RIDGWAY — Their two matchups this season weren’t decided until the fourth quarter.

And in one of District 9’s fiercest rivalries, it was a safe bet that Thursday’s Allegheny Mountain League semifinal game between Ridgway and Johnsonburg would head down a similar course.

The Rams, however, had other ideas.

Using an 18-8 surge in the second quarter, Johnsonburg pulled away for an eventual 51-32 victory over the Elkers to advance to Saturday’s championship game.

The Rams’ Austin Green knocked down two of his game-high four 3-pointers in that second quarter, and teammates Cam Stelene and Garrett Gregori chipped in four points each.

Johnsonburg (16-7), which scored a combined 67 points in its first two meetings with Ridgway, had 30 at the half.

The Elkers (16-7), meanwhile, hit just six field goals in the second half as their comeback bid fell short.

Matt Dush, Zack Zameroski and Dan Park each tied for team-high honors with eight points.

“I thought we played good defense,” Johnsonburg head coach Bill Shuey said. “Most of the time on offense, we got some good looks. Some of those didn’t fall and Ridgway put pressure on us. They made some shots and got it to 10 but we came back with a run of our own. We didn’t panic, we kept our cool and we did what we had to do.”

AT RIDGWAY

Johnsonburg (51)

Austin Green 5 0-0 14, Watts 2 5-6 9, Stelene 1 5-6 7, Christoff 3 2-2 9, Ga. Gregori 4 0-0 8, Gi. Gregori 1 2-2 4. Totals: 16 14-16 51

Ridgway (32)

Matt Dush 3 0-1 8, Zack Zameroski 3 1-2 8, Dan Park 3 2-3 8, Allegretto 1 0-1 2, Miller 1 0-0 2, Bon 2 0-0 4. Totals: 13 3-7 32

Jburg 12 30 37 51

Ridgway 6 14 24 32

Three-point goals: Jburg 5 (Green 4, Christoff), Ridgway 3 (Dush 2, Zameroski); Total fouls: Jburg 13 , Ridgway 14; fouled out: none.

Elk County Catholic 57, Brockway 20

ST. MARYS — Elk Catholic used a suffocating defense to clobber Brockway in the AML semifinals.

The Crusaders (22-1) held Brockway (6-17) to just four first-half points to take a commanding 29-4 lead into the intermission.

Mark Kraus led ECC with 13 points, while Isaac Wortman scored 10. In all, 11 Crusaders scored on the night.

Jon Wood led Brockway with five points.

ECC will face Johnsonburg in the AML Championship Saturday night at St. Marys Area High School. The Crusaders swept the regular-season series by scores of 64-53 and 50-32.

Tip-off is set for 8 o’clock.

AT ST. MARYS

Brockway (20)

Jon Wood 2 0-0 5, Freemer 2 0-0 4, Copelli 1 1-2 3, Painter 1 0-0 2, Bennett 1 0-0 2, Delnet 0 2-2 2, Marchiori 1 0-0 2. Totals: 8 3-4 20

Elk Catholic (57)

Mark Kraus 5 0-0 13, Isaac Wortman 5 0-0 10, Wolfe 1 0-0 3, Lindemuth 1 0-2 2, DePrator 2 0-0 4, Jansen 1 0-0 2, Uberti 2 1-3 5, McAllister 3 0-0 6, Gregory 3 0-0 6, Incorminias 2 0-0 4, Breindel 0 2-2 2. Totals: 25 3-7 57

Brockway 2 4 9 20

ECC 11 29 38 57

Three-point goals: Brockway 1 (Wood), ECC 4 (Kraus 3, Wolfe); Total fouls: Brockway 9, ECC 7; fouled out: none

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