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TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Redbank Valley Rolls Past Coudersport, Sets Up Rematch with Clarion-Limestone

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Coming off a tough loss to Clarion-Limestone in the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference tournament, the Redbank Valley boys basketball team had plenty of time to stew. 

A first-round bye in the District 9 Class 2A playoffs made the wait to get back on the court and get the sour taste of that defeat out of their mouths a long one.

Too long for the Bulldogs.

(Pictured above, Redbank Valley coach Emmanuel Marshall talks with his team during a timeout)

Finally, playing again after six days off, Redbank Valley broke open a close game with a 30-point eruption in the second quarter on the way to a 69-37 home win over Coudersport in the quarterfinals on Friday night.

The Bulldogs got some value out of that setback to the Lions last Friday. It gave them perspective and a renewed purpose.

“You know, personally, I think we needed that loss,” said Redbank Valley coach Emmanuel Marshall of the KSAC setback to red-hot Clarion-Limestone. “If we’re going to lose, why not at that point in time? Because that way we can be humbled and get back after it.”

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

Redbank certainly did against Coudy. 

The Falcons, though, showed a glimmer in the first quarter. After falling behind 15-4, they went on a 9-0 run, thanks to some hot perimeter shooting by Mason Roessner, to close to 15-13. 

During a timeout, the Bulldogs regrouped.

And then some. 

“We fell asleep for a minute and they shoot the ball very well,” Marshall said. “We told them, ‘This is what will happen if you allow them to shoot, they’ll score.’ We really got on all of them about playing defense, and pinching the lane and closing out and taking them off the 3-point line.”

The players heeded that warning.

“They were just knocking down the 3s,” said Mason Clouse said “We made sure to tighten up our D on them.”

Once Redbank did that, it was like an avalanche that buried Coudy. 

That two-point lead ballooned to 20 at 38-18 midway through the second quarter. 

Just a minute into the second half, the Bulldogs triggered the mercy clock, up 53-23. 

It was a clinic on just how dangerous, potent and explosive Redbank Valley can be. 

All five starters reached double figures with Mason Clouse leading the way with 18. Braylon Wagner added 15, Kieran Fricko and Breckin Minich 11 each, and Owen Clouse 10. 

“All five of us any night can go off,” Mason Clouse said. “It’s hard to beat us when we do that.”

“We’re not looking for a 20-point guy or 30-point guy,” Marshall said. “We’re looking for everybody to get double digits. If we can do that, we can put at least 60 points on the board right there because we have six guys to play in the rotation.”

Redbank’s defense also did some heavy lifting. 

Coudersport was coming off an 85-point performance in a play-in win over Curwensville on Tuesday. The Falcons had just 23 points at the half. 

Reilly Streick led Coudersport with 17 points. Roessner added 14 with 10 of them coming in the first quarter.

For the Bulldogs, it was the kind of win they needed after that upset loss in the KSAC tourney.

“We were at home and we just had to come out and finish the job off,” Clouse said. 

Redbank Valley will get a chance at redemption when it takes on Clarion-Limestone again on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Tippin Gymnasium. 

“We were up by three going into the fourth quarter. If we would have just stuck to our old game plan instead of trying new things, we might have been OK,” Marshall said. “But that’s my fault.”

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