By Chris Rossetti
CLARION, Pa. – Karns City vs. Moniteau. Girls’ basketball.
Nothing more really needs to be said.
One of the top rivalries in District 9 girls’ basketball is also the 2016 District 9 Class AA title game.
The two Butler County neighbors will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym to decide the D9 champion.
Karns City (22-2) has won the last two title and is looking for its first three-peat since 2006-2008.
Moniteau (16-7) hasn’t won the championship since upsetting Karns City in 2001.
That season was the last in the first stint of current Moniteau head coach Dee Arblaster, who returned to Lady Warriors bench this year.
The 2001 season was also the last time Karns City lost a championship game. The Lady Gremlins have appeared in eight title games since winning all eight.
Moniteau, meanwhile, has lost its last two championship-game appearances falling to Cranberry in 2012 and Karns City in 2006. In fact, the Lady Warriors have only won three titles also taking home crowns in 1983 and 1984.
Karns City, on the other hand, is looking for title No. 13.
The Lady Gremlins have had their way with Moniteau recently winning nine straight. But, then again, Karns City pretty much has had its way with District 9 opponens over the last three years winning 30 in a row and going 58-2 vs. D9 since the start of the 2014 season. That including a 24-1 mark against D9 Class AA opponents with a 21-game win streak since a 49-41 Redbank Valley win over Karns City Jan. 20, 2014.
But Moniteau has to take some solace in the way they played Karns City Feb. 3 in a 43-38 loss.
The Lady Warriors led by eight, 34-26, going to the fourth quarter before the Lady Gremlins went on a 12-0 run to turn things around.
Emily Hegedus led the way in that game with 17 points for Karns City, and Hegedus has been leading the way in the second half of the season for the Lady Gremlins.
The sophomore point guard is averaging a team-leading 17.9 ppg, and she has been even better over her last 16 games averaging 19.1 ppg.
But Hegedus isn’t the only threat for Karns City.
Senior LeeAnn Gibson, a Slippery Rock recruit, adds 16.7 ppg and has scored 1,403 career points, the fourth most in school history and just 30 points shy of No. 3, Courtnay Rattigan (1,433).
Also for Karns City, Alyssa Gibson adds 9.1 ppg and Mackenzie Craig chips in 8.0 ppg.
Moniteau, which last beat the Lady Gremlins Feb. 13, 2012, 46-29, has its own dynamic duo of Kristina DeMatteis and Alazia Greaves, both junior.
DeMatteis leads the Lady Warriors averaging 15.6 ppg, while Greaves, who until this season was primarily a defensive stopper, adds 14.8 ppg.
DeMatteis had 17 points and nine rebounds in the Feb. 3 loss to Karns City but was held scoreless in the crucial fourth quarter, while Greaves was limited to just three points in that game.
GAMES NOTES – Both teams will move into the PIAA playoffs. The winner will take on the fourth-place team out of the WPIAL, either Carlynton, who upset No. 2 seed Burrell in the quarterfinals before losing to Greensburg Central Catholic in the semifinals, or Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, which was the top-seed in the WPIAL playoffs before being upset by Bishop Canevin in the semifinals … Karns City has won three straight playoff games over Moniteau since the loss in 2001 beating the Lady Warriors in the 2003 semifinals and the 2015 semifinals as well as the 2006 title game … Interestingly enough, the last time a season series (including playoffs) wasn’t swept by one team or the other was in 2001 when Karns City took the two regular-season games but lost in the title game.
KARNS CITY-MONITEAU RIVALRY SINCE 2001
Karns City 46, Moniteau 31
Karns City 43, Moniteau 38
Karns City 52, Moniteau 4
Karns City 47, Moniteau 31
Karns City 49, Moniteau 29 (District 9 Class AA Semifinals)
Karns City 39, Moniteau 34
Karns City 70, Moniteau 56
Karns City 43, Moniteau 29
Karns City 37, Moniteau 35
Moniteau 44, Karns City 28
Moniteau 46, Karns City 29
Moniteau 36, Karns City 19
Moniteau 45, Karns City 25
Moniteau 46, Karns City 19
Moniteau 39, Karns City 28
Moniteau 52, Karns City 41
Moniteau 50, Karns City 41
Karns City 70, Moniteau 50
Karns City 51, Moniteau 35
Karns City 32, Moniteau 24
Karns City 53, Moniteau 47
Karns City 47, Moniteau 42 (District 9 Class AA Championship Game)
Moniteau 55, Karns City 48
Moniteau 77, Karns City 48
Karns City 52, Moniteau 32
Karns City 67, Moniteau 37
Karns City 61, Moniteau 33
Karns City 57, Moniteau 36
Karns City 64, Moniteau 32 (District 9 Class AA Semifinals)
Karns City 60, Moniteau 22
Karns City 60, Moniteau 36
Karns City 58, Moniteau 51
Karns City 56, Moniteau 47
Moniteau 50, Karns City 44 (District 9 Class AA Championship Game)