With the D9Sports Tournament of Champions now in the second round, it’s time for the girls’ Midwest Region.
(Photo of the 2014 Karns City girls’ basketball team, which won the District 9 Class 2A title. Photo by Eric Elliott)
Advancing to the second round in the Midwest were topped-seeded 2012 Cranberry, No. 2 2005 Union, No. 4 2014 Karns City, No. 5 2011 Coudersport, No. 6 2008 Coudersport, No. 7 2018 Coudersport, No. 8 2011 St. Marys, and No. 14 2019 North Clarion.
Here is how this works. You have until 11:59 p.m. Thursday to vote for which team you think is the best in each matchup. At that point, the winners will advance into the Round of 16.
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(8) 2011 St. Marys vs. (1) 2012 Cranberry
2011 St. Marys moved into the second round with a 54 percent to 46 percent win over 2017 Coudersport, while Cranberry of 2012 knocked off 2020 Brookville, 80 percent to 20 percent.
St. Marys, coached by Bob Swanson, went 22-2 in 2011 and beat Bradford, 53-37, in the D9 3A title game before losing to New Castle, 69-23, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs in a game that saw star guard Kayla Ho’ohuli lost to an injury six minutes into the contest. Ho’ohuli won the D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year award for the third straight year after averaging 28.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.5 steals, 4.3 assists, and 3.8 blocks per game. She finished her career with 2,604 points and went on to a standout career at NCAA Division 1 Canisius. Also for the Lady Dutch, Adair Gennocro scored 8.8 points per game.
Cranberry went 25-2 in 2012 and beat Moniteau, 52-33, in the D9 2A title game then topped Beaver Falls, 45-42, and Girard, 43-33, in the PIAA playoffs to reach the quarterfinals where it lost to eventual PIAA champion Seton-LaSalle. Chrissy Shumaker’s Berries were led by a trio of first-team All-D9 players in Lauren Hogue (11.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg), Kylie Mason (13.6 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.3 spg, 44 3-pointers), and Emily Merryman (16.4 ppg, 3.8 spg, 3.1 rpg, 3.0 spg), a sophomore who went on to score 1,914 career points. Sune Swart (10.1 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg) was a second-team All-D9 selection, who ended up at NCAA Division I Bucknell, and Shumaker was the D9Sports.com Coach of the Year.
(5) 2011 Coudersport vs. (4) 2014 Karns City
An 82 percent to 18 percent win over 2020 Redbank Valley propelled 2011 Coudersport into the Round of 32, while 2014 Karns City beat 2004 Punxsutawney, 63 percent to 37 percent.
Coudersport went 25-2 in 2011 and won the D9 1A title over Union when Hannah Fink hit the game-winning shot with less than two seasons to play. Brian Green’s Lady Falcons then beat Aliquippa, 75-60, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs before losing to Fort Cherry, 61-42, in the second round. DJ Cowburn (14.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.3 spg, 3.9 apg), and Jenna Matzinger (15.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.9 spg, 3.0 apg) were both named first-team All-District. Matzinger, a senior in 2011, finished her career with 1,081 points, while Cowburn, a junior in 2011, ended her career with 1,103. Fink (13.2 ppg) was a second-team All-D9 choice.
Karns City put together a 25-2 mark for head coach Dave Kerschbaumer in 2014 and beat Clarion-Limestone, 47-22, to win the D9 2A title before topping Girard, 42-28, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to Bishop Canevin, 64-40, in the second round. The Lady Gremlins were led by first-team All-D9 selection LeeAnn Gibson (16.5 ppg), a sophomore who went on to score 1,456 career points and play four years at NCAA D2 Slippery Rock. Shanel Preston (11.4 ppg) was a second-team All-D9 choice, and Emily LoPresti (11.3 ppg) was a third-team selection. Kerschbaumer was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year.
(14) 2019 North Clarion vs. (6) 2008 Coudersport
2019 North Clarion picked up an upset win over 2009 Elk County Catholic, 55 percent to 45 percent, in the first round, while 2008 Coudersport knocked off 2016 Keystone, 72 percent to 28 percent.
North Clarion under Terry Dreihaup went 19-7 in 2019 and beat Johnsonburg, 43-41, to win its third straight D9 title in Class 1A before losing to Sewickley Academy, 44-35, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. The She-Wolves were led by first-team All-District 9 selection junior Abby Gatesman (14.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.8 spg, 1.2 bpg, Shot 47.7 percent from the field), who was also named a Class 1A All-State performer and went over 1,000 points in her career.
Coudersport in 2008 went 27-3 and beat West Forest, 65-38, to win the D9 1A title before knocking off Blairsville, 59-52, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to Avonworth, 53-51 in overtime, in the second round. Brian Green’s Lady Falcons were led by the D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year, Kristy Kamper, who averaged 19.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.6 steals and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and finishing her career with 1,345 points. Jessica Wilson (1,162 career points) gave Coudersport a pair of 1,000-point seniors and was a third-team All-District 9 selection after averaging 11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 steals, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.
(7) 2018 Coudersport vs. (2) 2005 Union
The 2018 Coudersport team beat 2017 Punxsutawney, 62 percent to 38 percent, to advance to the second round, while 2005 Union toppled 2020 Punxsutawney, 72 percent to 28 percent.
Coudersport in 2018 under Brian Green finished 22-4 and beat Kane, 63-45, to win the D9 Class 2A title then topped California, 50-23, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs before losing to Reynolds, 38-35, in the second round. The Lady Falcons were led by third-team All-District 9 selection Shaelyn Black (14.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 spg) as well as the D9Sports.com District 9 Rookie of the Year Sarah Chambers (8.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.0 spg).
Union went 27-3 in 2005 and beat Elk County Catholic, 59-49, to win the District 9 Class 1A title and then topped Duquesne, 74-53, and Conemaugh Valley, 56-53, to advance to the PIAA quarterfinals where it lost to Kennedy Catholic, 60-59, when Alexis George hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds to play. Golden Damsels head coach Josh Meeker was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year, junior Andrea Mortimer (16 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.0 spg, 2.3 apg) was a first-team All-D9 selection, and Bethan Koch (13.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.6 spg, 2.3 apg) was a third-team All-D9 choice as a junior. Both Mortimer (1,550 points) and Koch (1,332 points) went over 1,000 points in their careers with Koch playing at NCAA D2 Clarion University.