ST. MARYS — The road is always tough no matter how many more wins you have than your foe before the night begins.
In what turned out to be an even game for the first 24 minutes, Punxsy could not come up with the winning mix in the end at St. Marys.
The Flying Dutch stunned the Chucks, 59-55, in the final moments of the District IX League matchup.
“St. Marys hit some big shots at the end,” explained Punxsy head coach Dirk Neal. “We didn’t get anyone to hit a late shot and committed some unforced turnovers. We just had nobody step up in the fourth quarter.”
The Chucks held a slim, 42-41 lead when third quarter play came to an end.
The visitors continued to hold a one-point advantage, 55-54, in the final minute of play.
St. Marys jumped in front when it drained a three-pointer to go ahead, 57-55.
Punxsy could not answer and committed what would be a costly turnover on its next possession.
The Chucks were forced to foul at that point. The Dutch converted both ends of a two-shot trip to the charity stripe for the final points and a 59-55 victory.
The win put only the third victory into St. Marys' season record of 3-15 with the Dutch being 2-7 in the D-IX League.
The loss extends Punxsy’s losing streak to three games. The Chucks are now 12-6 on the year and 4-4 in D-IX action.
Brandon Mancuso paced the Chucks with 19 points, including three treys. He also pulled in six rebounds.
Tyler Young and Devin Nicholson each scored nine points. Young hit a pair of triples, and Nicholson grabbed five boards.
Coming off the bench, Michael Klingensmith contributed seven points.
Garrett Zimmerman had six points on three field goals and pulled down nine caroms.
Cory Geer had seven rebounds of his own to go with a foul shot.
Both Ryan Sloniger and Will Curtis chipped in a basket apiece.
St. Marys received 12 points by Brett Lanzel to lead it in the win.
The Chucks edged out a 10-8 first period lead and continued to be ahead, 26-25, at the half.
Both squads put 16 third-quarter points on the scoreboard to set up the final eight minutes.
Punxsy saw its junior varsity club take away an 11-point, 51-40, win over St. Marys to start the evening.
The Dutch started with a 9-8 first period before the Chucks claimed the final three quarters.
Punxsy held a 19-16 halftime lead before outscoring its host, 32-24, in the second half.
Sloniger paced the JV Chucks with 15 points.
Freshman John Matthews chipped in 13 points.
Curtis hit for nine points while Clayton Dale had eight.
Rounding out the scoring, Ruben Taylor and Brandon Blose had four and two points, respectively.
Punxsy returns to its own gymnasium for a Friday night tilt with DuBois with a 6 p.m.