DuBOIS – After a solid 32-18 win over St. Stephens Friday night, the eighth-grade Punxsy girls' basketball team edged Marion Center, 25-23, before falling to host DuBois Central, 25-12, in the championship game of the 27th Annual Father Gregory Leopold Tournament.
"It was nice for the kids to play in the finals of the DCC Tournament," said Punxsy coach Mike Carlson. "We wish we could have played a better first half. The girls took second and should be happy with how they played most of the weekend."
With the 2-1 weekend, the Lady Chucks even out their record at 7-7.
In the title tilt, Alli Lunger hit three field goals and added a free throw for seven points. Morgan VanLeer added four points and Kimberlee Shoemaker a free throw.
DCC won the championship with a first quarter shutout, 10-0. The Lady Cardinals extended the margin to a commanding 18-4 difference at the half.
Punxsy played much better in the second half as it won the third frame, 4-3, before the teams both put in two baskets, 4-4, in the fourth for the 25-12 DCC win.
Lunger paced the Lady Chucks with a season-high 16-point effort against St. Stephens. VanLeer chipped in four buckets for eight points. Devon Dubensky added three buckets and six points with Kaitlyn Ray having the other two tallies.
The Lady Chucks won three of the four quarters. In the first six minutes, Punxsy outscored St. Stephens, 6-1, before doubling its opponent 14-7 in the second for a 20-8 halftime lead.
St. Stephens came back with a strong 8-2 third frame to pull to within 22-16. The Lady Chucks gathered themselves and finished the game with a solid 10-2 quarter for the 32-18 win.
"The girls played well as they came out and got a lead in the first quarter that they held the entire game," said Carlson. "Our offense executed pretty well at times. The girls made several unselfish passes."
On Saturday morning, Punxsy put together a decisive second half to get past Marion Center, 25-23, in the semi-finals.
Dubensky finished with team honors of 10 points with five field goals. VanLeer made four baskets and a foul shot for nine points. Lunger added four points and Tessa Winebark hit a bucket for the final two team points.
The Lady Stingers came out strong to win the opening stanza, 8-4, before the Lady Chucks claimed the other three quarters, starting with a 9-8 second for the 16-13 Marion Center halftime advantage.
Punxsy turned up the defense in the second 12 minutes. The Lady Chucks held the Lady Stingers to a single third quarter point, 4-1, before winning a tight final quarter, 8-6, for the 25-23 win.
"What a great second half tonight," pointed out Carlson. "The defense was solid. The girls should be proud of the effort today."
Punxsy returned to action yesterday afternoon at Hollidaysburg before playing today at Curwensville starting at 5:15 p.m.