Punxsutawney Girls’ Wrap Up Fourth Straight D9 League Crown


PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – Using a balanced offensive effort, Punxsutawney wrapped up its fourth straight D9 League title with a 44-37 win over visiting St. Marys.

(Photo of Punxsutawney’s Sarah Weaver)

Sarah Weaver, Kate Horner and Abby Gigliotti each scored 10 points for the Lady Chucks, who have won 41 straight D9 League contests. Weaver was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line, while Horner scored seven of her points in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer and four free throws.

“It is a big accomplishment for our kids,” Punxsutawney head coach Mike Carlson said. “We kind of went on a drought there in Punxsutawney for a while without a league title. Now, these seniors have four in a row. It’s tough every year, and it’s been tough the last two nights (Punxsutawney beat Brookville on the road Monday night). It’s good to win with a lot of adversity.”

Megan Quesenberry paced St. Marys with 13 points with Kaylee Muccio adding 11.

The Lady Dutch led 19-15 at halftime before being outscored 29-18 in the second half including 16-10 in the third quarter.

Punxsutawney’s last D9 League loss came Jan. 30, 2015, 56-33, at Elk County Catholic. The Lady Chucks won their final three D9 League games of the 2015 season and then went 10-0 in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 D9 League campaigns and are 8-0 in league play and 19-0 overall this season.

“Every year the goal is to win the league but it’s never to go undefeated,” Carlson said. “We know how tough it is. Honestly, it’s a testament to the girls, the work they put in. It’s been a great streak, but it’s not been easy.”

Carlson said coming off of last year’s D9 League and District 9 Class 4A title, he didn’t expect this team to be unbeaten with three games left to play, especially considering they lost 1,000-point scorer and 1,000-point rebounder Leah Miller to graduation.

“Absolutely not,” Carlson said when asked if he thought his team would be 19-0. “Every year we set goals. So, we were like let’s throw a win total out there. It was never anywhere approaching where we are now. We knew we had good, solid players, good kids and good athletes. But to think we would be here now, that’s a testament to them. They play hard.”

Carlson said the combination of a four-year starter at point guard in Horner and a lot of players who won a PIAA title in softball last spring, have helped this team.

“They never seem too rattled,” Carlson said. “I think you have all those kids who played in those big state softball games and a four-year starter running the point. That combination has worked really well for us.”


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