FRILLS CORNERS, Pa. – C-L’s strong fourth-quarter performance led the Lions past a hard-working North Clarion side, 67-57. The game was tied after the second and third quarters, but some tough defense and near-flawless foul shooting gave the Lions the late edge.
(Photo Courtesy of: Jared Bakaysa)
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Hayden Callen scored a game-high 23 points for C-L, who also received double-digit nights from Riley Klingensmith, Jordan Hesdon, and Hayden Siegel. Dylan Walters led North Clarion with 16 points.
The Wolves started the game off hot, using their tenacious defense and good transition offense to convert near the rim. Meanwhile, C-L struggled to carve open space under the basket and could not convert on its long-range attempts. North Clarion’s up-tempo style helped produce a 13-6 run to end the quarter, giving the Wolves a 19-13 first-quarter lead.
The Lions came roaring back to start the second quarter, producing steals and finishing in transition. C-L’s fine defense and finishing touch turned a 19-13 deficit into a 25-19 lead, and the Lions looked to be taking control of the contest. Not to be outdone, North Clarion cleaned up their play, breaking the press and continuing to score on driving layups. A big three by Zeelen Hargenrader capped off the Wolves’ mini-comeback, tying the score at 30 after the first half of play.
Zeelan Hargenrader’s Big Shot
Both teams started the half exchanging buckets, and the pace of play had dramatically slowed from its earlier frantic pace. About halfway through the quarter, C-L began to creep out to a small eight-point lead, converting both in tight and from beyond the arc. Just like in the second quarter, North Clarion came surging back, and two huge threes tied up the score at 47 going into the final period of play.
Callen jumpstarted the C-L offense in the fourth quarter, converting twice down low to help grow the C-L lead to 56-49 with 4:00 left in the game. C-L head coach Joe Ferguson was proud of Callen’s leadership down the stretch.
“He can handle the ball, and he can score, but he [also] took a good leadership role in the fourth quarter talking to the other guys and letting them know what needed to happen. We need that floor leader out there.”
Callen Denies a North Clarion Shot
Despite C-L’s quick start to the period, North Clarion kept in it, going on a quick run to cut the lead to three, 60-57. The Lions finished the game strong, scoring some clutch buckets while locking things down on defense, only allowing two points in the last two minutes. C-L put the game to bed at the free-throw line, going 8-for-9 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to capture a late 67-57 win.
A Postgame Interview with Coach Ferguson
With the win, the Lions advance to 3-5, while the Wolves fall to 1-7.