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Fire Away! Bain Drains Eight 3-Pointers, Redbank Valley Hits 17 as a Team in Win Over Clarion

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Whether it was from the corner, the wings or the top of the key, it seemed Bryson Bain couldn’t miss.

Neither could his Redbank Valley teammates.

The Bulldogs rained down 3-pointers like fire upon the Clarion boys basketball team in a 77-56 win Thursday night.

And no one was hotter than Bain.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

The senior hit his first five 3-point attempts, had six by the half and finished with eight in the game on the way to 26 points.

Redbank Valley hit 17 3-pointers as a team in the 77-56 win for the shellshocked Bulldogs.

“I was just in the zone,” Bain said. “My teammates were finding me and I was finding spots and it was dropping.”

It took awhile this season for Bain to get his basketball legs under him. After a long football run all the way to the PIAA Class A championship game that was played a day before the start of the hoop season, the quarterback was still banged up and bruised from a long campaign.

He looked spry against Clarion, running the court, spotting up and draining shots smoothly.

“He was lights out. Lights out,” said Redbank Valley coach Emmanuel Marshall. “He was able to set his feet, lock in and fire away.”

Bain’s shooting was contagious. Chris Marshall hit three 3-pointers on his way to 17 points. Owen Clouse also hit three 3s during his own 17-point night. Marquese Gardlock hit one. So did Mason Clouse. Even Breckin Minich came off the bench to drain a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.

“I think we know what this team is capable of,” Bain said. “People are kind of overlooking us, I think. We came out in a big game and we performed how I knew we could.”

Redbank Valley (11-3) jumped out to a 12-0 lead just three minutes into the game and led 19-3 early.

Clarion (8-7), though, was able to scrap back into it and trailed by nine — 39-30 — at the half.

The key sequence in the outcome came at the end of the third quarter after the Bobcats had again closed to eight points at 52-44 with 1:40 on the clock.

But Redbank scored 10 straight points in that final 100 seconds of the third, culminated by an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer by — who else? — Bain.

(Bryson Bain hit eight 3-pointers on the way to 26 points. He was named the Hager Paving Incorporated Player of the Game)

There were several stretches in the game in which the Bulldogs scored a flurry of points in a short period of time, highlighting how explosive Redbank Valley can be.

“It’s nice to have that little genie in the bottle,” said Coach Marshall. “It makes us that much more dangerous. The opposing team has to know that, that with two minutes left and an eight- or 10-point lead, it’s not over because we can go on a 10-0 run quickly. We haven’t been faced with that situation yet, but if there is a time, we know we can come back.”

Coming back was something Clarion just couldn’t do — but not from a lack of trying. Redbank Valley’s shooters were just too scorching hot.

All Clarion coach Scott Fox could do was shrug.

“They were unconscious from 3,” Fox lamented. “The kids fought back. We were down 19-3 at one point and came back to cut it to nine going into halftime. Can’t say anything more than that. They hit shots. Not many high school teams are going to hit (17) 3-pointers in a game.”

Christian Simko scored 15 points and Dawson Smail added 13 — including three 3-pointers himself — for the Bobcats.

Fox said he isn’t discouraged by the loss.

“I told the kids there’s quite a few positives,” Fox said. “A couple negatives, obviously, but they gave me their all and we keep improving. Our goal is to keep our composure and hopefully get the North taken care of starting next week.”

KSAC division games begin again in earnest next week. There’s still a lot to be decided.

Redbank Valley hopes its hot shooting can continue.

Coach Marshall is also hopeful, too, that his team can play a variety of styles.

The Bulldogs were able to slow things down in the fourth quarter to nurse their big lead.

“We wanted to pick and choose our shots,” he said. “We can run-and-gun, but can we control the game? Can we pick and choose our shots? Can we be patient and run a half-court offense? That’s something we’re going to continue to work on and get better.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.