CLARION, Pa. – Over the next few weeks D9Sports.com’s Chris Rossetti we will take a look at his the Top 25 stories that impacted District 9 during the 2018-19 school year.
(Photo by Tessa Boschert. Check out more of Boschert’s work here)
NO. 12 – KANE GIRLS’ BASKETBALL WINS ONE FOR THE COACH
The Kane girls’ basketball team had spent the better part of its existence being the bridesmaid in District 9 finishing second in the D9 championship game seven times.
The title seemed to allude head coach Dave Kiehl over the past few years, as the Lady Wolves were runners-up in Class 2A in 2013, 2017 and 2018.
But Kane entered the 2019 season as the favorite to win District 9 and didn’t disappoint in the regular season losing just three times on its way to AML North and AML titles.
After receiving a bye into the D9 semifinals, Kane beat Clarion, 63-51.
But in the moments after that win, Koehl suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed to the hospital – he recovered nicely enough to actually coach in the PIAA quarterfinals.
So going into the title game against, A-C Valley assistant coach Kerry Wolbert was behind the bench while Kiehl recovered while Kiehl’s daughter, former Kane coach Stacy Hastings, joined Wolbert on the bench.
Kiehl’s players decided it was time to win one for the coach, but it didn’t come without a fight.
Kane built a 10-point lead going to the fourth quarter only to watch A-C Valley rally and tie the game at 48 at the end of regulation.
But the Lady Wolves weren’t going to be denied and made sure their coach got his long-coveted championship, outscoring the Lady Falcons, 13-4, in overtime to claim the school’s first title in girls’ basketball.
Then, in the PIAA playoffs, the history kept coming for Kane.
In the opening round against Saegertown, Ella Marconi scored 20 points to lead the way in a 45-29 win.
Then, in the second round, Kane advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time thanks to a 52-47 win over Brentwood using a 13-2 run late in the game to secure the victory. Marconi, who scored eight points during the crucial run, scored 29 points in the victory.
A loss to West Middlesex in the quarterfinals brought Kane’s season to an end, but it was a season for ages, one that allowed Kiehl, who was named the All American Awards & Engraving D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year Presented by the Chuck Daly Foundation, to go out with his long-coveted championship in his final year behind the bench as he announced his retirement following the season.
It also capped a great career for Marconi, who became a 1,000-point, 1,000-rebound player while setting Kane’s career scoring mark with 1,723 points.
Marconi was named the All American Awards & Engraving D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year and a first-team All-State selection after averaging 22.9 points, 12.0 rebounds. 4.2 blocks and 1.0 assists per game and shooting 64.9 percent from the field.
She scored 20 or more points 20 times while topping 25 13 times including a pair of 30-point contests.
ROSSETTI’S TOP 25 MOST IMPACTFUL HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS STORIES FROM 2018-19 SCHOOL YEAR
13. A-C Valley girls’ basketball makes school history
14. Clarion Volleyball Wins D9 Title, Advances to PIAA quarterfinals
15. Ridgway Boys’ Basketball reaches PIAA quarterfinals
16. Six D9 Cross Country athletes medal at PIAAs
17. North Clarion Girls’ Basketball gets unexpected three-peat
18. Moving up in class? No problem, Ridgway Football wins third straight D9 title
19. ECC Baseball goes from D9 fifth seed to final eight in the state
20. Moniteau Baseball battles back to win D9 title
21. Brookville Wrestling, a D9 Dynasty
22. Chambers steal and miracle Shot
23. Callen nearly unhittable
24. Wruble’s Clutch Hit
25. Ella Marconi’s terrific season caps terrific career