By Chris Rossetti
CLARION, Pa. – The District 9 Class AA boys’ semifinals figures to be a wide-open tournament when the four teams get together Tuesday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.
The action gets started at 6 p.m. when third-seeded Keystone, fresh off its 60-56 overtime win against Brookville Thursday, takes on second-seeded Kane, which had a bye into the semifinals.
Immediately following that contest at approximately 7:30 p.m., top-seeded Cranberry, which also had a bye, will take on fifth-seeded Brockway, which beat Karns City, 56-47, in the quarterfinals.
Both games can be heard live at D9Sports.com and ExploreClarion.com via ExploreRadio.
(3) KEYSTONE (12-11) vs. (2) KANE (12-10)
When and where: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym
Game Preview: Keystone won an exciting 60-56 game over Brookville in the quarterfinals when Austin Ion tied the game with just a little over 10 seconds to go in regulation on a 3-pointer and then scored five more points in overtime. Ion had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the game … Kane, meanwhile hasn’t played since beating Eisenhower, 57-43, Feb. 10 … Both teams come into the postseason playing some of their best basketball … Keystone, which had to win three of its final four games just to make postseason play, has won 7 of 10 since mid-January … Kane, meanwhile, enters the postseason on a four-game win streak that also was needed for the Wolves to get to postseason play. That includes 52-49 win at top-seeded Cranberry Feb. 8. Cranberry beat Keystone twice midway through the season, although Kane suffered a 14-point loss to Brookville earlier in the year … Keystone hasn’t been to a District 9 title game since losing the A title to Elk County Catholic in 2007 and hasn’t won a D9 title since taking home the AA crown 10 years ago, in 2006 … Kane’s last appearance in the title game was 2010 when it lost to Brookville in AA. The Wolves last title came in 2007, also in AA.
Top Players: Keystone – Austin Ion (11.2 ppg), Mason Rearick (8.3 ppg), Tanner Wilson (7.0 ppg). Kane – Andrew Bucheit (20.4 ppg), Frank Truden (8.0 ppg), Davis Gardner (7.6 ppg)
(5) BROCKWAY (11-12) vs. (1) CRANBERRY (14-8)
When and where: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.
Game Preview: This is a rematch of last year’s semifinal contest won by Cranberry 48-32 … Brockway earned its way into the semifinals with the 56-47 win over Karns City Thursday in the quarterfinals with Carter Adams scoring 19 points … Cranberry has been idle since 64-53 win over Venango Catholic Feb. 10 … For the second straight year, Brockway was plagued by a slow start. The Rovers were just 4-11 following a loss to DuBois Jan. 20. But since then, they have gone 7-1 with the lone loss coming Ridgway, and they have won six straight including the quarterfinal victory … The time off may do Cranberry some good, as the Berries lost 2 of their final 3 games including a three-point loss at home to Kane. They finished just 4-4 in their final eight contest …Brockway, which won D9 titles in 2009 and 2013, is looking to get back to the title game for the first time since beating Cranberry, 45-38, in the 2013 championship contest … Cranberry, which hasn’t won a D9 title since 2008, lost by four, 50-46, in last year’s championship game to Redbank Valley after losing to Brockway in both the 2013 and 2009 title games.
Top Players: Brockway – Jake Wineberg (10.1 ppg), Carter Adams (9.2 ppg), Corey Carr (8.5 ppg). Cranberry – Evan Lutz (14.5 ppg), Brendan Zerbe (11.5 ppg), Austin Rex (8.2 ppg)