KANE, Pa. – A spot in the District 9 Class 1A girls’ title game is on the line when a pair of semifinal games are contested Tuesday.
(Photo: North Clarion’s Abby Gatesman and her She-Wolves’ teammates will take on Elk County Catholic in the D9 Class 1A girls’ semifinals Tuesday looking for a fourth straight trip to the D9 title game. Photo by Mary Rearick)
Action gets underway at 6 p.m. at Bradford High School when second-seeded Coudersport takes on third-seeded Otto-Eldred for the third time this season, while at 7 p.m. at Kane High School top-seeded North Clarion meets fourth-seeded Elk County Catholic.
(4) Elk County Catholic vs. (1) North Clarion
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25
Where: Kane High School
Records: ECC 15-10; North Clarion 23-0
How They Got Here: ECC beat Union, 51-33, in the quarterfinals. North Clarion had a bye to the semifinals.
Leading Scorers: ECC: Taylor Newton (16.9 ppg), Tami Geci (6.6 ppg), Brooke Bauer (5.7 ppg), Julie Aikens (4.9 ppg); North Clarion: Abby Gatesman (14.3 ppg), Mackenzie Bauer (11.7 ppg), Haley Sherman (10.3 ppg), Gabby Schmader (8.5 ppg), Trinity Thompson (4.8 ppg), Gwen Siegel (4.3 ppg)
About Elk County Catholic: It’s been an interesting season for ECC. Despite being five games over .500, ECC has scored its opponents by just four points this season. That is because when the Lady Crusaders lose they lose badly losing their 10 games by an average of 18.4 points per game with three of those losses by at least 30 points and three more by at least 20 points … That being said, all 10 of ECC’s losses against Class 2A or higher teams including seven losses to teams that are Class 3A or higher … Newton is one of the best players in District 9 and averages a double-double on the season with 12.7 rpg added to her 16.9 ppg. She has recorded double-doubles in eight straight games and in 21 of her 25 contests this season. That includes a 17-point, 20-rebound effort in the quarterfinal win over Union … Newton has scored 1,347 career points, and she accounts for 43.9 percent of the Lady Crusaders’ points this season … ECC is looking for a return to the District 9 title game for the first time since 2016 when it lost to Keystone in the title game after beating North Clarion in the semifinals, and for its first D9 title since winning back-to-back titles in Class 1A in 2009 and 2010.
About North Clarion: The She-Wolves are looking for a fourth consecutive District 9 Class 1A title and have qualified for the PIAA playoffs for the fifth straight year. North Clarion would be the first Class 1A team to make four straight championship games since Clarion made four in a row from 2012 to 2015 winning the middle two … Union also made four in a row from 2004 to 2007 winning the last three of those. Four consecutive titles hasn’t been accomplished in Class 1A since Coudersport won four in a row from 2001 to 2004 and has only ever been done twice in D9 history (Coudersport won five in a row from 1993 to 1997, which is also the only time a school has made five straight D9 Class 1A title games (the Lady Falcons made it in 8 of 9 years between 1989 and 1997 winning seven titles) … North Clarion, which is 23-0 for the second time in three years, has rarely been tested this season with only two games decided by fewer than 10 points – a 43-34 win at Kane Dec. Dec. 28 and a 48-39 win at Keystone Jan. 13. The She-Wolves did overcome a 13-point halftime deficit in the Feb. 15 KSAC title game to beat Redbank Valley, 53-36. That was North Clarion’s closest game since a 14-point win over Redbank Valley Jan. 21 … All the blowouts have allowed the She-Wolves to have the largest margin of victory in District 9 at 33.6 points per game, over 12 points per game better than Coudersport’s 20.1 ppg … North Clarion is the highest-scoring team in D9 averaging 60.8 ppg, and the She-Wolves allow the second-fewest points at 27.2 ppg … Gatesman is a 1,000-point scorer having scored 1,165 career points, and all four seniors are over 500 career points with Bauer checking in at 691, Schmader at 530 and Sherman at 517. Sherman has missed the past two games with an injury, and she is questionable for the game against ECC.
Game Tidbits: This is the third straight season these teams have met in the postseason and the fourth time in the last five years. Last year, North Clarion beat ECC, 54-48, in the quarterfinals. In 2018, the She-Wolves topped the Lady Crusaders, 43-31, in the semifinals. In 2016, 11th-seeded ECC upset second-seeded North Clarion, 46-43, in overtime. That was the last time the She-Wolves didn’t reach the finals. That was also the last District 9 playoff game North Clarion lost. Since that contest, the She-Wolves are 7-0 in D9 postseason action starting with a consolation game win in 2016 … The winner plays the winner of the Otto-Eldred/Coudersport game in the title game Saturday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym. The loser plays the loser of the Otto-Eldred/Coudy game in a consolation contest that has both teams moving on to the PIAA tournament.
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(3) Otto-Eldred vs. (2) Coudersport
When: 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25
Where: Bradford High School
Records:Otto-Eldred 16-6; Coudersport 19-4
How They Got Here: Otto-Eldred beat Cameron County, 54-41, in the quarterfinals; Coudersport beat DuBois Central Catholic, 50-41, in the quarterfinals
Leading Scorers: Otto-Eldred: Katie Sheeler (9.7 ppg), Kayley Heller (7.6 ppg), Reilly Raught (6.5 ppg), Jadelynn Spinney (6.5 ppg), Haley Cousins (6.0 ppg), Bri Heller (5.6 ppg); Coudersport: Sarah Chambers (13.8 ppg), Rosalyn Page (9.0 ppg), Lauren Stimaker (8.0 ppg), Mikayla Gunn (7.3 ppg), Elizabeth Frame (6.4 ppg)
About Otto-Eldred: The Lady Terrors are looking for a trip to the title game for the second time in school history having last been there in 2017 when they lost to North Clarion … Otto-Eldred has won 8 of its last 10 games with the only losses to Kane and Coudersport … The Lady Terrors rank sixth in District 9 in scoring defense allowing 34.4 ppg and are also the sixth-highest scoring team at 49.9 ppg despite not having one player averaging in double digits.
About Coudersport: The Lady Falcons, the NTL champion, are hoping to return to a championship game for the third time in four seasons having won 2A titles in 2017 and 2018 and losing in the semifinals to eventual champion North Clarion … Coudersport’s four losses have all come to higher classified teams including twice to 4A St. Marys, once to 2A Brockway and once to 4A Bradford … The Lady Falcons rank third in D9 in points allowed per game giving up 27.3 ppg … Chamber, a junior and the sister of District 9’s all-time leading boys’ scorer Owen Chambers – is heading towards 1,000 points herself with 855.
Game Tidbits: This is the third meeting of the season between these teams with Coudersport winning the first two. The Lady Falcons triumphed, 43-24, Jan. 13 in Coudersport and 50-35 Feb. 11 in Duke Center … The winner plays the winner of the ECC/North Clarion game in the title game Saturday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym. While the loser plays the loser of the ECC/NC game in a consolation game that shows both teams advancing to the PIAA playoffs.
Full coverage of District 9 teams in the basketball postseason can be found here.
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