CLARION — DuBois held off an 11-2 run by Carrick in the late portions of the fourth quarter as it secured a 55-45 victory in the District 8-9-10 semifinals at Clarion High School Wednesday.
The Beavers used a bucket from Justin Manduley to tie their largest lead of the night at 47-34 with 2:41 remaining in the game.
After being held without a score on the other end, Carrick was forced to beginning fouling DuBois.
Alex Beers was able to convert the front end of a one-and-one to give DuBois a 14-point advantage, its largest of the night, but could not get the second to fall.
The Beavers were able to track down the loose ball off the missed free throw, as Nick Farrell drew a foul, but was unable to convert the front end at the line.
Skylar Ginnetti then hit a deep three-pointer for the Raiders on the other end, as DuBois turned it over on the ensuing inbounds pass which led to another three-pointer by Carrick’s Amaru Caldwell to cut the deficit to 48-40 with 1:21 to go.
Jonathan Cruz drew a foul on the way up the court, as the senior saw the front end of his one-and-one roll out as well.
Vernon Washington scored on a put-back off a missed three as Carrick had quickly cut DuBois’ lead to six with 1:01 left to play.
Beers then drew the next foul, which put the Beavers into the double bonus, as the senior was able to convert both free throws.
Caldwell then hit his second trey of the quarter to bring the Raiders within five with 42.3 remaining.
After Beers went just 1 of 2 at the foul line, Carrick had an opportunity to make it a one-possession game, but its three-point attempt was off the mark as Beers came down with the rebound.
Beers was able to knock down both free throws, as Chase Husted also went 2 of 2 at the line in the closing seconds to secure the 10-point victory for the Beavers.
DuBois will now face Meadville in the District 8-9-10 championship game at Farrell High School Saturday at a time to be announced.
“Its that time of year that everybody you play is going to be good,” DuBois head coach Dave Bennett said. “Thats when the games are the most fun when they are games like this.
“Meadville is a great team and its going to be a really fun test and we are looking forward to it.”
The Beavers got off to a hot start to open the game, as Husted dominated inside the paint in the early going.
Husted scored DuBois’ first eight points on the night around a three-pointer by Carrick’s Giannetti to put the Beavers in front 8-3 3:05 into the game.
“We established Chase (Husted) early and I thought we did a good job getting the ball inside,” Bennett said.
The junior’s play on the inside then opened up the outside game for DuBois, as Cruz drained three-pointers on back-to-back possession to help the Beavers push their lead to 14-3 with 3:44 left in the opening quarter.
“When they tried to take away Chase (Husted), that freed a lot up on the perimeter and we were able to hit some threes with the space we had,” Bennett said.
After Washington hit Carrick’s second and only bucket of the opening quarter, a free throw by Husted and reverse layup from Beers gave DuBois a 18-5 advantage after the first.
After a dominant opening quarter, the Beavers struggled offensively in the second quarter as Carrick went from a primarily man-to-man defense to a zone look.
The Raiders opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run, aided by three-pointers from Aronde Camp, Caldwell and Giannetti.
DuBois’ only score came from Husted at the 6:32 mark, as Giannetti’s trey cut the deficit to four at 20-16 with a minute remaining in the first half.
Husted finished off the scoring in the opening half with a basket on the inside off a dish from Cruz, as Husted finished the half with 13 points to help DuBois take a 22-16 lead into the break.
“In the second quarter when they went to that zone, I thought we got some good shots and they just weren’t going in,” Bennett said. “We knew they (Carrick) would battle back, they play really hard and thats a well coached team.”
The coach noted that after struggling offensively in the second quarter, he felt his team became much more patient and executed well on offense in the second half.
The Beavers used a hot performance from behind the arc to add to their lead in the third, as they hit four treys in the frame to take a 39-28 lead into the fourth.
Cruz hit the first in the early going, as Manduley followed with a three of his own and Farrell had the third to stretch DuBois’ lead back out to double figures at 33-22 with 3:29 left in the quarter.
Farrell’s three-pointer came after Cruz drew a charge to wipe out a scoring opportunity for Carrick’s Washington on the other end.
Along with scoring nine points on three treys, Cruz also drew three key charges for DuBois on the night.
“Coming in we thought we would need to take some charges, Carrick is athletic and they attack the basket well,” Bennett said. “Their point guard Giannetti is a great player and we had to focus on stepping in and taking charges and those are huge momentum plays so I think that helped us a lot.”
Husted finished with a game-high 19 points along with 12 rebounds to record a double-double, while Beers finished with 16 and Manduely added eight.
Late in the third, Caldwell drained a three to help the Raiders get back within eight, but Manduley was able to hit a contested, fade-away three pointer just before the buzzer to send DuBois into the fourth up 11.
Caldwell finished with a team-high 12 points for Carrick on four three-pointers, while Giannetti also finished in double figures with 10 points.
The two sides traded scores early in the fourth, before baskets from Husted and Manduley followed by a free throw from Beers gave the Beavers a 48-34 lead with 1:52 remaining.
That is when Carrick battled back to get within five inside of the final minute, but was unable to complete the rally as DuBois finished off the game at the free throw line to advance to the title game.