Newcome layup pushes Punxsy past DuBois
DuBOIS — On night when the action on the court was not very pretty, Punxsy proved to have just enough in the tank over the final two minutes.
With less than eight seconds left, the Lady Chucks’ Taylor Newcome found herself all alone under the basket and received the Jensen Constantino pass for what would be the game-winning layup, 32-30, over the Lady Beavers.
The Newcome bucket made for the final points of the game and completed Punxsy’s 5-0 scoring run in the final 127 seconds of the affair.
“It was a back screen for the inbounder. Taylor flashed wide open, and Jensen hit her with a perfect pass. It was execution,” Lady Chucks coach Randy Reitz described.
While the offensive rhythm was missing for most the night, Punxsy pulled its effort together at the end.
Leading 30-27, DuBois (6-14/1-8 District IX League) failed to converted on a one-and-one trip to the charity stripe by Dana LaBrasca and turned the ball over with 54.3 seconds remaining.
With nowhere to pass, Punxsy’s Ashley Reitz fired up a top-of-the-key triple and saw it use the full rim before falling through the net to tie the contest at 30 with 42 seconds remaining.
DuBois misfired on its ensuing offensive possession, and the rebound was claimed by Punxsy’s Constantino with under 27 seconds left.
The Lady Chucks called a timeout with 13 ticks remaining in the game. The inbound pass went into Ashley Reitz, who would eventually find Constantino at the right foul line extended.
Amidst pressure by two Lady Beavers, Constantino spotted Newcome under the basket for the go-ahead score.
DuBois called a timeout but had to wait to inbound the ball as Punxsy answered with its own timeout upon seeing the home alignment.
The timeouts proved to not matter. The Lady Beavers heaved a long pass the length of the court, which was not touched and went out of bounds, and the Lady Chucks took possession with 7.1 seconds on the clock.
The visitors inbounded the ball the first time, and DuBois committed a foul with 2.8 seconds left. Alyssa Reitz took the next inbounds pass and ran out the clock for the 32-30 hard-fought win.
In a rare occurrence, Punxsy hit for more three-pointers than baskets inside the arc. The Lady Chucks dropped in seven triples and needed each one, while only converting on three two-point hoops.
Behind drilling three of the treys, Nicole DiPietro paced the Lady Chucks with 11 points while stealing two passes.
Newcome chipped in seven points. She also swiped four balls and handed out an assist.
Alyssa Reitz dropped in two three-pointers for six points. She added a pair of steals and a pair of assists.
Ashley Reitz hit for four points, handed out two assists and picked off a pass.
Both Constantino and Allie Fye produced two points, respectively. Constantino grabbed two steals and had an assist. Fye had a team-high four steals.
DuBois received over half of its points from LaBrasca, who found the basket eight times for 19 points.
The first half was a battle to find consistency and execution for both clubs.
The Lady Chucks (12-8/6-3 D-IX) missed their first eight shots from the floor and did not record a basket until there were just three seconds left in the period on a Constantino layup from the inside block. DuBois managed only two two-pointers itself, for a 4-3 first-frame total.
The two teams continued to struggle to find any sort of flow in the second eight minutes. The rivals combined for 23 turnovers alone in the period.
LaBrasca netted the lone two Lady Beavers buckets in the second quarter. Newcome hit a triple and late right-corner jumper with an Alyssa Reitz triple mixed in between for an 11-10 Punxsy halftime lead.
“We did not have many opportunities in the first half and couldn’t get any continuity due to turnovers,” noted the Punxsy coach.
The rocky shooting night for Punxsy continued for the first four minutes of the second half. The visiting squad missed its first seven shots, while DuBois scored on three-straight offensive trips to open the largest lead to that point of 17-13.
DiPietro finally put some points on the Lady Chucks' side of the scoreboard, as she drained her first of three treys of the second half with 4:03 left in the third period.
The teams missed the final seven attempts from the floor and committed 11 turnovers to keep the Lady Beavers’ one-point advantage in tact, 17-16.
Punxsy came to life in the final period, where it would equal its output of the opening 24 minutes.
DiPietro put the visitors ahead, 18-17, with a pair of foul shots 1:12 into the period. DuBois answered with the next five points to open a four-point margin, 22-18, over the next two minutes.
The Lady Chucks used the long-range shot to go back in front, 24-22, on back-to-back triples from Alyssa Reitz and DiPietro.
It became DuBois' turn for consecutive baskets with the next six points.
With 2:21 to go, DiPietro struck a third time. She buried another three-pointer to pull Punxsy within one, 28-27, before the final two-minute stretch drive.
“We finally started executing in the second half. In the first half, we had too many unforced turnovers,” commented Reitz. “It was a necessity to hit the three-pointers tonight. When we settled down and moved the ball, we got good shots.”
The opening contest of the night was a low-scoring one as well. Punxsy held on for the 31-26 junior varsity victory.
The JV Lady Chucks made their move with a 10-2 second period and followed it with a 12-9 third quarter.
Center Hope Bridge led all scorers with 14 points, including eight of the team’s 12 tallies in the third quarter.
Ivy Ferko added seven points. Amber Ward chipped in six points.
Rounding out the scoring, Emma White and Claire Smith had two points apiece.
Punxsy will have the weekend off before traveling in a non-league game at A-C Valley on Monday night starting at 6 p.m.