points and eight rebounds, Taylor Newcome had six points, Alex Magill tallied four points, three rebounds and three steals, and Parris Kernich nailed a free throw to go along with six rebounds.

Lindsey Obremski scored a team-best 18 points for DuBois. Jeri Watson had 12 points, Samanta Kirk had seven, and Casey Wilcox added six points.

Punxsy's inability to knock down shots — especially some easy lay-ups — led to DuBois controlling the game early on.

The Lady Beavers led 7-0 before Punxsy scored and were up 11-4 entering the second quarter, with Crago making both of Punxsy's first-quarter baskets.

DuBois' advantage grew to 22-7 with 1 1/2-minutes left, when two baskets by Reitz and a lay-up by Newcome cut the deficit to 26-14 by halftime.

Two three-pointers by DuBois sandwiched around a Magill basket, allowing the Lady Beavers to leap ahead 32-16 with 6:57 left in the third quarter. That's when Punxsy's baskets started to fall, especially for Reitz.

Punxsy's senior point guard nailed two three-pointers and scored inside the paint to make it a 34-24 contest. By the time the third quarter ended, Punxsy's 14-4 run that closed the quarter created a 36-30 score.

"The first half, we had some looks, and they just didn't drop," coach Reitz said. "In the second half, the kids didn't lose their confidence, they kept shooting the ball, and it went in."

Punxsy continued to pressure DuBois into turnovers in the fourth quarter, and that led to an 8-0 run that followed a basket by Obremski to start the stanza. By then, Punxsy tied the game at 38.

After a free throw by each team made it a 39-39 game, Punxsy wouldn't come any closer. A basket by Crago with 1:26 left cut the DuBois lead to 46-45, but baskets by Watson with 1:18 left and Obremski with 16 seconds left provided the Lady Beavers with the win.

"That's a pretty good ball team," coach Reitz said. "We battled back and just came up a little bit short."

The Lady Chucks don't play again until next Friday when they visit Elk County Catholic (8-4, 1-2).

Punxsy and ECC will play two-straight games against each other next Friday and Monday, Feb. 7, after their Jan. 12 game was postponed due to weather.

Fundamentals will be Punxsy's main focus during the next week of practice.

"We're still doing some things that are making us come up short — whether it's checking out or not moving without the ball or not talking on defense," coach Reitz said. "We're just going to keep working and working in practice on it."