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HIGH INTENSITY: Redbank Valley Wins Overtime Thriller Against Northgate

NEW BETHLEHEM Pa. (EYT/D9) — Part of public address announcer Jeff “Zelmo” Miller’s job at Redbank Valley High School basketball games is to enforce the rules for spectators. He reminds fans that things such as taunting, harassing the officials, or running onto the court are prohibited.

But sometimes emotions can get the best of you, and after the home Redbank Valley Bulldogs defeated Northgate, 66-62, in a thrilling overtime PIAA Class 2A playoff game, many of Redbank’s student-section fans rushed the court to celebrate with their team.

“This gives us a lot of confidence,” said Redbank’s Braylon Wagner. “It was a big game against a good opponent, and it gets us ready for the next game.”

The contest was as close as it gets as the game went back and forth all afternoon. Northgate came out with a strong start and led 10-4 at one point. But Redbank marched back with a couple of 3-pointers and took the lead. The Flames led 21-19 after eight minutes of play.

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

The track meet continued into the second quarter, but Redbank started to take control as it held a 36-31 lead at halftime and came out in the third quarter with their biggest lead of the day at 40-33.

But Northgate would not go away that easily. Northgate came back and led after three quarters, 45-44, as it took advantage of the Bulldogs’ emotions in such a high-stakes game.

“We were up by seven and then we kind of let them get back into it,” said Redbank coach Emmanuel Marshall.” Our emotions kind of got the best of us. But lessons have been learned.”

The cat and mouse continued into the fourth quarter and after 32 minutes, the game was not decided as the score was knotted up at 59. Both teams had their chances to score late, but simply couldn’t.

To overtime, the game went and for the first two minutes of the extra frame, there was no scoring again. Both teams wanted to not make any mistakes and played a patient game. The tipping point came when Northgate’s Austin Mitchell fouled out and gave Wagner two shots at the line.

He made both and Redbank added a few more to solidify their memorable state playoff victory.

Wagner had 17 points for the Bulldogs. Mason Clouse led with 19. Breckin Minich scored 14 and Owen Clouse had 11 points. Josh Williams led Northgate, and the game, with 28 points.

“I think the three keys are turnovers, rebounds, and free throws,” added Wagner when asked about Redbank’s keys to success. “That is what we need to work on. If we do that, we’ll win every game.”

For Redbank coach Emmanuel Marshall, his team’s rebounding is what impressed him against such an athletic team in Northgate.

“One of our goals as far as our game plan was to out-rebound then,” said Marshall. “They’ve got some big guys that can jump, but we felt that putting a body on them could help us out-rebound them and help limit our turnovers.”

Redbank Valley will move on and play West Shamokin, who beat Cambridge Springs 48-46 on Saturday as well. That game will be on March 13 with a time and location to be announced later.

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