Crusaders defeat Curwensville Golden Tide

ST. MARYS – The Elk County Catholic Crusaders improved their record to 7-5 on the season with a 51-36 non-league victory over the Curwensville Golden Tide last night at the ECCHS gym.After trailing 18-17 at the half, Elk Catholic went on to outscore the Golden Tide by a 34-18 margin in the second 16 minutes of play.“Tonight was a team effort and a good win,” said ECCHS coach Aaron Straub. “We were able to get away with a poor first half.”“We were a little flat today and I’m not quite sure why. We didn’t play with a whole lot of emotion and we didn’t do a good job on Tanner Elensky,” said Straub. “It was not one of our better games and our team defense was nonexistent tonight.”“We’re looking forward to Friday night in Brookville. I think we’ll go down there and play real well,” he added.The Crusader offense was led by Michael Jacob with 12 points on six field goals. Clayton Housler added 10 points on two twos and a six-for-six night from the foul line.Curwensville was led by Tanner Elensky with 11 points on four two-point field goals and a three. Kyle Johns was next with eight.The Crusaders took a 6-0 lead on two buckets by Jacob and two foul shots by Housler. Two foul shots by the Tide’s Kyle Johns and a three by Brett Gardner made the score 6-5. A foul shot by Kevin Kraus gave Elk the 7-5 lead. Curwensville went on a 9-0 run as Elensky had five points, Alex Olson a field goal and Gardner two foul shots, 14-7. Alex Herzing scored for Elk with seven seconds left to make the score 14-9 at the end of the first period.Brock McCullough scored on a putback to open the second half for ECC. Elensky made the score 16-11. Housler and Jacob scored to cut the Tide lead to 16-15. Johns converted two foul shots before Brandon Schlimm scored on a putback with 4:26 left in the first half. Neither team scored the remainder of the half as Curwensville led 18-17 at halftime.The Crusaders scored the first eight points of the second half to open a 25-18 lead with 5:07 left in the third period. Housler had a field goal and sank two foul shots, while Jacob and McCullough each had a bucket in the run. Johns and Ben Wortman traded buckets, as did Austin Jacobsen and Hank Cappiello. Alex Olson scored for the Tide before Elk went on a 6-0 run as McCullough scored a two, Schlimm a foul shot and Ben Cortina a three. Cortina added a two with 10 seconds left to give Elk the 37-26 lead with eight minutes remaining.Jacobson scored for Curwensville to cut the ECC lead to 37-28. Schlimm converted a three-point play and Jacob added a two, 42-28. Jacobson scored again for the Tide, 42-30. Housler sank two foul shots with 4:35 left in the game, giving Elk the 44-30 lead. Jacob and Elensky traded buckets. Alex Herzing hit a three for Elk and Elensky scored off a steal, 49-36. Shea Meyer scored on a putback with 1:25 left, making the final score 51-36 in favor of the Crusaders.Elk Catholic is now 7-5 overall. They are 2-1 in the AML North and 5-2 overall in the AML. In District 9 League play, Elk is 2-1.The Crusaders return to action Friday when they travel to Brookville to take on the Raiders in a District 9 League game. Junior varsity starts at 6 p.m., with varsity set for 7:30 p.m.The Elk Catholic junior varsity squad defeated Curwensville by a 64-20 score in the preliminary contest.ECC took an 11-6 first-period lead, then outscored the Tide 19-8 in the second quarter for a 30-14 halftime lead.Elk outscored Curwensville 18-6 in the third period and 16-0 in the fourth quarter to win the game 64-20.ECC scoring: Vincent Jacob 18, Elliot Struble 5, Colton Lecker 7, Ivan Wortman 5, Luke Kraus 8, Ben Reuscher 2, Andy Gebauer 3, Nick Werner 2, Corey Huff 14.Curwensville scoring: Brett Gardner 4, Alex Olson 2, Austin Jacobson 2, Trevon Pennington, Sean Harker 2, Nick London 2.