BROOKVILLE, Pa. – Keystone and Redbank Valley are going to the District 9 Class 2A girls’ championship game after semifinal wins Wednesday at Brookville High School.
(Photo of Keystone’s Natalie Bowser)
Keystone beat Ridgway, 43-41, while Redbank Valley knocked out Clarion, 63-51.
KEYSTONE 43, RIDGWAY 41
BROOKVILLE, Pa. – Natalie Bowser’s layup with 7.4 seconds to play lifted Keystone into the District 9 Class 2A girls’ championship game with a 43-41 win over Ridgway.
“At first, I was hesitant, because you are the freshman on the court so you are always down on yourself,” Bowser, who was named the Hager Paving Player of the Game, said. “But I was like ok, you’ve got this. Just do one shot, one shot. And then we are up, we are up. Now we just had to play defense. And defense is our strong suit. So I was really blessed. I got the ball, and I got it in. We only had six seconds left. I knew that’s it, it’s game.”
Watch Bowser’s postgame interview.
Keystone head coach Josh Almes said it was perhaps destiny that Bowser made the last shot.
Reslisten to the game:
“This morning, she asked to come down (to my classroom) during my free time to watch film,” Almes said. “We talked about her having her handz and her body in the right position to make plays. I’m really glad we did that this morning because she looked ready on the last play. She is a great, hard-working kid who is constantly trying to improve.”
Almes said Bowser shot wouldn’t have been possible without a great pass from Jozee Weaver.
Weaver had taken a pass from Danae Hurrelbrink in the right corner and had started to make a move down the baseline towards the hoop when she saw Bowser wide open and fed her the basketball.
“I think Jozee saw that before anyone else in the gym,” Almes said. “I am not sure how she even got that pass through all those arms. There is no way to practice that. You just have to go out and make something happen.”
After Bowser’s basket, Ridgway got a timeout, and officials put six seconds on the clock after the clock didn’t quite stop in time.
Maddie Dunlap then stole Payton Delhunty’s inbounds pass and was fouled with 2.1 seconds to play.,
Dunlap missed the free throw, but a Christina Fullem desperation pass was intercepted as time ran out.
“This was the goal at the beginning of the season,” Almes said. “We thought we had a shot at the KSAC and a shot to upset North Clarion. In a few ways it felt like we had fallen a little shot. But the girls are driven and they practice hard. We are where we wanted to be. So it is nice to finally be here.”
Ridgway, which had played from behind nearly the entire game, tied the game at 41 on a 3-pointer from the left corner by Julia Peterson with 20 seconds to play.
That triple ended a quick 5-0 spurt by the Lady Elkers who trailed 41-36 following Emily Lauer free throws with 38.7 seconds left.
But Fullem made a strong move to the hoop to get Ridgway within three, 41-38, with 27 seconds to play, and the Lady Elkers stole the inbounds pass creating a tie-up with the possession arrow in their favor.
Peterson then found herself open in the corner out of the inbounds and hit nothing but net to tie the game at 41.
“It’s basketball, man,” Almes said. “I have a lot of respect for their coach (John Bennardi). I have been coaching against him forever. He had his girls very well disciplined. Nothing was easy, but our girls battled back, played well and ept each other positive.”
After the Peterson 3-pointer, Almes called timeout, and out of the inbound Lauer got the ball across midcourt before finding Hurrelbrink who found Weaver who found Bowser for the win.
“I don’t even remember what I said to the kids,” Almes said. “It feels like we have been in so many games like that and have seen so many tough 3-pointer hit on us.”
Early on against District 9’s top defensive team, Keystone looked like it was going to have an easy time of it taking an 18-7 lead about three minutes into the second quarter.
But Ridgway changed up from a man-to-man defense to a zone, and the zone gave the Lady Panthers trouble allowing the Lady Elkers to get back in the game and get back within seven, 22-15, by halftime and within four, 25-21, midway through the third quarter.
“We like our matchups when they were in man,” Almes said. “We thought we could get Jozee Weaver some looks under the basket. They made some really nice adjustments against that. Then, we had to break open their zone. It took us a while.”
While Keystone struggled against the Ridgway zone, the Lady Panthers played just enough defense to continue to hold a slim lead throughout the fourth quarter and seemed in decent shape when Lauer hit a 3-pointer to make it 35-30.
But Peterson was fouled taking a three of her own and hit two of the free throws to make it 35-32 and the game continued to sway between three and four points until the Keystone got the late five-point lead.
Weaver led Keystone with a game-high 18 points, including 12 in the first half. Lauer added 16 points.
Gabbi Rohr and Lindsey Steis paced Ridgway with 10 points apiece. Fullem and Peterson each added eight.
Keystone will play Redbank Valley in the title game at 6 p.m. Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.
Ridgway will meet Clarion in the consolation game at 7 p.m. Friday at DuBois High School.
Keystone postseason information is brought to you by: Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Tin Town Metal Works • Wired Outdoors • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant
REDBANK VALLEY 63, CLARION 51
BROOKVILLE, Pa. – An early 15-point deficit didn’t deter second-seeded Redbank Valley, as the Lady Bulldogs rallied past sixth-seeded Clarion, 63-51, in the District 9 Class 2A girls’ semifinals at Brookville High School.
“(Coach Edmonds) told us we just have to get pumped up and work as a team and play good,” Redbank Valley sophomore Madison Foringer, who was named the Hager Paving Player of the Game after scoring 13 points and hauling down 19 rebounds, said.
Watch Foringer’s full postgame interview.
Clarion led 25-10 at the midpoint of the second quarter but saw that lead cut to five, 25-20, by halftime.
Relisten to the game:
The Lady Bulldogs then just kept coming in the second half, going on an 8-2 run to start the third quarter to go ahead, 28-27, three minutes into the third quarter.
The teams then went into the fourth quarter tied at 37 before Redbank Valley built a 56-51 lead thanks in large part to Foringer, who scored three fourth-quarter baskets while also having a free throw as part of an old-school 3-point play.
“I just looked to get open and try to score and get rebounds,” Foringer said.
The Lady Bulldogs were also helped in the fourth quarter by the fact that Tara Hinderliter finally started to get going scoring seven of her 14 points in the final eight minutes, including hitting 5 of 6 free throws.
Hinderliter, District 9’s leading scorer, was held scoreless in the first half, but Redbank Valley was able to stay in the game thanks to freshman Alyvia Huffman, who had 11 of her team-high 18 points in the first half. Huffman added 12 rebounds.
Hinderliter finally got some traction in the third quarter scoring seven points to help the Lady Bulldogs forge the tie.
While Hinderliter wasn’t scoring, Clarion’s Kait Constantino, the second-leading scorer in D9 was being shut down as well being limited to four first-half points, all in the second quarter.
But while Redbank Valley was limiting Constantino, her fellow senior, KK Girvin, was on fire. Girvin hit three first-half 3-pointers and scored 15 points in the opening half to help Clarion jump to the 25-10 lead.
“We started out in a box-and-one trying to wear down Kate (Constantino) a little bit,” Redbank Valley head coach Chris Edmonds said. “But KK (Girvan) stepped up and hit some good shots for them. And then after that, we went back to what we’ve been doing all year with the two-three and three-two zone defenses, working to get the rebounds and then outletting and going and then after halftime we came out in our pressure 2-2-1. The last couple times we played Clarion we’ve done a 1-3-1, so we jumped into the 2-2-1 tonight.”
Girvin ended the contest with a game-high 23 points, while Constantino added 12 points, including seven in the third quarter, and 12 rebounds.
Redbank Valley will take on Keystone in the championship game at 6 p.m. Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.
“We had couple goals this year,” Edmonds said. “One was to get to the playoffs, Tara (Hinderliter) and the seniors hadn’t been to the playoffs yet, so one of our goals was to get to the playoffs. Once we made KSAC Championship game (a 53-36 loss to North Clarion at CUP on Feb. 15), that experience was great and all the girls wanted to get back to it. So here we are.”
Clarion will play Ridgway in the consolation game at 7 p.m. Friday at DuBois High School.
Redbank Valley postseason information is brought to you by: Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Tin Town Metal Works • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • Joe’s Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant in New Bethlehem • District Judge Jeff Miller • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant
Clarion postseason information is brought to you by: Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Tin Town Metal Works • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • Clarion Girls’ Basketball Boosters • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant
Full coverage of District 9 teams in the basketball postseason can be found here.
D9Sports.com’s District 9/PIAA basketball playoff coverage Powered by Lezzer Lumber is brought to you by:
Lezzer Lumber • Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Team Minard • Fran Morelli Sales & Service • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Potter County Family Campground • Close’s Lumber Company • Tin Town Metal Works • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • 120 Pub and Grub in Clearfield • Campbell Bus Lines • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant
KEYSTONE 43, RIDGWAY 41
Score by Quarters
Keystone 11 11 6 15 – 43
Ridgway 5 10 10 16 – 41
KEYSTONE – 43
Emily Lauer 5 5-6 16, Maddie Dunlap 0 0-1 0, Alyssa Dunlap 0 0-0 0, Danae Hurelbrink 2 0-0 5, Jozee Weaver 8 0-0 18, Natalie Bowser 2 0-0 4. Totals 17 5-7 43.
RIDGWAY – 41
Christina Fullem 3 2-2 8, Gabbi Rohr 2 6-10 10, Lindsey Steis 3 4-4 10, Julie Peterson 2 3-5 8, Payton Delhunty 0 3-4 3, Eve Colbaugh 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 18-25 41.
Three-pointers: Keystone 4 (Weaver 2, Lauer, Hurrelbrink). Ridgway 1 (Peterson).
REDBANK VALLEY 63, CLARION 51
Score By Quarters
Clarion 11 14 12 14 – 51
Redbank 10 10 17 26 – 63
CLARION – 51
Payton Simko 3 0-0 6, Jordan Best 2 3-4 7, KK Girvan 8 4-8 23, Kaitlyn Constantino 3 5-6 12, Noel Anthony 0 1-4 1, Eva Lerch 0 2-2 2, Rebekah Ketner 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 15-24 51.
REDBANK VALLEY 63
Tara Hinderliter 3 8-10 14, Lauren Smith 3 1-2 7, Emma Huffman 1 0-0 2, Madison Foringer 6 1-1 13, Claire Clouse 1 0-0 2, Ryleigh Smathers 0 0-0 0, Alivia Huffman 6 5-11 18, Caylen Rearick 3 0-2 7, Gabby Dinger 0 0-0 0, Megan Gourley 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Edmonds 0 0-0 0, Karlee Shoemaker 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 15-26 63.
Three-pointers: Clarion 4 (Girvan 3, Constantino). Redbank Valley 2 (Rearick, A. Huffman).