CLARION, Pa. – Sarah Chambers old-school 3-point play with 3.4 seconds left lifted Coudersport to a stunning 42-40 win over previously unbeaten North Clarion in the District 9 Class 1A title game Saturday afternoon at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.
(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)
The Lady Falcons (21-4) trailed by one, 40-39, when North Clarion’s Abby Gatesman missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 9.7 seconds left.
Relisten to the game:
After a Coudersport timeout with 8.0 to play, the Lady Falcons Lauren Stimaker delivered a pass to Chambers along the far sideline. Gatesman tried to jump the pass but missed, and Chambers had a clear lane to the basket where she scored and was fouled and hit the free throw.
“Originally, the play wasn’t supposed to go to me,” Chambers said. “But Lauren got it to me, and I locked my eyes on the basket. I knew she was going to try to foul me, so I got there as fast as I could and got a shot up.”
North Clarion (24-1) called timeout with 1.9 seconds left just across halfcourt, but Gabby Schmader’s inbounds pass into the key was intercepted by Chambers sealing the Lady Falcons (21-4) third championship in four years while denying North Clarion a fourth straight title.
“The plan was kind of to run a screen off the foul line and see if we could throw a deep pass maybe to Abby to get a shot or a layup, but it just didn’t come to pass,” North Clarion head coach Terry Dreihaup said.
Coudersport played from ahead nearly the entire game but found itself down four, 38-34, following a Gatesman basket 2:38 to play. That was part of a stretch that saw Gatesman take over the game scoring six of nine points for North Clarion.
“We saw a mismatch,” Dreihaup said. “They had a smaller girl guarding her, and we knew Abby could take her to the rim. She did a great job at that. We just needed one more bucket.”
Chambers hit two free throws with 2:10 to play to make it 38-36, and then the teams traded turnovers before Stimaker tied up Gatesman with the arrow in favor of Coudersport.
Rosalyn Page was then fouled and hit the first free throw to make it 38-37 with 1:36 to play before missing the second one. But Chambers grabbed the rebound and had the putback to give Coudersport the lead, 39-38, with 1:30 left.
“(When we were down), coach got us over here and said I don’t want to see one hanging head,” Chambers said.
Gatesman, who had a strong second half with 13 points, then gave the She-Wolves the lead back with a basket with 45.1 seconds to play.
A blocked shot by Gatesman with around 13 or 14 seconds to play seemed to give North Clarion the defensive stop it needed, but after a couple of fouls, Coudersport fouled Gatesman with 9.7 to play. The senior missed the shot setting up the winning play for the Lady Falcons.
Coudersport led 19-16 at halftime and built the lead to seven, 30-23, with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter on two Elizabeth Frame free throws.
But North Clarion ended the quarter on a 6-0 spurt to pull within a point, 30-29, going to the fourth quarter.
The She-Wolves then looked poised to have one of their patented comebacks when they started the fourth quarter on a 7-2 run to go ahead 36-32 on a Gabby Schmader old-fashion 3-point play with 3:03 to play.
But Coudersport used free-throw shooting to stay in the game going 8 of 9 from the line in the final 3:54 of the game with their only fourth-quarter field goals being the Chambers’ offensive put and her shot at the end of the game.
“It’s huge,” Chambers said of hitting free throws. “We focus a lot on free throws in practice. Not just one person, but everyone. We are a very dangerous team on that aspect of the court.”
Watch Chambers’ full postgame interview.
Both teams move into the PIAA playoffs. Coudersport will play the sixth-place team out of the WPIAL, Avella, while North Clarion will play the fourth-place team out of the WPIAL, Sewickley Academy.
Coudersport postseason information is brought to you by: Team Minard • Potter County Family Campground • Close’s Lumber Company • Kaytee’s Family Restaurant in Coudersport • Rhonda Ramsey Hair Salon in Emporium • E& G Auto Plus, Inc. in Coudersport
North Clarion postseason information is brought to you by: Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Tin Town Metal Works • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • Tuck’D Inn Farm • Snyder’s Autobody • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant
D9Sports.com’s District 9/PIAA basketball playoff coverage Powered by Lezzer Lumber is brought to you by:
Lezzer Lumber • Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Team Minard • Fran Morelli Sales & Service • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Potter County Family Campground • Close’s Lumber Company • Tin Town Metal Works • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • 120 Pub and Grub in Clearfield • Campbell Bus Lines • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant
COUDERSPORT 42, NORTH CLARION 40
Score by Quarters
Coudersport 7 12 11 12 – 42
North Clarion 6 10 13 11 – 40
COUDERSPORT – 42
Mikayla Gunn 4 4-4 15, Lauren Stimaker 2 0-0 4, Elizabeth Frame 0 2-2 2, Emma Chambers 1 0-0 2, Sarah Chambers 3 3-3 9, Rosalyn Page 4 2-4 10. Totals 14 11-13 42.
NORTH CLARION – 40
Mackenzie Bauer 1 0-0 2, Addison Shaftic 0 0-0 0, Amaya Green 1 0-0 2, Gabby Schmader 1 3-5 5, Gwen Siegel 1 1-2 3, Abby Gatesman 9 1-2 19, Trinity Thompson 3 0-0 6, Haley Sherman 0 3-4 3. Totals 16 8-13 40.
Three-pointers: Coudersport 3 (Gunn 3). North Clairon (none)