Boys' & girls' BB teams both into Holiday Classic finals

Staff Writer

PUNXSUTAWNEY — In a back-and-forth, high-energy contest between the Punxsy girls' basketball team and their counterparts from Moniteau, foul trouble was a common issue for the Lady Chucks on Thursday night in the semi-final match-up of the Carl A. Truance Holiday Classic at PAHS.

Punxsy guard Riley Presloid was one forced to the bench with a high foul count, but with 92 seconds left in the game and the Lady Chucks trailing by one, 34-33, Presloid and her teammates turned up the defensive pressure coming out of a timeout. Presloid managed to record a steal near midcourt and find teammate Sarah Weaver, who ran a give-and-go with Presloid in transition that resulted in Presloid laying one in for her first two points of the night. They would prove to be the final two of the game, as Punxsy held on for a 35-34 victory to advance to tonight's championship game against Marion Center.

After Presloid’s hoop, Punxsy came up big with another stop, and Weaver was fouled with 25 seconds showing on the game clock. Her free throw missed the mark, and Moniteau found the rebound, but Weaver went to work on the defensive end, denying sharp-shooter Kristin Auvil of a scoring opportunity by keeping the passing lane clogged and the ball out of her hands. Abby Gigliotti came up big with a block out of bounds with less than three seconds to play, and after the ball was inbounded to the corner, Presloid tied it up to prevent a shot, sealing the Lady Chucks’ victory.

Kate Horner poured in 14 points to lead Punxsy’s offensive attack in the game, including a big three-pointer from the wing just inside of five minutes to play to give Punxsy a 33-30 lead, but after the Lady Warriors tallied four foul shots to take the lead, the scoring ceased until Presloid’s go-ahead-for-good hoop.

The boys' varsity basketball team concluding the day's action with a game against the Marion Center Stingers. The game began shakily for the hosts, with Marion Center jumping out to an 11-4 lead just 1:30 into the game on the back of three consecutive three-pointers and a lay-up. But after a strategic timeout from head coach Darrin Kriebel, Punxsy began to play lockdown defense and quickly took the lead. Ultimately, the Chucks went on to win the game 71-49.