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UNLEASHED: Redbank Valley Runs Away With Big KSAC Win Over North Clarion

FRILLS CORNERS, Pa. (EYT/D9) — The leash has been taken off the Bulldogs.

They are free to run now. Wreak havoc. Maul opponents with relentlessness and conviction.

The Redbank Valley girls basketball team is back to that old, disruptive style. Swarming defense. Taking every opportunity to run and push on offense. Piling up the points.

The Bulldogs made a statement on Thursday at North Clarion in a clash of two undefeated teams in the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference. They didn’t let the Wolves breathe on the way to a 70-49 victory.

(Pictured above, Redbank Valley’s Izzy Bond, left, and Mylee Harmon)

“I thought our defense went back to the old days of the (2-3 zone),” said Redbank Valley coach Chris Edmonds. “Keep the ball out of the middle. Control the boards and then just get the ball and go. It was a good one for the girls. I’m proud of them.”

There was a lot for the coach to be proud of, especially in an explosive first half.

Redbank Valley (13-2, 7-0) started fast, leading 17-5. Then the Bulldogs pressed their foot on North Clarion’s neck in the second quarter, scoring 27 points and taking a 44-16 lead into the halftime locker room.

Junior guard Mylee Harmon scored 15 of her game-high 25 points in the first half, showcasing her quickness and speed and ability to get to the rim.

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

“We’ve been known as a team that just pushes it, pushes it, pushes it,” Harmon said. “And tonight we really did that. We got out in transition and we shared the ball.”

The Bulldogs certainly did. Four players reached double figures in the win.

Addy Bond scored 14, Izzy Bond pitched in 13 and Kira Bonanno had a monster double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Freshman Elaina Carrico also added six on two 3-pointers.

“I thought our intensity was up from the tip,” Edmonds said. “We had two good days of practice and the girls were ready for the game. I think they came out in the first half and performed. They had a little bit of a drop in the second half, but it’s something we can work on.”

North Clarion (13-3, 6-1) played much better over the final two quarters, but the damage done in the first half was far too much to overcome.

The Wolves never go the lead below 21 points.

North Clarion’s 10-game winning streak was snapped.

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“We knew going into the game that we had to limit the turnovers because if we didn’t, they’re going to crush us,” said North Clarion coach Skip Homan. “Give them credit. We knew exactly what they were going to do. We worked on it. But then we just went to play and we couldn’t stop it.”

Harmon and Addy Bond were particularly effective at going to the rim. That was also something Homan said was something they had to stop, but failed.

“We wanted to let the other girls score, let the other girls beat us,” Homan said. “But we just let Harmon and Bond (get to the rim).”

Ainsley Hartle led North Clarion with 16 points.

Lily Homan was held to four points in the first half and finished with 13.

Skip Homan was happy with how his team played in the second half despite the 28-point deficit.

Redbank didn’t trigger the 30-point mercy rule until two minutes into the second quarter as Izzy Bond hit a shot while falling to her back on the floor.

“I said to them, ‘You know what, forget the score. Let’s make the second half respectable,’” Coach Homan said. “At the end of the day, this game doesn’t matter to us. We’re already going to the (KSAC) playoffs. We’re in. Maybe we’ll see them again.”

Redbank Valley wanted to make sure everyone sees them now.

The Bulldogs have played a difficult non-conference schedule and had a rough patch after Christmas and into the new year.

But now they look as formidable as ever.

“I think a lot of people are kind of looking at us like we lost a lot of seniors and they’re right. We’re hurting from that,” said Izzy Bond, the only senior on the roster. “There was a lot of motivation coming into this game because we wanted to be the No. 1 seed. I think we’ve lived up to that goal.”

Izzy Bond said the adversity the Bulldogs faced several weeks ago may be a blessing in the long run.

“Losing is just learning,” she said. “Sometimes you have to lose to learn. It helped us for games like this.”

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