KANE, Pa. – Two programs with a lot of recent District 9 championship success advanced to the District 9 Class 1A girls’ title game with wins Tuesday night.
(Photo of North Clarion’s Abby Gatesman, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead North Clarion to its fourth straight District 9 Class 1A title game)
Three-time defending champion and top-seeded North Clarion made it four title-game appearances in a row with a 62-47 win over fourth-seeded Elk County Catholic, while Coudersport, which won D9 2A titles in 2017 and 2018 before losing to North Clarion in last year’s semifinals, punched its ticket back to the championship contest with a 62-40 win over Otto-Eldred.
NORTH CLARION 62, ECC 47
At Kane High School, North Clarion overcame a sloppy start that saw it turn the ball over 10 times in the first half while shooting 10 of 24 in the half, to defeat ECC, 62-47.
Relisten to the game:
“I’m proud of the girls for the why they stuck it out tonight,” Clarion head coach Terry Dreihaup said. “I thought we were flat just about the whole game. I’m going to chalk it up to 10 days off. But I just thought we were flat both offensively and defensively. We just didn’t take care of the ball the way we should have. But we pulled out a win, and that’s what we are here for.”
Seven first-quarter turnovers by the She-Wolves (24-0) helped ECC (15-11) forge a 13-all tie at the end of the first quarter despite not getting any first-quarter points from Taylor Newton.
Newton came alive in the second quarter scoring nine points, but North Clarion got six points from Abby Gatesman and was able to take a 28-25 halftime lead.
The She-Wolves then started the second half on a 6-0 run with all six points coming from Mackenzie Bauer to take a 34-25 lead before ECC pushed back with four straight points, including Brooke Bauer hitting one of her five 3-pointers in the contest to get back within five 34-29.
But with Mackenzie Bauer on the bench with three fouls, North Clarion was able to answer with an 8-0 spur that included four points from Gatesman, who finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds and was named the Hager Paving Player of the Game.
Gatesman talked about the win (Video is in two parts).
Thanks to the run, the She-Wolves led 42-30 going to the fourth quarter and then started the quarter on an 11-2 run that included six straight points from sophomore Gwen Siegel to take a 21-point lead, 53-32, with 3:54 to play.
ECC made things interesting thanks to a 15-4 run that included a pair of Brooke Bauer 3-pointers, an old-school three from Newton and Tami Geci 3-pointer that closed the gap to nine points, 56-47, with still 1:39 to play after a pair of Newton free throws.
But North Clarion ended the game on a 6-0 spurt to seal the win.
Schmader added 13 points for the She-Wolves with Mackenzie Bauer scoring 11 and Siegel eight.
Newton had 16 points and six rebounds for ECC, although she was held to under half of her season average in rebounds of 12.7 coming into the game. The six boards tied for a season-low for the senior, who is one of the best players in District 9.
Brooke Bauer added 15 points on five 3-pointers.
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COUDERSPORT 62, OTTO-ELDRED 40
BRADFORD, Pa. – For the third time this season, Coudersport had its way with NTL rival Otto-Eldred picking up the 62-40 win.
The second-seeded Lady Falcons (20-4) started fast with 17 first-quarter points and never let off the gas taking a 33-22 halftime lead before outscoring the third-seeded Lady Terrors (16-7) 29-18 in the second half.
Mikayla Gunn played a key role in the fast start scoring 15 of her game-high 17 points in the first half when she hit three 3-pointers. Gunn now has 32 points in two postseason games.
“Mikayla is always important to use because of her defense,” Coudersport head coach Bob Tingley told the Bradford Era. “She really plays solid defense, and it’s hard to get anything against her. But now she’s making shots, and that just opens up a whole new spectrum for us. She’s really been great, and I’m thrilled for her. It’s coming together for her.”
Sarah Chamber added 14 points in the win.
“Sarah can score the ball,” Tingley told the Bradford Era. “She’s good and getting stronger underneath and getting putbacks. I think from early in the season, her biggest improvement has been making those contested inside shots when she getting bumped. She’s making those, and it’s helping her tremendously. It’s coming at a good time.”
Also for Coudersport, Rosalyn Page added 12 points.
Morgan Dalton hit three 3-pointers and led Otto-Eldred with nine points. Jadelyn Spinney added seven points and four rebounds, and Haley Cousins also had seven points. Katie Sheeler chipped in six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“We got outrebounded 39-17,” Otto-Eldred head coach Shawn Gray said. “They had 17 offensive rebounds.”
CHAMPIONSHIP AND CONSOLATION GAMES
The championship game will be Saturday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym at a time to be announced.
The consolation game – and both teams have already qualified for the PIAA playoffs – will be at a date, time and site to be announced.
Full coverage of District 9 teams in the basketball postseason can be found here.
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