BROOKVILLE — Turnovers in crucial situations have crept up on the Punxsy girls' basketball team all season, and Thursday's game in Brookville was no different.
The Lady Chucks (3-7, 0-2 District IX League) were ahead by four points at halftime only to give the ball away too many times during a 40-33 loss to Brookville.
"They came out in the third quarter and turned up the heat defensively, and we didn't handle it very well," Punxsy head coach Randy Reitz said. "Their defense created some turnovers for them, they got up eight points, and we just couldn't bring it down."
Punxsy's Parris Kernich scored a career-high 17 points. She was 7-of-8 from the floor and nailed a three-pointer.
Shawnna Crago followed with 10 points and 13 rebounds, recording another double-double.
Aside from Kernich and Crago, who combined to go 12-of-18 from the field, Punxsy was 1-for-16 from the floor.
Leading Brookville (8-2, 3-1) was Kaitlyn Hill, who scored 10 of her 14 points during the second half. Karly Reinsel added seven points, Lanae Newsome had six points, and Emily Ferraro contributed four points and 14 rebounds.
Punxsy led 18-14 at halftime, as an 8-3 second quarter dipped things in the Lady Chucks' favor. Brookville shot 5-of-25 during the first half.
"We executed, and we didn't turn the ball over" during the first half, Reitz said.
As Punxsy began to turn the ball over more — eight of its 25 turnovers came during the third quarter — the Lady Raiders began to hit more shots.
Brookville was 11-of-23 shooting during the second half, as it used a 17-4 third quarter to completely change the complexion of the game.
"We didn't get near as many opportunities at the offensive end during the second half," Reitz said. "We have to develop a mental toughness attitude that when other teams start pressing us, we have to learn to handle it."
The Lady Raiders concluded the third quarter on a 13-2 run and led by as many as 11 points midway through the fourth quarter before Punxsy was able to trim the deficit to seven during the loss.
Punxsy will continue with its District IX League schedule Wednesday when it hosts Elk County Catholic (5-3, 0-1). Eliminating turnovers will be the main focus during the next week of practice.
"We're going to try to work on it at practice. It has gotten better, but it's not where we needed it to be," Reitz said. "It isn't going to get any easier against Elk County."