Punxsutawney’s Defense Smothering Again in Win Over Moniteau to Punch Ticket to Another D9 Final

DuBOIS, Pa. (EYT/D9) — When Chloe Presloid wasn’t clogging up passing lanes, she was gobbling up rebounds under the glass.

Oh, and she was scoring, too.

(Above, Punxsutawney’s Chloe Presloid/file photo)

Presloid, a junior guard on the Punxsutawney girls basketball team, was a big part of another dominant performance by the Chucks.

She scored nine points to go with eight rebounds and five steals in the first half alone as Punxsy smothered another opponent — this one Moniteau in the District 9 Class 3A semifinals at DuBois High School Monday night in a 53-24 win.

The game was supposed to be played Friday but was postponed because of inclement weather Thursday night. The only thing the extra time did, Presloid said, was get the Chucks even more riled up for the contest and another trip to the D9 title game.

“We really emphasize getting into passing lanes and getting opponents to turn the ball over to get extra possessions,” Presloid said. “We focus on crashing the boards and not letting teams get second chances.

“It felt good,” Presloid added. “We had a lot of energy from the week and we were all super excited to play after preparing so long for this game.”

Moniteau mustered just 10 points in the first half as Punxsy built a 30-10 lead at the break. The Chucks closed the second quarter on a 10-0 run to go into the locker room with loads of momentum.

Getting off to a fast start was paramount to Punxsutawney coach Mike Carlson.

“That was one of our big goals,” Carlson said. “We were able to expand that lead by halftime. We knew Moniteau was going to play better in the second half and it was just about continuing to execute.”

Presloid finished with 14 points and Danielle Griebel added 12 for Punxsutawney, which had balanced scoring.

Avery Powell pitched in eight points and Samantha Griebel seven points off the bench. The Chucks also got six points from Maeve Hanley.

But it’s been defense that has stole the show for the Chucks during this season, especially down the stretch.

Punxsutawney (16-6) has given up 25 or fewer points in its last six wins, including Monday’s victory over Moniteau.

Davina Pry was one of the lone bright spots for the Warriors. The sophomore led the team with nine points.

“We couldn’t make a bucket,” lamented Moniteau coach Dee Arblaster. “Nothing. We made poor decisions.”

Moniteau (11-11) again started four sophomores around senior Victoria Pry.

“I hope this is a learning experience for them,” Arblaster said. “We have to be better. We have to be stronger. We have to be better. If they want to compete, they have to play like Punxsy.”

The Chucks will be gunning for their eighth consecutive District 9 title and fourth in a row in Class 3A when they take on Redbank Valley in the title game.

Presloid is already counting the hours until that game tips off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Tippin Gymnasium, according to Carlson.

“It is really exciting,” Presloid said. “It’s going to be a good battle. It just feels good to go back to the championship game again. We love playing in it.”

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