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Class AAA boys, girls championship game previews

RyleeLundgren01byPB

Rylee Lundgren and the Bradford girls seek their fourth-straight Class AAA title Friday against Punxsutawney.

The more things change, the more they stay the same in Class AAA.

For the second consecutive season, the Clearfield and Punxsutawney boys will battle for the title, while Bradford and Punxsutawney’s girls will be meeting for fourth-straight time.

The Lady Owls are seeking their fourth-straight title, but for the first time in that span come in as underdogs.

The Chucks, meanwhile, seek their second-straight championship.

BOYS

(1) Clearfield (19-3) vs. Punxsutawney (11-11)

Clearfield Stats Punxsutawney Stats

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27

Where: Clarion University’s Tippin Gym

Winner Gets: Obama Academy in Sub-Regional Game at 6 p.m. Monday at Clarion High School

Game Notes: Punxsutawney was a 54-35 winner in last season’s championship game … Clearfield is making its first championship game appearance since 2011 and is seeking its first title since a 49-37 win over St. Marys in 2010 … It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Bison, who went just 6-17 a year ago … Clearfield boasts one of the top scoring offenses in District 9 at 60.9 ppg … Three Bison average in double figures scoring, with Will Myers leading the way at 16.2, Tommy Hazel 14.0 and Erik Sellers 10.6, while Cody Spaid averages 9.6 … The two teams met on Dec. 22, a 57-47 win for the host Bison … Punxsutawney comes into the game winners of four of their last five games … Dylan Huey is the lone Chuck to average in double figures at 11.1 ppg., with John Matthews and Ryan Sloniger averaging 6.8 and 6.6 … This is Punxsutawney’s fourth-straight championship game appearance … The Chucks previously lost in both 2012 and 2013 to Bradford. … Friday’s winner plays Pittsburgh City League (District 8) representative Obama Academy in a sub-regional game Monday at Clarion Area High School at 6 p.m. The winner of that game heads to the state playoffs against the WPIAL third seed March 6 at a District 8 or 9 site. The WPIAL foe will be either Ambridge or New Castle.

GIRLS

(1) Punxsutawney (15-7) vs. (2) Bradford (6-16)

Punxsutawney Stats Bradford Stats

When: Friday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

Where: Clarion University’s Tippin Gym

Winner Gets: WPIAL Third-Place team (Either Chartiers Valley or Elizabeth Forward)

Game Notes: Bradford is making its fifth-straight championship game appearance, although this one has somewhat of a different feel, as the Lady Owls posted three-straight 20-plus win seasons from 2012-2014 … Bradford won last season’s title game, 31-18 in what was the second-lowest scoring Class AAA title game in District 9 history … Nicole DiPietro leads a senior laden Lady Chucks’ squad with 10.3 ppg., while Jensen Constantino and Hope Bridge average 9.1 ppg. each … Punxsutawney comes into the game winners of four of their last five games … The two teams met on Feb. 13, a 36-35 Punxsy win at Bradford in which the Lady Owls had a chance to win at the buzzer … The second meeting this season was far different than the first, a 55-25 Punxsy win on Jan. 16 …. Rylee Lundgren, Bradford’s lone senior, leads the team in scoring at 10.6 ppg., while Bri Wells chips in with 9.9 and Morgan Roggenbaum 6.1. … Unlike the boys’ champion, the winner will advance directly to states since the City League has no Class AAA representative. They’ll meet the WPIAL third seed, either Chartiers Valley or Elizabeth Forward March 7 at a District 9 site. It’ll be Chartiers Valley if Blackhawk beats South Fayette in Saturday’s 3 p.m. finals and Elizabeth Forward if South Fayette wins.



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