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The Elk County Catholic Crusaders notched their first win of the season on Tuesday evening as they held on to defeat the Johnsonburg Area High Rams by a 50-36 score in a game played at the Aaron J. Straub gym on the Elk Cathloic campus.
The game was a lot closer than the final score indicates, as the Johnsonburg Rams were in the game up until the final five minutes, when the Crusaders put it away as they outscored the Rams 15 to 7.
"This was a good win and one that I am happy with," said ECCHS Head Coach Aaron Straub. "We still have a lot of room for improvement, but I feel that this team will continue to improve with each game.
"We will have to clean up our offense, as we aren't taking care of the ball the way we should. We need to cut down on the turnovers and start to get better shot selections. I am not happy with the way we are shooting fouls.
"We started a little slow offensively, but picked it up as the game went along. We played pretty good defense as we kept pressure on the ball. We also need to improve on our offensive rebounding."
Elk Catholic put two players in double figures on Tuesday, with Tyler Herzing leading the way with 11 points, followed by Darren Simons with 10 points. Ricky Pearsall and Ben Daghir checked in with seven points each, followed by Josh Gebauer with six, Eric Wehler with five, and Brandon Pollick and Mitchel Haberberger with two each.
The bulk of the Johnsonburg scoring was done by Louie Imbrogno with 21 of the team's 36 points. Joe Holmberg finished the night with six points, followed by Cole Peterson with four, Quinn Luhr and Luke Shreffler with two each, and Cameron Grumley with one.
Darren Simons put the Crusaders on top 2-0 to start the game, but Johnsonburg scored the next six points, two by Holmberg and four by Imbrogno, to go up 6-2. Pearsall, Gebauer and Wehler then scored field goals for the Crusaders to put them back on top at 8-6. Holmberg hit a field goal just before the period ended to make the score 8-8 after one period.
Simons and Peterson exchanged buckets to start the second period, 10-10, then Elk ran off eight straight points, four by Simons, two by Herzing and two by Haberberger to take an 18-10 lead. Imbrogno hit a field goal and a foul goal down the stretch for Johnsonburg to make the halftime score 18-13.
Ben Daghir and Imbrogno exchanged buckets to start the third quarter, then Pearsall and Imbrogno hit buckets, 22-15, and Herzing and Imbrogno, 24-19. B. Daghir and Luhr exchanged buckets, followed by an exhange by Pearsall and Holmberg, 28-23. Wehler connected on a trey just before the buzzer to give Elk County a 31-23 lead after three quarters.
The Crusaders pushed the lead to 34-23 on foul goals by Pearsall (1) and Herzing (2). Imbrogno cut it back to 34-25, then Herzing made it 35-25. Imbrogno hit a trey and Grumley a field goal to cut the lead to 35-29. From here on, it was all Elk County as the Crusaders outscored the Rams 15-7 down the stretch to win the game by a 50-36 score.
The Crusaders shot 39 percent from the two-point range on Tuesday, but only 16.7 percent from the three-point range. Johnsonburg shot 35.6 percent from the two-point range and 12.5 percent from the three-point range.
The Crusaders turned the ball over 12 times, compared to 17 for the Rams.
Tyler Herzing had nine rebounds and Darren Simons seven to lead the Crusaders, while Troy Padasak, Joe Holmberg and Cole Peterson each had four to lead the Rams.
Crusaders are now 1-1 on the season and will return to action on Friday evening when they play host to the Kane Area High Wolves.
Johnsonburg slipped to 0-2 on the season and will return to action on Friday when they host Sheffield.
Troy Padasak 0-0-0-0-0, Quinn Luhr 0-0-0-0-0, Joe Holmberg 3-0-0-1-6, Mitch Holmberg 0-0-0-0-0, Louie Imbrogno 7-2-1-2-21, Luke Shreffler 1-0-0-0-2, Cameron Grumley 0-0-1-2-1, Mitch Vallone 0-0-0-1-0, Cole Peterson 2-0-0-2-4, Bill Bliss 0-0-0-0-0. Totals 14-2-2-9-36.
Ricky Pearsall 3-0-1-2-7, Tyler Herzing 1-0-9-14-11, Eric Wehler 1-1-0-1-5, Darren Simons 4-0-2-2-10, Ben Daghir 2-1-0-0-7, Ben Crowe 0-0-0-0-0, Brandon Pollick 0-0-2-2-2, Caleb Lecker 0-0-0-0-0, Ben Wortman 0-0-0-0-0, Kevin Kraus 0-0-0-0-0, Michael Jacob 0-0-0-0-0, Mitchel Haberberger 1-0-0-0-2, Luke Daghir 0-0-0-0-0, Josh Gebauer 2-0-2-3-6. Totals 14-2-16-27-50.
Score by Quarters
Johnsonburg 8 5 10 13 36
ECCHS 8 10 13 19 50
J-Burg J.V.s win
The Johnsonburg Junior Varsity squad handed the Elk Catholic J.V.s a 38-33 setback in the preliminary game on Tuesday at Elk Catholic.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening period of play, but the Johnsonburg squad came back in the second period to outscore the Crusaders 18-10 to take a 20-17 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Crusaders outscored the Rams 9-8 to cut the lead to 28-26. The Rams took the final period 10-7 to win the game by a 38-33 score.
Johnsonburg scoring: Cole Peterson 14, Kyle Sheldon 7, Cameron Grumley 7, C. J. Herbstritt 6, Frank Kocjancic 2, Mitchell Vallone 2.
ECCHS scoring: Clayton Housler 8, Hank Cappiello 9, Ben Cortina 5, Alex Herzing 4, Brock McCullough 4, Jack Herzing 2, Devin Constable 2.