Clarion Advances to PIAA Second Round for First Time Since 2003

KNOX, Pa. (D9Sports) – Using strong free-throw shooting, especially in the fourth quarter, Clarion won its first PIAA playoff game in 17 years with a 49-44 victory over Winchester Thurston in the opening round of the PIAA Class 2A boys’ bracket at Keystone High School.

(Clarion’s Hunter Craddock defends against Winchester Thurston’s Igor Karusewicz late in Saturday’s win. Photo by Mary Rearick)

The Bobcats, the District 9 runner-up, who hadn’t won a PIAA game since winning one in Class 1A in 2003, led by four, 34-30, going to the fourth quarter and were able to maintain that advantage thanks to an 11 of 13 performance from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes.

Relisten to the game:

“I’m very proud of the kids making it to the second round in states,” Clarion first-year head coach Scott Fox said. “I’m excited for them to get to experience the atmosphere and compete in the state playoffs.

“I’m happy they stepped up to the challenge today and answered Winchester Thurston’s runs each time they happened. I’m proud of these guys.”

Cal German led the charge at the charity stripe going 9 of 10 for the game, including a perfect 6 of 6 in the fourth quarter. German led all scorers with 21 points.

Josh Craig (2 of 2), Hunter Craddock (2 of 3) and Nick Frederick (1 of 2) also hit free throws in the fourth quarter for the Bobcats.

Craddock added seven points with Craig, Frederick and Skylar Rhoades each adding five tallies.

Clarion jumped out to an 11-8 lead at the end of the first quarter with German scoring four points and Craig hitting a 3-pointers.

The Bobcats then expanded the lead to 18-13 at halftime thanks to three points, all from the line, from Rhoades.

German helped Clarion maintain the advantage in the third quarter hitting a pair of 3-pointers and scoring nine points in the quarter.

That helped offset a big third quarter from Langston Moses who scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the third quarter.

Jackson Juzang added 16 points for the Bears, including 11 in the second half.

Clarion will face District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle, a 59-33 winner over Brentwood, in the second round Wednesday, March 11, at a site and time to be announced.

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