STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (EYT/D9) – Christian Simko notched 25 points, including four free throws in the second overtime to help Clarion top Clarion-Limestone, 65-56, in double overtime on Friday evening at the Lion’s Den.
Devon Lauer added 15 points, including a big 3-pointer in the second overtime, to help the Bobcats outscore the Lions 9-0 in the second extra frame to pull away for the win.
(Above, Christian Simko scored 25 points to help Clarion pull out an overtime win over Clarion-Limestone)
“Christian is a senior, so he’s been around awhile, and he’s showing the younger guys that leadership on the floor,” said Clarion head coach Scott Fox. “We were trying to tell the guys not the turn the ball over, and when we drove inside, we seemed to turn the ball over. Devon took that shot and found the bottom of the net – that was a big shot for us.”
At the end of regulation C-L had two chances to win the game, but Tommy Smith missed a shot while Ryan Hummell grabbed the rebound and his shot went off the mark, sending the game to overtime tied 52-52.
C-L built a four-point lead of 56-52 on a Bryson Huwar put-back and a Riley Klingensmith steal and layup. However, Simko scored on a layup and hit a pair of free throws to tie the score 56-56. Clarion had a couple of chances at the end of overtime to win, but Simko missed a short jumper with two seconds left, sending the game to the second extra period.
“I liked how we continued to fight tonight,” said C-L head coach Joe Ferguson. “It was tough trying to keep coming back from three to four points down for much of the game. Both teams worked really hard, and I think in our case, we just ran out of steam in that second overtime.”
Klingensmith scored 16 points to lead C-L, while Smith added 11 points and Huwar and Ryan Hummell each added 10 points. Huwar also added 11 rebounds.
“Bryson is a worker and his hustle and desire rubs off on the younger kids,” said Ferguson.
Clarion led by as many as five in the first quarter at 12-7 before C-L closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 14-12 lead after one.
C-L went very cold shooting in the second quarter and Clarion took advantage to the tune of outscoring C-L 12-4 for the quarter to take a 24-18 halftime lead.
C-L kept chipping away in the third quarter and eventually took a 34-33 lead before Clarion closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 39-34 lead after three quarters.
The Lions held an 18-13 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter, which sent the game into overtime with the teams tied 52-52.
Clarion led by as many as six points at 50-44 before the Lions rallied to take a 52-51 lead.
A Simko free throw tied the score.