CLARION, Pa. – Karns City used their physicality and tough second half defense to complete a 73-64 come-from-behind win over Clarion.
Clarion used their defense and hustle to start the game on top, but the Bobcats’ inability to hit shots saw their lead fade down the stretch. Meanwhile, Karns City’s ability to rebound and avoid turnovers allowed them to seize the advantage and take the lead late in the third quarter, a lead that would hold for the remainder of the contest.
Chase Beighley led the Gremlins with 25 points, while Nathan Waltman added 14 points while providing key rebounds and defense down low. Clarion’s Cal German led all scorers with 30 points. Christian Simko also scored 11 points for the Bobcats.
German started off hot for the Bobcats, scoring 14 first quarter points to give Clarion a 21-14 lead after the first quarter. The opening period was sloppy and filled with turnovers and a lack of offensive rhythm from both teams. The frantic early pace seemed to favor the Bobcats, who were able to create more turnovers and score points in transition.
The Gremlins came storming back in the second quarter, forcing turnovers of their own and hitting open shots to cut the Clarion lead to 27-26 midway through the quarter. Clarion ended the half well, scoring six of the half’s final eight points to lead 33-30 at the intermission.
Clarion grew their lead to seven early in the third quarter, as German and Simko continued to drive inside and score. Just as Clarion seemed to be pulling away, the Gremlins came surging back, going on a 15-4 run to close out the third quarter with a 53-49 lead. Luke Kramer was a beast for Karns City during their run, using his physicality and scoring touch to score 10 third quarter points.
Karns City grew their lead early in the final quarter, quickly extending their lead to 13 after scoring 15 of the first 16 points in the quarter. Halfway through the fourth, German heated up again, scoring eight consecutive Clarion points to cut the Gremlins’ lead to four. However, Karns City closed the contest with authority, playing keep away and hitting their foul shots to end the Clarion run, securing a 73-64 win.