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Keystone Boys, North Clarion Girls Capture KSAC Hoops Championships

CLARION, Pa. – A pair of teams that lost in the KSAC Title game a year ago turned things around and took home championships this season with the North Clarion girls and Keystone boys capturing crowns at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.

(Photos by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)

Keystone rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Clarion-Limestone, the two-time defending champion, 59-54, while North Clarion shrugged off a sluggish first half to win its third title in three years with a 53-36 victory over Redbank Valley.


Trailing by six going to the fourth quarter, Isaak Jones willed Keystone to the 59-54 win and was named the game’s MVP Presented by All American Awards & Engraving and chosen by

Jones accounted for all eight points during an 8-0 Panthers’ run that turned a 52-48 deficit into a 53-52 lead with 4:49 to play.

Relisten to the game:

He started the spurt with a 3-pointer and ended it with another 3-pointers.

Jones talked about the victory.

After Jones’ three gave Keystone the lead, Andrew Lauer made it 55-52 with 2:53 left before Hayden Callen’s bucket at the 1:01 mark got C-L back within a point.

But Alex Rapp connected on a pair of clutch free throws in a one-and-one situation at the 25.7 second mark, and Lauer hit two more in the closing seconds to secure the victory.

C-L had taken a 48-42 lead after the third quarter thanks to a quarter-ending 10-2 run that saw Kaden Park scored four of the points.

Then, after the teams exchanged 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter – Troy Johnson hit Keystone’s and Jordan Hesdon hit C-L, Curvin Goheen hit a free throw to extend the Lions lead to seven, 52-45 with 6:31 to play.

That is when Jones took over hitting his first 3-pointer at the 6:13 mark and then adding another basket at 5:38 before capping the run with his second triple.

Jones led all scorers with 16 points with Marc Rearick adding 13 for Keystone. All 13 of Rearick’s came in the first quarter when he hit four 3-pointers. Troy Johnson added 11 points in the win for the Panthers, and Lauer chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Goheen had a double-double to pace C-L scoring 14 points and hauling down 11 rebounds, nine on the offensive glass including seven first-quarter offensive rebounds.

Callen also scored 14 for the Lions with Deas adding 12, but only two after halftime.

Keystone shot 46.3 percent (19 of 41) while C-L was 24 of 60 (40.0 percent). The Lions snagged 19 offensive rebounds, 14 in the first half, but were outrebounded by Keystone, 39-33, for the game.

Both teams advance to the District 9 playoffs with Keystone (21-2) the top seed in Class 2A and C-L (19-4) the second seed in Class 1A. The Panthers await the winner of the Clarion vs. Karns City game, while C-L plays seventh-seeded Otto-Eldred Friday.

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Score by Quarters

Keystone 21 12 9 17 – 59
C-L 17 20 11 6 – 54


Troy Johnson 2 6-7 11, Marc Rearick 4 1-2 13, Isaak Jones 0 2-2 2, Andrew Lauer 4 2-2 10, Gavin Hogue 0 0-0 0, Jayden Blazosky 0 0-0 0, Brandon Pierce 1 0-0 3, Colin Say 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 12-14 59.


Deion deas 5 0-0 12, Jordan Hesdon 2 0-0 5, Bryson Huwar 1 0-0 2, Curvin Goheen 6 2-5 14, Braden Rankin 2 0-0 4, Kaden Park 1 0-0 2, Hayden Callen 7 0-0 14, Mitch Knepp 0 1-4 1. Totals 24 3-9 54.

Three-pointers: Keystone 9 (Rearick 4, Jones 3, Johnson, Pierce). C-L 3 (Deas 2, Hesdon).


Trailing by 13 with 1:29 left in the first half, North Clarion showed the heart of a champion outscoring Redbank Valley 40-10 over the final 17 minutes of the game to secure the KSAC title with the 53-36 win.

Lauren Smith’s 3-pointer at the 1:29 mark of the second quarter but Redbank Valley ahead 26-13, but the Lady Bulldogs made just three more baskets the rest of the game shooting 3 of 32 in the second half, including 1 of 14 in the fourth quarter.

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Meanwhile, North Clarion, which shot 5 of 26 in the first half, was able to cut the deficit to eight, 26-18, by halftime.

The She-Wolves then scored the first nine points of the second half thanks to a pair of Mackenzie Bauer 3-pointers and an old-school 3-point play by Abby Gatesman to take their first lead of the game, 27-26, on a Bauer triple with 5:48 to play.

Redbank Valley got three straight points from Tara Hinderliter to temporarily retake the lead, 29-28, with five minutes to play in the third quarter, but Bauer hit another 3-pointer at the 4:45 mark and Gabby Schmader followed with a triple a few moments late to put North Clarion ahead for good, 33-29.

Photo by Jared Bakaya. Click on the photo to see more of Bakaysa’s work including pictures from both KSAC Title games

Bauer wasn’t done connecting on an old-school 3-pointer play at the 1:28 mark to make it 38-31, and Schmader had back-to-back baskets off Gatesman assists before Gatesman hit a shot at the third-quarter horn to give North Clarion a 44-31 lead.

The She-Wolves outscored Redbank Valley 26-5 in the third quarter with Bauer leading the way with 12 of her game-high 17 points. She was named the game’s MVP Presented by All American Awards & Engraving and chosen by and talked about the win.

Gatesman had a strong game as well for North Clarion finishing with 14 points and 17 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. She scored 11 of her points in the second half.

Schmader chipped in 12 points in the victory.

Smith paced Redbank Valley with 13 points, eight before halftime, while Hinderliter added 11. Madison Foringer grabbed a team-best 13 rebounds while scoring four points.

Both teams advance to the District 9 playoffs. North Clarion (23-0) is the top seed in Class 1A and awaits the winner of the Elk County Catholic vs. Union game, while Redbank Valley is the No. 2 seed in the Class 2A bracket and plays Kane in the opening round Friday at Punxsutawney High School.

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Redbank Valley recaps are brought to you by: Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & ExcavatingBurford & Henry Real Estate ServicesTin Town Metal Works


Score by Quarters

Redbank Valley 16 10 5 5 – 36
North Clarion 5 13 26 9 – 53


Kennedy Hetter 0 0-0 0, Karlee Shoemaker 0 0-0 0, Ryleigh Smathers 0 0-0 0, Emma Huffman 0 0-0 0, Claire Clouse 0 0-0 0, Megan Gourley 0 0-0 0, Gabby Dinger 0 0-0 0, Madison Foringer 2 0-0 4, Tara Hinderliter 4 2-7 11, Lauren Smith 3 5-6 13, Alivia Huffman 2 0-0 4, Caylen Rearick 1 2-2 4, Brooklyn Edmonds 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Bowser 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 9-15 36.


Mackenzie Bauer 6 2-5 17, Amya Green 1 0-2 2, Gabby Schmader 5 0-0 12, Claire Kriebel 0 0-0 0, Gwen Siegel 0 2-6 2, Abby Gatesman 5 4-7 14, Trinity Thompson 2 2-4 6. Totals 19 10-24 53.

Three-pointers: Redbank Valley 3 (Smith 2, Hinderliter). North Clarion 5 (Bauer 3, Schmader 2)


Jess Quinn (The Coach) and Chris Rossetti (The Scribe) broke down the games in the Feb. 15 edition of The Coach and The Scribe Powered by the Rehab Centre. The Rehab Centre has six locations serving you, including in Clarion, Brookville, and Kittanning. The Rehab Centre, Chiropractors Caring for Health.