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ANOTHER CROWN: Redbank Valley Wins Third Straight KSAC Tourney Championship, Holding Off Karns City for 45-30 Triumph

CLARION, Pa. (EYT/D9) — With the score tied at 28-28, Mylee Harmon approached Addy Bond, put her hands on the sophomore’s shoulders and spoke emphatically into her ear.

“Hey,” Harmon said. “You’re good.”

Bond certainly was.

(Pictured above, Redbank Valley’s Addy Bond was named the KSAC Tournament Girls Basketball Championship Player of the Game)

With the Redbank Valley offense mired in a slump, Bond hit two huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and Harmon salted the game away at the free throw line to lead the Bulldogs’ girls basketball team to a 45-30 win over Karns City in the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference tournament championship game at PennWest Clarion’s Tippin Gymnasium on Saturday night.

“She told me to keep pushing, to keep shooting,” Bond said of Harmon’s advice. “You’re doing fine.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

Bond scored 17 points — eight coming in the pivotal final quarter.

Bond has shown a penchant this season for being clutch and she was again in the biggest game of the year so far for battle-tested Redbank Valley.

“We ran her across the baseline off a couple of screens and she got good looks,” said Redbank Valley coach Chris Edmonds. “She buried them and sort of started us. That’s what we like to do. That’s what we talk about all the time. Make a basket, put the energy into making another spurt.”

The Bulldogs went on one of those prodigious spurts early.

Redbank Valley trailed 6-4 out of the gate, but then went on a 15-0 run to end the first quarter with a 19-6 lead.

Then the lid dropped over the hoop for the Bulldogs.

Redbank made just one field goal over the next 16-plus minutes as Karns City slowly chipped away, eventually coming all the way back to tie it at 28-28 on a pair of free throws by Brooklynn Taylor.

But there was no panic on the bench. No panic on the court. Just pep talks.

“When adversity hits, those tough games we played this season taught us to just keep going and keep playing,” Harmon said. “We just kept our heads up and kept fighting.”

(Redbank Valley celebrates with the KSAC championship plaque after a title-game win over Karns City)

Harmon scored nine of her game-high 21 points in the first quarter. She then helped put the game away with her free throw shooting.

Harmon, the two-time defending KSAC most valuable player, was 14-of-16 from the free throw line. At one point, she had made 13 in a row.

“We had a shoot around earlier today and the girls probably shot 20 to 30 foul shots,” Edmonds said. “We talked about that before the game, how it could come down to foul shots. Mylee stepped up and hit those shots. Everyone stepped up. This was a good team win.”

It was also the third consecutive KSAC tournament title for Redbank Valley, which is 50-0 in its last 50 conference games.

“I mean,” Harmon said, a smile stretching across her face, “It’s an amazing feeling.”

It was the same for Bond, who was a key player off the bench last season as a freshman and has blossomed into a star this year.

The first-team all-KSAC guard said she was well aware, even early, that Karns City would not go away quietly.

After all, the two previous games this season weren’t decided until overtime — both Redbank Valley wins.

“Karns City is a super tough team,” Bond said. “Especially Brooklynn Taylor. She always hits those 3-pointers. So we knew we had to stay tight on her. As long as we had our heads in the game and kept working hard, we knew we could eventually pull away.”

And pull away the Bulldogs did, closing out the game on a 17-2 run.

For Karns City, it was a disappointing loss.

The Gremlins were just 1-of-11 from the field in the last quarter.

“The final score was not a representation of how we played,” said Karns City coach Steve Andreassi.

Savanna Prescott paced Karns City with 12 points. Taylor added 10 for the Gremlins, who will play for the District 9 Class 3A championship against either Brookville or Kane at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Tippin Gymnasium.

“The medals we got are nice, but we’re going for the gold on Thursday,” Andreassi said. “We’re excited about that. This was a step for us. Two years ago we got there and played this team and we weren’t ready for that. These girls just stepped up, and they showed fortitude, and I’m so proud of the way they fought back here today.”

Redbank Valley has a bye in the three-team District 9 Class 2A bracket and won’t play again until Super Saturday on March 2 in the title game against either Moniteau or Coudersport.

The Bulldogs won’t celebrate the KSAC championship long, however, even with two weeks between games.

“We’ll enjoy the glory of this until the end of the day, but on Monday it’s back to work,” Harmon said. “It’s back to focus on the district. This is just another step.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.