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Second-half Run Lifts North Clarion Girls into D9 Title Game for First Time since 1986

CLARION, Pa. – North Clarion used an 18-5 run that bridged the third and fourth quarter to turn an eight-point deficit into a five-point lead on its way to a 57-50 win over A-C Valley in the District 9 Class 1A girls’ semifinals at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.

Cover photo: Michaela Higgins, North Clarion

For more District 9 recaps from Tuesday, click here

The top-seeded She-Wolves trailed 33-25 following an Ellie Thompson putback with 4:16 to play but proceeded to take control of the game over the next six minutes thanks in large part to four 3-pointers – two from Michaela Higgins – including three in the first 2:42 of the fourth quarter.

A 9-1 run to end the third quarter pulled North Clarion into a 34-all tie, and when Higgins hit her fourth three of the game 28 seconds into the fourth quarter the She-Wolves had their first lead of the night, one they never relinquished, 37-34.

Higgins, who had 14 points, talked about the win.

Tori Obenrader, who finished with 26 points and 18 rebounds, then hit a 3-pointer to make it 40-36, and Ally Carll added a triple to push the lead to 43-38 with 5:18 to go.

Olivia Boocks, who scored 13 points for A-C Valley, closed the gap to 43-41 with a 3-pointer of her own with 4:04 to play. But North Clarion answered with an 8-2 run to go up eight, 51-43, on two Obenrader free throws with 1:02 left.

A-C Valley quickly scored five straight points, the last 3 on an Annie Viertel triple to get back within three, 51-48, with 42 seconds to play before Obenrader sealed the win with six straight free throws in the final 23.1 seconds.

Thompson led A-C Valley with 24 points to go with five rebound.

North Clarion will play in the D9 title game Saturday against either Northern Potter or Otto-Eldred at Tippin Gym, while A-C Valley moves into the consolation game against the loser of the NoPo/Otto game at 6 p.m. Friday at Kane High School.

It’s just the second time the She-Wolves will play for a district title. They reached the 1986 Class 1A game and lost a 47-45 overtime decision to Union.

NORTH CLARION 57, A-C VALLEY 50

Score by Quarters

A-C Valley 11 14 9 16 – 50
North Clarion 9 12 13 23 – 57

A-C VALLEY – 50

Cami McNany 1 0-0 2, Ellie Thompson 9 6-10 24, Annie Viertel 2 0-0 6, Olivia Boocks 4 2-2 13, Kylee Eaton 2 1-2 5, Allison Sherman 0 0-0 0, Brooke Irwin 0 0-0 0, Madelyn Dittman 0 0-0 0, Emma Fox 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 9-14 50.

NORTH CLARION – 57

Michaela Higgins 4 2-2 14, Cassie Wagner 3 2-2 8, Abby Gatesman 0 0-0 0, Tori Obenrader 7 11-16 26, Ally Carll 4 0-5 9, Gabby Carll 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 15-25 57.

Three-pointers: A-C Valley 5 (Boocks 3, Viertel 2). North Clarion 6 (Higgins 4, Obenrader, Ally Carll).



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