PUNXSUTAWNEY — Whenever one team appeared to put a stronghold on Friday night's girls' basketball game, the other squad was ready to make a run.
After a 9-0 run put Punxsy ahead 21-13 during the second quarter, Bradford's 21-2 surge during the next 10 minutes helped the Lady Owls leap ahead 34-23.
What followed was the Lady Chucks' game-ending 25-9 burst during a 48-43 victory.
Not only was the win Punxsy's first in the District IX League this season, but it helped the Lady Chucks improve to 2-1 against District IX Class AAA foes after they beat Clearfield Dec. 20, 2010, and lost to St. Marys Monday.
Clearfield isn't playing in the District IX League this season, but if it enters the postseason, it is expected to be one of four AAA teams in the district.
"You can see the improvement that this team is making, and that's by the hard work they're doing in practice," Punxsy head coach Randy Reitz said. "We have to keep improving and keep working hard."
Shawnna Crago led all scorers with 16 points. She added 10 rebounds for another double-double and also tallied two blocks, two steals and two assists. Parris Kernich wasn't far behind, scoring 14 points for her third double digit effort in four games.
"It's a nice balance to have. Hopefully, we can continue that as the season goes on here," Reitz said about Crago and Kernich. "Parris has been playing much better for us as a big."
Jenna Reitz hit three three-pointers for nine points and also totaled four rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Also scoring for Punxsy (4-9, 1-3 District IX League) were Taylor Newcome (four points), Alex Magill (three) and Johnna Depp (two).
Freshman Ali Rinfrette led Bradford (8-6, 1-3) with 11 points. All of her points came during the first half.
Emily Marshall added 10 points, Alex Vinelli had nine, and Kaserra Owens managed seven.
Punxsy trailed 13-12 when three baskets by Crago and a three by Magill made it a 21-13 contest with 5:34 left in the second quarter.
What followed was the Lady Owls' 21-2 run during the next 10 minutes, but a three by Reitz and a two by Crago helped Punxsy come within five points at 35-30 entering the fourth.
During Bradford's 21-2 surge from the second to third quarter, coach Reitz believes his team lost its confidence and focus.
"In the game of basketball, you have to focus for 32 minutes," he said. "The more experience they get, the more confidence (they get), and the better we're going to play for 32 minutes."
Everything changed in the fourth quarter, as Punxsy scored 18 points to Bradford's eight during the final eight minutes.
"We got a little more intensity back at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, we played very good defense," coach Reitz said. "We were able to make a run and then hold them down."
Punxsy returns to the court to host Ligonier Valley Tuesday night. What follows is another home game Friday against DuBois.