Feb. 21 District 9 boys’ and girls’ playoff recaps.
(Photo: Johnsonburg’s Austin Green streaks up the floor after a steal during play Thursday night. Green had 14 points in the Rams win over Cameron County in the D9 1A boys’ quarterfinals. Photo by Jennifer Quiggle)
ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 61, AUSTIN 38
ST. MARYS, Pa. – After a slow start, top-seeded Elk County Catholic outscored eighth-seeded Austin by eight in the second quarter to build a 13-point halftime lead on its way to a 61-38 win over the Panthers in the District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals at St. Marys High School.
The Crusaders (24-1) led 15-10 after eight minutes but got down to business on defense limiting Austin (12-11) to six second-quarter points while taking a 29-16 halftime.
“It’s a good win,” ECC head coach Aaron Straub, whose team not only advanced to the D9 semifinals but also secured a PIAA playoff berth with the victory, said. “This is the time of the year that the goal is to win and advance. I am proud of our team for the great regular season, but now we need to focus on the district tournament. It was a good start tonight against a talented and hardworking Austin team.”
ECC put three players in double digits led by 15 points from Regis Wortman, who scored 12 of his tallies after halftime. Alec Wehler added 13 points and Carter Lindemuth 11.
Jackson Glover paced Austin with 12 points with Dempsey Glover adding 11 and Mason Valenti nine.
“Austin was quick, and they are a very good shooting team,” Straub said. “I am looking forward to cleaning some things up with our zone offensive attack and looking forward to our games next week.”
ECC will play fifth-seeded Johnsonburg, a 42-37 winner over fourth-seeded Cameron County, in the semifinals at a time, date and location to be announced although it’s even odds the game is back at St. Marys High School. It will be the third meeting of the year between the Elk County rivals with ECC winning the first two by scores of 68-42 and 36-34.
NORTH CLARION 66, DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC 49
BROOKVILLE, Pa. – Having not played for 13 days, it took second-seeded North Clarion about a quarter to shake off some rust, but when the Wolves did they rolled to a 66-49 win over seventh-seeded DuBois Central Catholic in the District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals at Brookville High School.
Relisten to the game:
“The big thing is we hadn’t played a game in 13 days,” North Clarion head coach Andy Bish said. “We shook off some rust in the first quarter and extended the lead. That was big going into the half. It was important for our confidence and energy.”
DCC, which lost to North Clarion by just two points, 66-64, Feb. 4, started quickly gaining an early 7-0 lead before the Wolves (20-2) switched to a 2-3 zone defense and finished the quarter on a 17-9 run to take a 17-16 lead after one quarter and then extended the advantage to nine, 37-28, by halftime.
“The major difference tonight from the first time we played them was our defense,” Bish said. “They were up 7-0 and we were struggling a little and switched to a 2-3 and the boys were flying around. That is probably the best defensive effort we have had all season.”
Offensively, North Clarion had four players reach double figures led by 18 points from Kyle Mills, who also added 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
“Everyone focuses on Kyle in the middle,” Bish said. “We obviously have a lot of guys who can score. It’s all about shot selection for us. If it’s open, let it rip. But don’t force shots. We feel we can get a lot of good looks if we are patient on offense.”
Tyler McCord-Wolbert added 13 points and eight rebounds in the win with Korey Mill scoring 11 points and Logan Minich 10. Sam Minich chipped in six points, five assists and three assists.
Justin Miknis had a game-high 21 points in his final game for DCC (12-12), while Jonathan Kurtz added 10 points and Brandon Walker eight.
North Clarion will take on KSAC North rival Clarion-Limestone in the semifinals at a site, date and time to be announced. The teams have played twice this year with each winning on the other’s home court. North Clarion won 79-47 at C-L and C-L won 56-43 at North Clarion.
CLARION-LIMESTONE 61, OTTO-ELDRED 58
ST. MARYS, Pa. – Third-seeded Clarion-Limestone held off an upset attempt by sixth-seeded Otto-Eldred picking up a 61-58 win in the District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals at Elk County Catholic High School.
“They don’t ask you how you win,” C-L head coach Joe Ferguson said. “It was an ugly game for us. We looked like we hadn’t practiced, which we didn’t yesterday, yet we survived.”
After a slow start that saw them trailing 16-11 after a quarter, the Lions (21-3) outscored the Terrors (11-10) 37-23 over the middle two quarters, including 24-16 in the third quarter, to take a 48-39 lead into the final eight minutes.
“When we started into the press in the second quarter that turned things around for us a little,” Ferguson said. “But we never got into a good flow. We had two guys in foul trouble in the third quarter. We didn’t have the legs to continue to press. We switched to a zone, and give Otto credit, they were going after it tonight.”
Otto-Eldred wouldn’t go away and get clawing its way back into the game behind the play of Cameron Grigsby, who had eight of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t do a good job stopping the inside shot like I thought we would,” Ferguson said.
The Terrors were within two, 58-56, with just under a minute to play when Julian Laugand hit one of two free throws with 43 seconds left to make it 59-56.
But Curvin Goheen missed a pair of charity shots – C-L was just 3 of 8 in the fourth quarter from the line and 4 of 12 for the game – and Jake Merry cut the lead to one, 59-58, with a layup with 15 seconds to play.
Deion Deas, though, hit two free throws with 12.3 seconds left to restore the 3-point lead, and Otto-Eldred turned the ball over late.
“The way we were shooting (from the free-throw line), which is uncharacteristic for us, I wasn’t really comfortable at any point,” Ferguson said. “We were shooting ourselves in the foot. We had many too many turnovers and were not hitting the board hard. We were flat tonight.”
Ian Callen led C-L with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven steals with Deas adding 15 and Hayden Callen 13.
Cole Sebastian added 12 points for Otto-Eldred.
C-L will take on KSAC North rival North Clarion in the semifinals at a site, date and time to be announced. The teams have played twice this year with each winning on the other’s home court. North Clarion won 79-47 at C-L and C-L won 56-43 at North Clarion.
JOHNSONBURG 42, CAMERON COUNTY 37
ST. MARYS, Pa. -12-6 run to start of the fourth quarter helped fifth-seeded Johnsonburg knock off fourth-seeded Cameron County, 42-37, in the District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals at St. Marys High School.
The Rams led 28-26 heading into the fourth quarter before Gabe Watts scored his only six points of the game and Austin Green added four of his 14, all from the free-throw line, to help Johnsonburg (16-8) gain its biggest lead of the game, 40-32.
“I believe our experience helped,” Johnsonburg head coach Bill Shuey said. “We had to make some shots and had to score down the stretch. We were able to do that this time. We had a couple of games (this year) where we missed opportunities. Tonight, we were able to convert and stay ahead of them.”
In a low-scoring affair, Johnsonburg led 16-13 at halftime but got four quick points from Green out of the locker room to go up 20-13.
“Austin is a good leader out there for us,” Shuey said. “The kids look up to him. He does a good job of knowing his role. If he can get to the basket or is left open, he will take his shot. But if the other team is focusing on him, he has a way to find the open guy and share the ball with the other players who need to contribute.”
Cameron County (16-7) didn’t go away tying the game at 24 on a bank shot by Jake Walters before Nick Bliss scored four of the final six points of the quarter to give Johnsonburg the lead heading to the fourth. Bliss finished with 12 points.
Green chipped in five rebounds and two assists to go with his 14 points while Bliss contributed three rebounds. Isaac Scholder also had eight points and Watts checked in with six points, four rebounds and three helpers.
Cadin Beldin led Cameron County with 12 points and three assists with Dino Brown adding nine points and four rebounds, Walters eight points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots and Marcus Brown eight points.
Johnsonburg now gets a third crack this season at Elk County rival Elk County Catholic in the semifinals at a time, date and location to be announced although it’s even odds the game is back at St. Marys High School. It will be the third meeting of the year between the teams with ECC winning the first two by scores of 68-42 and 36-34. Johnsonburg beat ECC in last year’s D9 1A title game.
COUDERSPORT 49, NORTHERN POTTER 21
SHINGLEHOUSE, Pa. – Coudersport, who won the last two District 9 Class 2A titles, held Northern Potter to 10 second-half points on its way to a 49-21 in the District 9 Class 1A quarterfinals at Oswayo Valley.
The Lady Falcons led 10-6 after a quarter and 21-11 at halftime before extending the lead to 36-12 going to the fourth quarter.
Sarah Chambers and Shae Black both scored 16 points for Coudersport (18-4) with Mikayla Gunn adding nine points.
Courtney Martin paced Northern Potter (11-12) with 11 points with Abbi Anderson adding eight.
Coudersport will take on two-time defending Class 1A champion North Clarion in the semifinals at a site, time and date to be announced.
CLARION 48, CRANBERRY 33
BROOKVILLE, Pa. – Hitting nine fourth-quarter free throws, fourth-seeded Clarion pulled away late from fifth-seeded Cranberry for a 48-33 win in the District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals at Brookville High School.
Relisten to the game:
“I’m proud of my team for continuing to work hard to improve as the season passed,” Clarion head coach Roger Walter said. “I’m glad to get our seniors a playoff experience, and it’s crucial for our underclassmen to feel this for the future.”
The Lady Cats (16-7) led by just four, 32-28, going to the final eight minutes before going 9 of 14 from the charity stripe to put the game away.
Kait Constantino was 4-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter and 8 of 10 in the game while scoring a game-high 14 points for Clarion. KK Girvan added 10 points, Wendy Beveridge eight and Ali Troese seven apiece in the win.
Meanwhile, the Lady Cats defense held Cranberry’s leading scorer Malliah Schreck to just nine points.
“Jordan Best did a great job defensively on Malliah,” Walter said of his freshman.
Kaylee Bruce also scored nine for the Berries (12-11).
Clarion will take on top-seeded Kane in the semifinals at a time, place and date to be announced. The Lady Cats lost to Kane, 51-42, back in late December.