CLARION, Pa. (EYT/D9) – Falling behind 11-2 in the second quarter didn’t faze Clarion.
The Bobcats rallied to trail by one at halftime before using a strong second half for a 42-36 home victory over Clarion-Limestone Thursday night.
(Above photo by Shelly Atzeni)
“I turned the play-calling over to my assistant coach, and he told the girls not to panic and to just run the plays we were calling, and things would happen,” said Clarion head coach Jess Quinn. “We knew coming in that C-L had a very athletic team, and we wanted to try and minimize their damage.”
Both teams struggled offensively in the opening quarter as C-L led just 5-2 after the opening eight minutes.
The only basket for Clarion came on a short jumper by Payton Simko with just 31 seconds left.
Kendall Dunn scored six straight points to open the second quarter to increase the C-L lead to 11-2. However, Clarion began to get its offense going and outscored the Lions, 11-3, the rest of the quarter to trail 14-13 at halftime.
Dunn scored a game-high 19 points to lead C-L, while also pulling down 13 rebounds. Lexi Coull and Alex Leadbetter each scored five points while Frances Milliron scored four.
The third quarter went back-and-forth with Clarion holding the largest lead of four points at 29-25 before a short jumper by Coull and an offensive put-back by Dunn just before the buzzer tied the game 29-all after three.
“It was a disappointing effort for us tonight,” said C-L head coach Gus Simpson. “You have to tip your hat to Clarion as they came out in the second half and they just wanted it more than us tonight.”
Rebekah Ketner opened the scoring in the fourth for a 31-29 Clarion lead. Leadbetter hit a 3-pointer and scored on a layup off a steal for a 34-31 C-L lead. A 5-0 run by Clarion put the Bobcats ahead, 36-34, before Dunn scored off a missed free throw to tie the game 36-all with 1:30 remaining.
Simko scored to give Clarion the lead for good at 38-36 with 45 seconds left. After a missed 3-pointer by C-L, Best made a pair of free throws, followed by another pair of free throws from Taylor Alston, to help the Bobcats secure the come-from-behind win.
“We put Bekah Ketner on the low blocks tonight and she got us several big rebounds,” said Quinn. “She made a couple put-backs while also adding a huge free throw in that fourth quarter.
“I really think a win like this could springboard us heading into the rest of the season,” Quinn continued. “We beat Moniteau and, although we struggled against Karns City our last game, I was proud of how the girls responded tonight.”
Jordan Best paced three Clarion players in double figures with 15 points. Simko and Alston each added 10 with Alston coming down with 11 rebounds.
“We told the girls at halftime that they had to do a better job on the boards and to limit C-L and especially Dunn from getting second and third chances,” Quinn said. “I thought overall we really picked up the rebounding in that second half and that was a huge key for us.”
REDBANK VALLEY 32, NORTH CLARION 28 – Madison Foringer scored 13 points, despite being in foul trouble, as the Bulldogs ground out a four-point win over the Wolves in a deliberate game.
The two teams spent much of the night feeling each other out. That produced a low-scoring first half with Redbank leading 14-13 at the break.
North Clarion led 26-24 midway through the fourth quarter, but Foringer got a rebound and put-back to tie the the game at 26-26. Foringer was fouled on the play and sank the free throw to give the Bulldogs the lead.
Claire Kriebel, though, responded with a short jumper to put North Clarion back up 28-27. Foringer again corralled a rebound and scored to give Redbank the lead for good at 29-28 with a little more than three minutes remaining.
Freshman guard Mylee Harmon was able to dribble more than a minute off the clock in the waning moments of the fourth and then sank an important free throw with five seconds remaining to clinch the win.
Harmon scored five points.
Gwen Siegel scored 18 points to lead North Clarion.
KARNS CITY 55, A-C VALLEY 15 – Emma Johns scored 11 points as Karns City had nine players score at least three points in this win.
Rossi McMillen and Emma Dailey each added eight points for the Gremlins.
Karns City led 13-8 after the first quarter, but opened up a 30-13 lead at the half. A-C Valley was able to muster just two points in the second half as the Gremlins outscored the Falcons 25-2 over the final 16 minutes.
Mackenzine Parks led A-C Valley with seven points.
UNION 53, CRANBERRY 13 – The Damsels led 41-2 at the half against the shellshocked Berries.
Dominika Logue scored 15 points as 10 Union players scored at least two points.
Kennedy Vogle added eight – all in the first quarter – for the Damsels.
WEST SHAMOKIN 45, MONITEAU 41 – A late rally by the Warriors fell just short.
Trailing 34-22 heading into the fourth quarter, Moniteau made a run, winning the frame 19-11, but couldn’t catch West Shamokin.
Catherine Kelly scored six of her team-leading 12 points in the final eight minutes. She also had five rebounds and four assists.
Abbey Jewart added 10 points, Davina Pry nine and Kendall Sankey eight for the Warriors.
Lily Jordan paced West Shamokin with 15 points.