Junior-high Chucks begin 2011 with a number of wins

ST. MARYS — The Punxsy eighth-grade boys' basketball team couldn't hold onto a 26-24 lead late in the fourth quarter during a 31-26 loss to Elk County Catholic Tuesday afternoon on the road.

Punxsy (5-2) was up 26-24 when the Crusaders converted two times to jump ahead 28-26 with about a minute remaining. After ECC added another free throw to go up 29-26, a Punxsy turnover led to ECC taking a two-possession lead and clinching the victory.

The Chucks, who shot 48 percent from the field, were ahead 11-4 after the first quarter before their lead dwindled to 13-11 by halftime after a two-point second quarter.

ECC jumped ahead 21-20 entering the fourth before a 10-6 final frame in the Crusaders' favor provided them with the triumph.

"We played a good game tonight against a good ECC team," Punxsy coach Glenn Good said. "Even though we scored only two points in the second quarter, we still played well. We had some open shots, but didn’t convert."

Leading Punxsy in scoring was Dakota Thomas, who tallied 11 points. Andrew Fedigan added eight points, Brandon Blose scored four and Adam Ferko totaled three.

Punxsy will now have a week off before hosting St. Marys around 5 p.m. Tuesday. The seventh-grade Chucks host St. Marys at 4 p.m., and the eighth-graders will follow.

"We still have things to improve on, and if we can have efforts like this, we will continue to make strides," Good said.

Ninth-grade boys 44, Brookville 33

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Chucks used an 18-4 second quarter to push past Brookville Jan. 7 in Punxsutawney, 44-33.

After both teams scored six points during the first quarter, Punxsy managed a 32-10 run during the next two quarters to pull away for good. Brookville had 17 points to Punxsy's six in the fourth quarter, but the slight comeback wasn't enough.

Brandon Mancuso scored a team-best 13 points for Punxsy. Kevin Hughes, Tyler Young and Tanner Evans each added six points.

Brookville was led by Jack Huggins, who scored 17 points.

Eighth-grade boys 46, Brookville 24

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Chucks dominated three quarters while dispatching Brookville Jan. 7, 46-24.

Punxsy was ahead 15-4 after the first quarter and 25-10 by halftime. The Raiders trimmed the deficit to 30-19 entering the fourth before a 16-5 final frame in favor of Punxsy led to the 20-plus point victory.

"We did a good job defensively against Brookville," Punxsy coach Glenn Good said. "Our full-court pressure created many turnovers, and we were able to convert. We got back to the intensity level that we need."

Ryan Sloniger managed another double digit scoring effort, totaling 15 points. Andrew Fedigan had eight points, Jared Burkett and Adam Ferko added six, and Dakota Thomas had five.

Leading Brookville was Shawn Blochberger with nine points.

Ninth-grade boys 45, DuBois CC 26

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy ninth-grade boys' basketball team's lead over DuBois Central Catholic grew during each of the first three quarters during a 45-26 win Jan. 5 in Punxsutawney.

Punxsy led 11-5 after the first quarter before outscoring DCC 13-5 and 14-6 during the next two quarters during the huge win that started the 2011 portion of the team's schedule.

"Overall, it was a great game. Everyone contributed to the win," Punxsy coach Brandon Krug said. "Coming off the Christmas break, I was worried we might be a little rusty, but the guys really came out with good intensity on both sides of the court."

Brandon Mancuso and Tyler Young led all Punxsy scorers with 10 points apiece. Kevin Hughes and Clayton Dale followed with five points each.

Eighth-grade boys 36, DuBois CC 31

PUNXSUTAWNEY — A 12-5 fourth quarter helped the eighth-grade Chucks pull away during a tight game throughout and beat DuBois Central Catholic Jan. 5, 36-31.

Punxsy, which led 16-12 after the first frame, was tied at 26 with the Cardinals entering the final quarter. That's when a 10-5 fourth stanza created the needed separation.

"We played a good first quarter and a good fourth quarter. We got some turnovers in the first quarter, but we need to work on converting those into points," Punxsy coach Glenn Good said. "We had some good practices over the holiday break, but we did not play with the intensity that we need to play with."

Ryan Sloniger paced the Chucks with 14 points. He was one of seven players to score.

Adam Ferko added eight points, and both Dakotah Byers and Andrew Fedigan managed four.