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Clarion-Limestone Withstands Keystone Comeback to Survive, 59-53

KNOX, Pa. (EYT/D9) – When facing a team coached by Greg Heath, no lead is ever safe.

For Clarion-Limestone, after seeing a 12-point third quarter lead evaporate, the Lions had to hold off Keystone in the final quarter to capture a 59-53 victory over the Panthers on Tuesday evening.

(Above, Jordan Hesdon scored nine points, but also had five rebounds, four steals and five assists for Clarion-Limestone is a win over Keystone.)

C-L (2-3) led 33-21 less than two minutes into the third before Keystone finished the quarter on a 14-3 run to close to within 36-35 after three.

After a back and forth fourth quarter, the Lions led 53-49 before Bret Wingard hit 1-of-2 free throws, ironically the back end was his only miss, with 1:23 to play. Drew Keth then hit a 3-pointer, his only points of the game, to tie things up at 53 with 41 seconds to play. Rylie Klingensmith hit a short jumper to give C-L a 55-53 lead with 28 seconds to play. After a missed Keystone free throw where the Panthers knocked the ball out of bounds with eight seconds left. Tommy Smith was fouled with four seconds to play and made both free throws for a 57-53 lead. Keystone threw the ball away on the inbounds play. Following the ensuing inbounds play, Jordan Hesdon was fouled and made both free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to set the final score.

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

“I was happy with the fact that we didn’t wilt upon giving up that third quarter lead,” said C-L head coach Joe Ferguson. “I felt we kind of wilted in our game on Friday night. Keystone switched up their defense in that third quarter and I thought our kids, as young as they are, might tank it. They continued to fight, and they showed a lot of resilience to come out with a win.”

C-L trailed 6-2 midway through the first before the Lions rallied to close the quarter on a 12-4 run to take a 14-10 lead after one.

Wingard hit a pair of free throws to start the second to close the Panthers to within 14-12. From there the Lions would use an 11-1 run to build a 25-13 lead. However, the Panthers would have a run of their own in closing the quarter with an 8-3 edge to close to within 29-21 by halftime.

“We have a young team, and we need to work on taking care of the basketball especially when we have a lead,” said Ferguson. “That is something we are going to try and work on while we have a little time off before our next game.”

A pair of Klingensmith baskets pushed the lead back to 12 at 33-21 before Keystone made their run.

A 12-0 run by the Panthers tied the game 33-all before a Ryan Hummell three gave the Lions a 36-33 lead. A Wingard putback cut the Keystone deficit to one at 36-35 after three.

Four C-L players combined for 54 of the Lions 59 points. Klingensmith led the way with 17, Tommy Smith added 16 including a trio of three-pointers. Ryan Hummell added 12 points while Jordan Hesdon chipped in with nine. Hesdon added five rebounds, four steals, and five assists.

“We talked in the locker room after the game and I told the kids that it’s tough coming over here and coming out with a win,” said Ferguson. “This has to be a boost to your confidence level and that when you take care of the ball you can compete with anybody.”

Wingard paced Keystone with 16 points including a 10-for-11 performance from the free throw line. Zander McHenry added 12 points while Tyler Albright added nine.

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