CLARION, Pa. – Austin Fahlor’s 3-pointer at the horn lifted Karns City to its second consecutive District 9 Class 3A title with a 34-31 win over Brookville Friday night at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.
(Photos by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)
After Brookville, which had a foul to give, gave that foul with 0.4 seconds left, Fahlor wasn’t even supposed to get the ball for Gremlins. The play was designed for 6-foot-3 freshman Nathan Waltman. But the Raiders took Waltman away, and Jacob Friel found Fahlor open in the corner for the game-winning shot.
Relisten to the game.
“The design was to give Waltman the shot,” Fahlor said. “I didn’t even think I was getting the ball. I just put it up, and it fell through. I was just so happy. It brought tears to my eyes. I am just happy I could get a win for my team.”
Listen to more of what Fahlor, who had 11 points and six rebounds and was named the Hager Paving Player of the Game, had to say.
Brookville head coach Dalton Park credited Fahlor with making the shot.
“He made a great shot,” Park, who originally thought Karns City didn’t have time to catch and shoot (the rule book says with anything over 0.3 seconds left a player can catch and shoot the ball), said. “He should be happy for a long time. Even if there are two seconds left on the clock, that is a heck of a shot.”
Karns City (17-7), who also beat Brookville in last year’s championship game, led 31-25, with just under six minutes to play following a basket by Nolan Riley, who tied for game-high honors with Brookville’s Trenton Gilhousen with 12 points.
But the Raiders (14-10) went on a 6-0 spurt that saw sophomore Aaron Park, the team’s leading scorer at 13.0 points per game, score his first four points of the game at the end of the run.
Park made it a 31-29 game with a basket with 2:01 to play following a Bryan Dworek steal. Dworek then came up with another steal, and Park backed down Riley, who was playing with four fouls, to tie the game at 31 with 1:01 to play.
Karns City then held the ball for the last shot taking timeouts at the 56.4-second mark and the 18.3-second mark.
Brookville, which had two fouls to give, then gave one with 3.6 seconds left before calling timeout. The Raiders then gave the second foul with 0.4 on the clock and called time again, which gave Karns City, which was out of timeouts, a chance to draw up a play
“We planned to pound the ball inside,” Karns City head coach Chris Bellis said. “They changed defenses and went into a 2-3 zone where they guarded the paint. Austin made a nice read and moved to the open area. Jacob Friel read the defense well and got Austin the ball in a good position to score.”
Listen to more of what Bellis had to say about the win.
The game was fairly slow paced throughout with neither team shooting the ball well in the first half.
Brookville, which outscored Karns City 12-6 in the second quarter to take a 15-14 halftime lead, missed its first eight shots, shot 1 of 12 in the first quarter and 6 of 25 in the half.
Karns City, which led 8-3 after a quarter, was 3 of 10 in the quarter and 6 of 20 in the half.
But the Gremlins heated up some in the third quarter hitting their first five shots and 5 of 6 in the frame, to take a 27-23 lead after three against a Brookville team that was 12 of 38 from the field on the night.
“I wanted us to run a little more,” Dalton Park said. “I thought we could have run a little more. We just couldn’t seem to push it down the floor.
“They played a physical game. We saw on tape it was going to be a physical game. It was allowed to be physical. We needed to adjust to it. Early on, we did not. But the second half we did. We missed a lot of easy layups, bunnies because we weren’t used to the physicality they gave us. So credit to them. Great defense kept them in the game, and our defense kept us in the game. It was a good game all the way around.”
Karns City moves into the PIAA playoffs where the Gremlins will face the third-place team out of District 10, Mercyhurst Prep.
KARNS CITY 34, BROOKVILLE 31
Score by Quarters
Brookville 3 12 8 8 – 31
Karns City 8 6 113 7 – 34
BROOKVILLE – 31
Nick Keth 0 0-0 0, Bryan Dworek 3 1-2 7, Brady Caylor 0 0-0 0, Trenton Gilhousen 5 0-0 12, Aaron Park 2 0-1 4, Jack Krug 3 0-0 6, AJ Lachnicht 0 2-6 2, Logan Byerly 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 3-8 31.
KARNS CITY – 34
Austin Fahlor 5 0-0 11, Chase Beighley 0 0-0 0, Logan Pistorius 1 0-0 2, Nolan Riley 6 0-0 12, Jacob Friel 1 0-0 2, Ethan McElroy 0 0-0 0, Nathan Waltman 3 1-4 7. Totals 16 1-4 34.
Three-pointer: Brookville 2 (Trenton Gilhousen 2). Karns City 1 (Fahlor).
Rebounds: Brookville 7 offensive, 12 defensive, 19 total (Park 4, Lachnicht 4). Karns City 7 offensive, 21 defensive, 28 total (Friel 7, Fahlor 6, Waltman 5).