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JUST SHORT: Clarion-Limestone Nearly Overcomes 13-point Deficit, But Falls in First Round of PIAA Playoffs

STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Despite trailing by 13 points late in the first half, Clarion-Limestone kept battling before ultimately falling 70-67 to Bishop Canevin in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs on Saturday afternoon.

Shea Champine, who came into the contest averaging 30 points per game, finished with 33 points in the contest for Bishop Canevin. Jason Cross added 12 points while Michael Vaughn recorded 10 points. Bishop Canevin drained eight 3-pointers in the contest.

“The worst part is that, coming in, we knew the (Champine) kid was a special player and we’d have to try and double-team him,” said C-L head coach Joe Ferguson. “The bad part was when he penetrated he’d kick the ball out and they were knocking down those outside shots.”

Riley Klingensmith knocked down four shots from beyond the 3-point arc on his way to a team-high 19 points.

Clarion-Limestone Area High School sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Redbank Chevrolet and DuBrook.


Jordan Hesdon added 16 points, while Alex Painter added 11 points for C-L.

Jase Ferguson nearly had a triple-double of six points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. Jack Callen scored eight points while pulling down nine rebounds.

“The play of Jordan today shows why he was named the league MVP,” said Ferguson. “The problem was that he was in foul trouble, so it made it difficult. We had to put him back in there in the third and he knocked down a few shots.”

Bishop Canevin opened up a seven-point lead of 15-8 with 2:35 to play in the opening quarter before a 7-0 run by C-L tied the game at 15-all. A 3-pointer by Vaughn gave Bishop Canevin an 18-15 lead after one.

C-L closed to within one at 23-22 with just over two minutes played in the second quarter. A 10-0 run, capped by a Chamine steal and dunk, pushed the lead back to 11 at 33-22 4:39 to play in the half. C-L would pull to within eight at 38-30 on a three by Klingensmith. The lead would remain eight at 43-35 by halftime.

Champine scored 21 of his total by halftime. Klingensmith scored 16 of his total in the opening half.

“When you get to this level, all losses are tough losses,” said Ferguson. “Especially when a number of things could have gone the other way. In basketball, when you get down early, you are constantly fighting an uphill battle. Give our kids credit as they fought back like they did all season and they made a game of it.”

Hesdon scored all six points of a 6-3 run to start the third quarter as the Lions cut the lead to five at 46-41. A 9-4 run by Bishop Canevin pushed the lead back to 10 at 55-45 with 3:11 to play in the quarter. A 9-2 run by C-L closed the gap to three at 57-54 by the end of the third quarter.

C-L cut the lead to two on 1-of-2 free throws by Painter early in the fourth. Vaughn would knock down another three to push the lead back to five at 60-55. C-L would never trail by less than three the rest of the contest as Hesdon scored off of a rebound with two seconds to play to make the score 70-67.

The play came after the Lions misfired on three attempts at 3-pointers over the final 15 seconds.

C-L made just 7-of-16 free throws for the contest while Bishop Canevin made 10-of-14 shots from the foul line.

“I haven’t looked at the overall stats yet, but I’d say our free throw shooting could have cost us the game,” said Ferguson. “That’s an area we’ve struggled with at times this season. Overall though I felt we exceeded our expectations this season. What our kids accomplished for exceeding our initial expectations and we still could have been moving on. Sometimes it just doesn’t go that way.”

Clarion-Limestone Area High School sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Redbank Chevrolet and DuBrook.