Mistakes lead to Punxsy's 41-24 defeat

PUNXSUTAWNEY โ€” The Punxsy girls' basketball team had more turnovers than points during a 41-24 loss to Elk County Catholic Monday night in the second game between the two teams in four days.

Punxsy (4-13, 1-6 District IX League) committed 30 turnovers, which led to the Lady Chucks scoring an average of six points per quarter. The Lady Crusaders (15-4, 5-2) turned all the miscues into points on Punxsy's end, as they handed the Lady Chucks their second loss in four days after beating Punxsy Friday in St. Marys by a similar score, 38-24.

In seven of Punxsy's 13 losses, it failed to reach 30 points. The Lady Chucks' defense โ€” which created 18 turnovers โ€” kept the team in the game, but mistakes on offense limited Punxsy's chances of converting on ECC's miscues.

"Their pressure really bothered us on the offensive end. We have trouble against teams that apply good defensive ball pressure, and we don't execute very well and turn it over," Punxsy head coach Randy Reitz said. "We just have to learn to handle that type of pressure against good teams."

When Punxsy held onto the ball, it had a number of opportunities to score, but couldn't finish around the basket.

Seven of Punxsy's nine players scored. The Lady Chucks were led by Shawnna Crago, who had seven points and four rebounds, but missed a number of lay-ups.

"The kids were hurrying them a little bit, and when you hurry them, that makes it that much tougher to make them," Reitz said.

Parris Kernich added five points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks, and Jenna Reitz had four points, three steals and three assists.

Leading all scorers was the Lady Crusaders' Karly Carnovale with 17 points. She improved upon last Friday's 12-point effort.

Punxsy's biggest lead was 5-3, but ECC finished the first quarter on an 11-2 run and was ahead 14-7 going into the second.

The Lady Crusaders improved their advantage with a 9-6 second quarter and 12-6 third before leading 35-19 entering the fourth.

Punxsy will have an chance at forgetting about the loss quickly, as it hosts St. Marys tonight for Senior Night. St. Marys (16-1, 6-1) beat Punxsy 57-48 Jan. 17 behind a 46-point effort by Kayla Hoohuli.

"We have only 24 hours," Reitz said. "Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes, forget this one and move on."