Golden Tide Pays for Too Many Fouls Against Wolves
CURWENSVILLE — Kane’s 16-2 run in the final 4:44 of the second quarter and 9-0 start to the third period doomed the foul-plagued Curwensville Area High School boys basketball team to a 63-45 defeat on the Patton Hall hardwood Wednesday night.
Four Golden Tide players fouled out of the Allegheny Mountain League cross-over game that was a make-up of a Dec. 21 postponement.
The visiting Wolves stepped to the charity stripe 39 times and converted 24.
They were 15-for-22 in the fourth period, when Jeff Kocjancic’s putback was their lone field goal.
“That’s tough when you give up that many points at the foul line in a quarter,” Curwensville (1-12) coach Shane Pentz said. “But we had that stretch to end the first half and then to start the second half where we just didn’t play very well.”
For nearly 10 minutes, the Golden Tide (1-12) battled the Wolves (6-9) on even terms.
The first of Tanner Elensky’s career-high four three-pointers gave Curwensville its second lead at 10-8 late in the first period, and his next one from way outside put the Golden Tide back in front 13-11 a minute into the second quarter.
After Kocjancic drove the base line to bank in a shot from a tough angle, Harrison Bloom buried a trey to give the Golden Tide a 16-13 advantage that stood for almost two minutes before the Wolves initiated their big run.
With No. 2 pointmaker and long-range threat Brett Gardner seated on the bench after being whistled for his third personal foul, the Golden Tide went cold from the field and presented the Wolves with extra possessions via five giveaways among seven turnovers.
“Gardner getting into foul trouble really hurt us there, because that’s one of our big offensive threats we don’t have out on the floor” Pentz said.
Back-to-back threes by Kevin Cleer from the left side and Andrew Pierson on a bank shot from outside fueled the Kane charge.
The Wolves reeled off the last nine points of the second quarter and matched that mini-run coming out of the lockerroom after intermission to sport a 38-18 bulge three minutes into the third period.
“They were the aggressors; they were getting every rebound,” Pentz noted. “They were, basically, shooting til they were scoring.
“All of a sudden, we decided to play and actually cut a 23-point lead (44-21) to nine, but we just had dug ourselves too big of a hole.”
Elensky sandwiched a driving lay-up with a pair of three-pointers in the final 1:40 of the third quarter and picked up three assists with some nifty passing in the fourth quarter as the Golden Tide double-teamed the ball all over the court and closed to within nine, 54-45, with 2:55 remaining.
Gardner hit two treys and a lay-up on an Elensky feed during that run, but Curwensville was unable to score again while Kane kept adding to its lead with nine free throws.
“The kids fought back and played hard,” Pentz said. “We’re competitive, but we’re just not there yet.”
Elensky and Gardner exited in the final minute to join Kyle Johns and Alex Olson, who had fouled out earlier in the period.
Elensky topped the Golden Tide with 18 points, and Gardner added 12.
“Tanner got beat up pretty good, but he stayed strong with the ball,” Pentz said. “He was able to find teammates and get us some easy baskets. And he had some offense of his own.”
All five Kane starters scored in double figures, Kocjancic leading the way with 16 points. Cleer chimed in with 15, Sean Rollick and A.J. Stefani tallied 11 apiece and Pierson added 10.
The Wolves, led by Kocjancic (11) and the 6-6 Stefani (8), pounded the boards all night for a 37-24 advantage in rebounds.
Trey Rauckhorst snared 10 for the Golden Tide.
Curwensville’s junior varsity lost a 34-33 heart-breaker on a Kane putback with three seconds remaining. Jonathan Miller and Rauckhorst scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Golden Tide.
Brockway will visit Patton Hall Friday for an AML-South Division game.
KANE — 63
Sean Rollick 2 7-10 11, Andrew Pierson 3 3-5 10, Kevin Cleer 5 2-4 15, Jeff Kocjancic 6 3-10 16, A.J. Stefani 1 9-10 11, Dan Park 0 0-0 0, Jack Kocjancic 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 24-39 63.
CURWENSVILLE — 45
Brett Gardner 4 2-2 12, Kyle Johns 0 4-6 4, Tanner Elensky 6 2-4 18, Alex Olson 1 0-0 2, Austin Jacobson 1 0-2 2, Trey Rauckhorst 2 0-0 4, Marcus Stephenson 0 0-0 0, Harrison Bloom 1 0-3 3, Jason Thorp 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15 8-17 45.
Three-Point Field Goals – Kane 5 (Pierson, Cleer 3, Jeff Kocjancic); Curwensville 7 (Gardner 2, Elensky 4, Bloom).
Score by Quarters
Kane 9 20 17 17 - 63
Curwensville 10 8 15 12 - 45