Penns Valley boys go coast to coast with 50-26 victory over Saint Joseph’s Catholic

·3 min read

Penns Valley was hoping to string together their second consecutive win in as many days.

And the Rams did just that, defeating Saint Joseph’s Catholic 50-26 on Friday night.

Zach Braucht had a game-high 20 points and was followed by Kyle Niewinski with eight points for Penns Valley. Aidan Culver added six points for the Rams.

Braucht was coming off a 36-point performance in his team’s 53-48 victory over Clearfield on Thursday, eclipsing 1,000 career points.

“Last night, we beat a team like Clearfield, and we know that they’re pretty good,” Braucht said. “Tonight, we came into this knowing that we don’t want to play down to anybody and we want to make sure that we hold ourselves accountable to any mistakes that we make. We want to play the best we can.

“That second half — we got a little sloppy, and we just want to play better than that all of the time. We want to play as good as we can so that when we play the high-caliber teams, we can pull off the win like we did last night.”

Penns Valley head coach Rob Irwin echoed the sentiments of his star player.

“I think we had a great team win last night, and I think it just gave us a lot of confidence,” Irwin said. “We just came in here tonight and the first half was just really solid — simple, but solid and we played as a team. That was really awesome to see.”

Braucht had a slow start in the first quarter, but was picked up by Culver’s four points and Niewinski’s six points. Braucht literally jumped out of his early shooting slump with a thunderous dunk and finished the quarter with eight points after shooting back-to-back 3-point field goals. Saint Joseph’s Catholic’s lone points came from Spencer Gigante’s layup in the first quarter and trailed 22-2.

Penns Valley continued its strong shooting with Maclain Welshans getting on the board with two points, Jackson Romig scoring four points, along with Logan Crater’s two and another seven-point quarter from Braucht. Saint Joseph’s Catholic picked up their scoring with Gigante netting a free throw, Peters’ four points, two free throws from Nick Warner and a made free throw from Aedan Hall. The Rams led 37-10 at the half.

Saint Joseph’s Catholic tightened up their defense in the second half, allowing just 13 points. Braucht scored the last of his points with five more in the third quarter. Penns Valley had pushed its lead to 46-15 at the close of the quarter. Peters had four additional points, Charlie Yartz had two, Jayden Capparelle had three and Hall had two more points for Saint Joseph’s Catholic to fall 50-26.

Saint Joseph’s Catholic head coach Richard Ciambotti has seen his team fight all season. Friday was no different, but the full effort just didn’t come until the second half, according to Ciambotti.

“I thought that Penns Valley brought the energy to start the game, and that was something that we asked and challenged our guys to do,” Ciambotti said. “Our response was just not there initially. So, hats off to Penns Valley for bringing all of that and bringing it even in the first quarter, really just taking the life out of us.

“I thought we responded in the second half, but you can’t dig yourself into a 20-25-point hole and expect to pull yourself out against a quality opponent.”

Penns Valley 50, Saint Joseph’s Catholic 26

PV (4-7): Braucht 20, K. Niewinski 8, Culver 6, Romig 4, Crater 4, C. Niewinski 4, Romig 4, Brodzina 2, Welshans 2

SJCA (5-8): Peters 10, Surovec 3, Gigante 3, Capparelle 3, James 3, Yartz 2, Eby 2, Warner 2

First Half: 37-10, Penns Valley

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