Brookville Boys Look for PIAA Berth Saturday


CLARION, Pa. (D9Sports) – Super Saturday is back with a vengeance with five District 9 playoff games being played at Tippin Gym Saturday, Feb. 29, including three title games.

(Photo from left: Clarion’s Cal German, North Clarion’s Abby Gatesman, ECC’s Regis Wortman)

The day gets started a pair of consolation contests, as Clarion-Limestone and A-C Valley play in the Class 1A consy game at Noon followed by the Class 2A consolation game at 1:30 p.m. between Keystone and Coudersport.

Championship action gets started at 3 p.m. when North Clarion battles Coudersport in Class 1A girls’ action. It is then followed at 5 p.m. by the Class 2A boys’ championship game between Ridgway and Clarion, and the day concludes at 7 p.m. with the Class 1A boys’ title tilt featuring Elk County Catholic and Cameron County.

In addition to the five games at Tippin Gym, Brookville will take on Chestnut Ridge in the Class 3A District 5-9 subregional title game with a spot in the PIAA playoffs at stake.

Previews for the four championship games are below.

DISTRICT 9 CLASS 1A GIRLS’ TITLE GAME

strong>(2) Coudersport vs. (1) North Clarion

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29
Where: Clarion University’s Tippin Gym
Records: Coudersport 20-4, North Clarion 24-0
How They Got Here: Coudersport beat DuBois Central Catholic, 50-41, in the quarterfinals and then topped Otto-Eldred, 62-40, in the semifinals; North Clarion had a bye into the semifinals where it beat Elk County Catholic, 62-47.
Leading Scorers: Coudersport: Sarah Chambers (13.8 ppg), Rosalyn Page (9.2 ppg), Lauren Stimaker (8.0 ppg), Mikayla Gunn (7.7 ppg), Elizabeth Frame (6.3 ppg); North Clarion: Abby Gatesman (14.5 ppg), Mackenzie Bauer (11.7 ppg), Haley Sherman (9.9 ppg), Gabby Schmader (8.7 ppg)/
About Coudersport: The Lady Falcons are making their third appearance in a District 9 championship game in the last four years having won the Class 2A title in both 2017 and 2018 … As a program, Coudersport has been to the District 9 title game 20 times now. In the first 19, the Lady Falcons are 15-4, including winning 11 straight appearances between 1990 and 2004 … Coudersport enters the game on an eight-game win streak. The Lady Falcons only losses this year have come to District 9 Class 4A runner-up St. Marys twice, D9 4A third-place finisher Bradford (once) and Class 2A playoff participant Brockway … Coudersport is the second-best defensive team in District 9, allowing 27.9 ppg. The Lady Falcons have kept 15 teams below 30 points this year. Despite those numbers, Coudersport has allowed 81 points in two postseason contests … Gunn has come out firing in the playoffs scoring 32 points in two postseason games. This, after she scored just 11 points in her three games leading up into the postseason. Still, Gunn is averaging 10.5 ppg since Jan. 23 with five games of at least 15 points … Chambers, the younger sister of D9’s all-time leading boys’ scorer Owen Chambers, has scored 869 points despite only being a junior
About North Clarion: The She-Wolves are in the District 9 Class 1A title game for the fourth straight season and are looking to win a fourth straight title. The last D9 Class 1A team to win four titles in a row was Coudersport, who did it between 2001 and 2004. In fact, the Lady Falcons are the only program ever to win at least four in a row in Class 1A having also won five straight between 1993 and 1997. North Clarion (2017-19), Coudersport (the above two mentioned streaks) and Union (2005-07) are the only D9 teams to even win at least three in a row in Class 1A … North Clarion enters the title game unbeaten for the second time in three years … Gatesman, who is headed to Clarion University on a hoops scholarship, has scored 1,184 career points. In two postseason games (the KSAC title game and the semifinal contest), she has scored 33 points while recording double-doubles in both games … The She-Wolves should get the services of Haley Sherman back. Sherman has missed all but a half quarter of the last four games. She was injured in the first quarter of the Feb. 11 game against Venango Catholic and then missed the next two games before seeing token action in the semifinal win. Getting her back would be big for North Clarion, as she is the team’s third-leading scorer at 9.9 ppg (which in reality is more like 10.6 ppg when you take away the token action Tuesday and the four minutes of the Venango Catholic game … Sherman (519), Schmader (543), Bauer (702), who is headed to Penn State DuBois to play hoops, and Gatesman give North Clarion four seniors who are all over 500 career points … The She-Wolves are the highest-scoring team in District 9, averaging 60.8 ppg and rank third in points allowed at 28.0 ppg … Only two of North Clarion’s games this season have been decided by less than 10 points, although the She-Wolves have struggled in the first half of their last two games trailing Redbank Valley by eight at the half in the KSAC title game before winning 53-36 and leading ECC by just three at the break in the semifinals before winning 62-47.
Game Tidbits: These teams met in the District 9 Class 1A semifinals last season with North Clarion coming away with a 50-29 win … Both teams are headed to the PIAA playoffs. The winner will play the sixth-place team out of the WPIAL, Avella, while the loser will play the fourth-place team out of the WPIAL, Sewickley Academy. The first-round PIAA games will be Saturday, March 7 at a District 9 site.

DISTRICT 9 CLASS 2A BOYS’ TITLE GAME

(4) Clarion vs. (3) Ridgway

When: 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29
Where: Clarion University’s Tippin Gym
Records: Clarion 16-8; Ridgway 18-7
How They Got Here: Clarion beat Karns City, 54-48, in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Keystone, 54-50, in the semifinals; Ridgway beat Smethport, 50-27, in the quarterfinals, and second-seeded Coudersport, 39-29, in the semifinals
Leading Scorers: Clarion: Cal German (21.3 ppg), Nick Frederick (10.7 ppg), Hunter Craddock (8.0 ppg), Skylar Rhoades (6.7 ppg), Josh Craig (6.0 ppg); Ridgway: Matt Dush (14.2 ppg), Zack Zameroski (13.1 ppg), Dan Park (7.8 ppg), Domenic Allegretto (5.0 ppg)
About Clarion: The Bobcats are back in a District 9 title game for the first time since winning the Class 1A title in 2003 beating Johnsonburg that season in the championship game. Prior to the 2003 title game, Clarion hadn’t been to a championship game since 1988 when it lost to ECC. The Bobcats also won titles in 1986, 1966, 1963 and 1962 with the last three coming in the old Class C and lost championship games in 1964 and 1965 in Class C … German is the third-leading scorer in District 9, and the junior has scored 1,097 career points … Clarion started the season 0-4 and was just 6-7 following a loss to Clarion-Limestone Jan. 13. But since then, the Bobcats have gone 10-1 with the lone loss being to A-C Valley. Since the A-C Valley loss on Jan. 22, Clarion has won eight in a row under first-year head coach Scott Fox.
About Ridgway: The Elkers are the defending 2A champions and are making their third straight trip to the Class 2A title game. This is the sixth time in the last nine years Ridgway has reached a D9 final having won 1A titles in 2012 and 2014 and losing the 1A title in 2013 … The Elkers also won 2A titles in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1992 and are 7-7 all-time in title games … Ridgway slumped a bit from late December through mid-January losing 5 of 7, but the Elkers are 10-2 since Jan. 21 with the only losses being to Kane and Johnsonburg … Zameroski and Dush are the only two players back from last year’s D9 title team that advanced to the PIAA Elite Eight that played any significant role … Ridgway continues to be one of the best in D9 on defense, allowing 36.7 ppg, second only to ECC in District 9.
Game Tidbits: This is the third straight season these teams have met in the playoffs. Ridgway beat Clarion 48-32 in last year’s quarterfinals and 44-24 in the 2018 semifinals … Both teams advance to the PIAA playoffs. The winner plays the fourth-place team out of the WPIAL, Shenango, while the loser takes on the third-place team out of the WPIAL, Winchester Thurston. Those games will be Saturday, March 7, at District 9 locations.

DISTRICT 9 CLASS 1A BOYS’ TITLE GAME

(3) Cameron County vs. (1) Elk County Catholic

When: 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 29
Where: Clarion University’s Tippin Gym
Records: Cameron County 20-4; ECC 25-1
How They Got Here: Cameron County beat North Clarion, 54-44, and Clarion-Limestone, 47-46; ECC beat Austin, 69-18, and A-C Valley, 46-16.
Leading Scorers: Cameron County: Dino Brown (17.7 ppg), Caden Beldin (15.8 ppg), Hayden Brown (9.8 ppg), Dylan Guisto (7.6 ppg); ECC: Regis Wortman (14.3 ppg), Mark Kraus (10.5 ppg), Leo Gregory (6.2 ppg), Will Uberti (5.3 ppg), Carter Lindemuth (5.1 ppg)
About Cameron County: You have to go all the way back to 1973 to find the last time the Red Raiders won a D9 title, as they beat Keystone, 59-45, to win their fourth straight Class 1A title that season … From 1962, when Cameron County first made an appearance in a D9 title game as Emporium High School, until 1974, the Red Raiders were in the D9 championship game 10 times winning five. But since losing to ECC in 1974, Cameron County has made only three trips to the D9 title game losing to eventual state champion East Brady in 1980, losing to ECC in 1995 and losing to Clarion-Limestone in 2015 … Beldin, a junior who hit the game-winning 3-pointers in the closing seconds of the semifinal game, went over 900 career points in that contest and has 904, while Dino Brown, a senior, has 894 despite scoring just 10 as a freshman … Cameron County has won six in a row and 15 of 17 heading into Saturday … The Red Raiders rank fourth in D9 in points allowed at 41.3 ppg.
About ECC: The bluest of blue bloods in District 9 boys’ basketball, the Crusaders are in the title game for the 34th time since 1974 (46 years), including the 17th time since 1999 when they rejoined Class 1A after being Class 2A for a couple of seasons … The defending champions are also making their fifth straight trip to the title game winning titles in 2016, 2017 and 2019 … ECC has won 12 titles in Class 1A since 1999 and 20 Class 1A titles all-time while winning 24 titles in all … The Crusaders very first D9 title game with a 72-55 win over four-time defending champion Cameron County in 1974 in Class B … ECC’s only loss this season was at DuBois Jan. 29. It has won seven in a row since then … The Crusaders are D9’s top defensive team allowing just 34.8 ppg, including a ridiculous 17 ppg in two D9 playoff games.
Game Tidbits: Both teams advance to the PIAA playoffs. The winner plays sixth-place team out of the WPIAL, Imani Christian, while the loser plays second-place team out of District 6, Williamsburg. Both of those games will be Friday, March 6, at District 9 locations.

DISTRICT 5-9 CLASS 3A BOYS’ SUBREGIONAL TITLE GAME

(9-1) Brookville vs. (5-1) Chestnut Ridge

When: 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 29
Where: Clearfield Area High School
Records: Brookville (16-7), Chestnut Ridge (13-10)
How They Got Here: The Raiders beat Kane, 59-52, on Tuesday to win the D9 title while Chestnut Ridge beat Everett, 63-47, on Wednesday to win the D5 title.
Leading scorers: Brookville: Jace Miner (11.9 ppg.), Aaron Park (11.1 ppg.), Robert Keth (10.3 ppg.), Jack Krug (8.2 ppg.). Chestnut Ridge: Matt Whysong (16.3 ppg.), Noah Hillegass (11.1 ppg.), Isaac Little (9.7 ppg.), Logan Pfister (9.1 ppg.).
About Brookville: The Raiders won their second straight Class 3A title with their 59-52 win over Kane Tuesday at Clarion University. Of their seven losses, two have come to Class 1A finalist Elk County Catholic, two to DuBois, one to Class 2A finalist Ridgway and another to D10 Class 4A Warren, which beat them at the buzzer in the season-opening weekend. The Dragons will play for a third-place state playoff berth Friday. … The Raiders have had to play through some injuries and illness this year, losing senior shooting guard David Cable to a foot injury after six games in December — he returned for the final seconds of the win over Kane — while also losing junior guard Krug to illness for seven games. … It’s a balanced offense for sure, with five players averaging between 6.6 and 11.9 points per game. And it’s an efficient offense somewhat as well with the Raiders shooting nearly 49 percent from the field with Park, senior Logan Byerly (6.6 ppg.) and Krug all shooting over 54 percent. … The Raiders’ defense has limited its foes to just 38 percent shooting. Miner averages nearly three steals per game. Park averages a team-high 8.8 rebounds per game.
About Chestnut Ridge: The Lions have some quality losses among their 10, including three to D5/8 Sub-Region Class 4A champion Bedford, two to D6 Class 1A champion Bishop Carroll, one to D6 Class 2A power Bishop Guilfoyle (in Thursday’s D6 final vs. Portage) and Class 5A champion Johnstown while sweeping Richland (it plays Ligonier Valley in the D6 Class 3A final) and losing once to Westmont-Hilltop, which will earn a top-four state berth in D6 Class 3A as well. … The Lions are big with five of their likely eight-man playing rotation listed at 6-foot-1 or bigger. Whysong is a 5-11 sophomore guard while the 6-1 Hillegass averages a double-double with 10.1 rebounds per game. … The Lions were 5-17 last year while Everett went on to take the D5 title, beating them 60-53 in the final. Then Everett lost to Brookville at Pitt-Johnstown. 48-44, to finish 20-3.
Game Tidbits: The winner lands in the PIAA playoffs March 7 with a first-round matchup with the WPIAL sixth-place team, Neshannock.


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