Syd Alexander Reaches 1,000-Point Milestone as Elk County Catholic Beats Redbank Valley in Showdown of Top D9 Teams

Mike Kilroy

Mike Kilroy

Published February 3, 2024 3:59 am
Syd Alexander Reaches 1,000-Point Milestone as Elk County Catholic Beats Redbank Valley in Showdown of Top D9 Teams

IMG_2024-02-02-224938NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Syd Alexander came into the showdown with Redbank Valley needing 13 points to reach 1,000 in her career. 

The Elk County Catholic senior forward wasted little time.

With three minutes remaining in the first half, she hit a jumper to reach the milestone as the Crusaders dominated the Bulldogs on the way to a 71-40 win on Friday night.

(Pictured above, Elk County Catholic senior forward Syd Alexander poses with her teammates after surpassing 1,000 career points in the Crusaders’ win over Redbank Valley on Friday night/photo by Owen Krepps)

“It feels amazing,” Alexander said of reaching 1,000 points in her career. “I said I would settle for getting it in the second half, then I thought, ‘Why settle? Why not go for it right away?’ My team, we’re just good at seeing the floor. And we just have the chemistry. Most of my points were off assists. We’re playing together.”

Alexander finished with a game-high 26 — all scored in the first three quarters — as ECC took any drama out of the game early.

The matchup was billed as a clash between one of the top Class A teams and one of the top Class 2A teams in District 9. ECC came in with just two losses; Redbank with just three.

But not much went right for the Bulldogs and everything seemed to go to plan for the Crusaders.

ECC led 22-9 after the first quarter, but Redbank Valley held its own in the second, heading into the half down 34-21.

Mylee Harmon scored on a driving layup just seconds into the third for Redbank to close the deficit to 11, but the Crusaders rolled off 24 consecutive points to put the game far out of reach.

And put no doubt about the outcome.

“This team a good basketball team we played tonight,” said Elk County Catholic coach Kennedy Pistner. “This isn’t typical of them.”

Redbank Valley struggled to contain ECC’s size. Tori Newton and Emily Mauer were forces in the paint with 21 points and 18 rebounds combined between them.

Offensively, the Bulldogs struggled all night.

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(Redbank Valley’s Mylee Harmon drives around a screen set by Izzy Bond during the Bulldogs’ home loss to Elk County Catholic/photo by Owen Krepps)

Harmon and Addy Bond each scored 13 points to lead Redbank, which was out of sync and out of sorts.

“ECC is a good team. They came out and brought it tonight,” said Redbank Valley coach Chris Edmonds. “We were a little sluggish. That happens. They’re big and strong. We just never got a rhythm on offense never could look to get the ball inside.”

The rousing victory was a welcome sight for ECC, especially after a 32-31 loss to Punxsutawney earlier in the week.

That game stuck in the Crusaders’ craw.

“We came in on a mission,” Pistner said. “We didn’t play very well against Punxsy. We were playing with a chip on our shoulder.”

That was evident from the opening tip.

Lucy Klawuhn hit four 3-pointers for 12 points as ECC displayed its dangerous balance and its ability to wreck team inside and outside.

“We have five very solid basketball players,” Pistner said. “We don’t have a superstar.”

It was Alexander’s time to shine on Friday, though.

She’s the first of potentially three ECC players to reach 1,000 career points this season. Klawhun and Newton are both inching closer.

The main goal for the Crusaders, though, is postseason glory.

There’s been a lot of that this school year for Elk County Catholic. The girls cross country team won the PIAA championship. Then the volleyball team claimed the state crown.

Many of those players are also key members of the basketball team.

It would be unprecedented should the Crusaders win a PIAA title in basketball, too, in the same school year.

“I mean, that’s the ultimate goal,” said Alexander, who wasn’t on the volleyball team. “But we’re just trying to get better every day. We’re trying to play our best basketball every day. If that time comes around, it would be great.”

(Owen Krepps contributed to this report)


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