STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion Area outscored Clarion-Limestone 33-13 during the middle two quarters to turn a 16-11 deficit into a 44-29 lead en route to a 58-38 victory on Friday evening.
(Article by Steve Smail. Photo of Clarion’s Cal German by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.)
Hunter Craddock recorded a double-double of 24 points with 13 rebounds while Cal German also added a double-double of 14 points with 11 boards to go along with five assists. Christian Simko added nine points.
Craddock scored 12 of the Bobcat’s 14 points in the third quarter.
“We have a lot of guys who have played together for quite a while,” said Clarion head coach Scott Fox. “They played all summer and they know where each other is going to be on the court. They always want to feed the ball to the guy with the best scoring chance.”
Hayden Callen scored 11 points with seven rebounds and five blocked shots to pace C-L (1-2). Braden Rankin added nine points and Tommy Smith added six.
“I think the biggest thing tonight was that Clarion’s experience and our lack of experience showed a lot tonight,” said C-L head coach Joe Ferguson. “We had a lead early and as coaches we wanted to try and slow things down because we knew we couldn’t get into a track meet with them. The problem was we came down and threw the ball away a few times and also took a few quicker shots than we wanted. Clarion was able to take advantage of those mistakes and eventually take control of the game.”
The first quarter went back and forth with five points being the largest lead and that didn’t come until Braden Rankin scored just before the buzzer sounded for a 16-11 lead after one. Earlier in the quarter, Hayden Callen broke an 11-all tie with a three-pointer before the Rankin shot.
C-L continued to lead by five at 18-13 before mistakes and missed shots by the Lions helped Clarion finish the quarter on a 17-5 run to give the Bobcats a 30-23 halftime lead.
“We’ve been kind of a slow starting team for some reason,” said Fox. “I just keep reminding our guys that our defense is going to be the deciding factor in how our games go. If we play good defense then that tends to help out our offense.”
After a Callen basket early in the third cut the lead to five at 30-25, Craddock decided to take over as he would score 12 of Clarion’s 14 points in the frame which pushed the lead to 15 at 44-29 after three.
After a Ryan Hummell basket to start the fourth, once again Clarion would pull away with a 12-0 run to push the lead to 56-31 with just over three minutes to play. With both teams playing mostly junior varsity players, the Lions closed the game on a 7-2 run to set the final score.
“Despite the final score I was still overall pleased with how our kids played,” said Ferguson. “We still held them to 58 points which was kind of a low score for them at least based on some of the scores I’ve been seeing them put up. We’re just so inexperienced that our kids just have to keep going out there and keep working on things and improving.”
Clarion also notched a 45-32 victory in the junior varsity contest. Reece Geiger scored 10 points and Gabe Simko added eight for the Bobcats.
Riley Klingensmith scored 13 while Ty Rankin added 12 for C-L.
Clarion 58, C-L 38
Score by Quarters
Clarion 11 19 14 14-58
C-L 16 7 6 9-38
Cal German 4 5-5 14, Christian Simko 3 3-4 9, Hunter Craddock 11 2-4 24, Beau Verdill 3 1-4 7, Dawson Smail 1 0-0 2, Ryan Alston 0 0-0 0, Daunte Girvan 0 0-0 0, Aiden Quinn 0 0-0 0, Donnie Cunningham 0 0-0 0, Gabe Simko 0 0-0 0, Reece Geiger 0 0-0 0, Ezra Brooks 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 11-17 58.
Jordan Hesdon 1 0-0 2, Ryan Hummell 1 0-0 2, Braden Rankin 4 1-1 9, Hayden Callen 5 0-0 11, Hayden Siegel 1 0-0 3, Tommy Smith 3 0-0 6, Riley Klingensmith 1 2-4 5, Nate Megnin 0 0-0 0, Alex Painter 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 3-5 38
Three-pointers: Clarion (German), C-L 3 (Callen, Siegel, Klingensmith).