District 9 Class 2A Boys’ Semifinal Previews

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (D9Sports) – A pair of rematches are on tap in the District 9 Class 2A boys’ semifinals Tuesday.

(Photo: Isaak Jones and No. 1 Keystone will battle Clarion in the semifinals in Class 2A boys’ action Tuesday. Photo by Mary Rearick) 

In New Bethlehem, top-seeded Keystone will meet fourth-seeded Clarion for the fourth time this season at 7 p.m. at Redbank Valley High School, while in Bradford third-seeded Ridgway takes on second-seeded Coudersport for the second time this season at 7:30 p.m. at Bradford High School.

(4) Clarion vs. (1) Keystone

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25
Where: Redbank Valley High School
Records: Clarion 15-8; Keystone 21-2
How They Got Here: Clarion beat Karns City in the quarterfinals, 54-48, Thursday. Keystone had a bye into the semifinals.
Leading Scorers: Clarion: Cal German (21.6 ppg), Nick Frederick (10.5 ppg), Hunter Craddock (8.3 ppg), Skylar Rhoades (6.7 ppg), Josh Craig (5.7 ppg); Keystone: Troy Johnson (13.6 ppg), Marc Rearick (9.6 ppg), Isaak Jones (8.7 ppg), Brandon Pierce (7.7 ppg), Andrew Lauer (7.5 ppg), Alex Rapp (5.3 ppg)
About Clarion: The Bobcats are looking for a trip to a District 9 title game for the first time since winning the Class 1A title in 2003. Prior to that, you have to go back to 1988 for a title-game appearance for Clarion (lost to Elk County Catholic in Class 1A). In fact, Clarion hasn’t even been to the PIAA playoffs since 2005 (a win guarantees a PIAA playoff spot) … Under first-year head coach Scott Fox, the Bobcats have gotten stronger as the season has gone on and enter the semifinals on a seven-game win streak that started with a 43-29 home win over Keystone Jan. 24. In fact, Clarion has won 11 of 13 since starting the season 4-6, including and 0-4 start to the campaign … German is the third-leading scorer in District 9 and has point together five consecutive 20-point performances, including one of his three 30-point games on the year. He is over 1,000 points in his junior season with 1,084.
About Keystone: Once a perennial participant in the District 9 championship game – the Panthers made either the 1A or 2A title game 14 times between 1988 and 2007 with nine titles – Keystone hasn’t been to a championship game since losing the 1A title game to Elk County Catholic in 2007 and hasn’t won a title since winning its fourth title in five years in 2006 when it won the Class 2A championship tilt … Last season, the Panthers lost to Ridgway in the semifinals but beat Karns City in the consolation game to secure their first PIAA playoff berth since 2010 … Coming off a KSAC title game win over Clarion-Limestone Feb. 15, Keystone enters the postseason on a seven-game winning streak since the Jan. 24 loss to Clarion. The Panthers’ only other loss came in the season opener way back on Dec. 6 when they blew a fourth-quarter lead in a 49-44 overtime loss to St. Marys.
Game Tidbits: This is the fourth meeting of the season between these teams with Keystone having won the first two and Clarion the third one. The first meeting, a 53-25 Keystone win, comes with an asterisk, as Clarion played without German, who was at his sister’s wedding. In the two meetings in which the Bobcats have had their leading scorer, the teams have split with Keystone winning, 39-37, Dec. 11 in Knox when Rapp hit a 12-foot jumper with three seconds to play and Clarion completely shutting down Keystone in the 43-29 win in Clarion in a game that saw the Panthers turn the ball over 22 times and shot 25 percent from the field … Keystone has shut German down in both games he has played in, with the junior scoring just four points Dec. 11 and eight Jan. 24. In fact, Clarion won the Jan. 24 game despite not putting a player in double digits … The winner plays the Ridgway/Coudersport winner in the title game Saturday at the new Tippin Gym at Clarion University. The loser plays the loser of the Ridgway/Coudersport game in the consolation game with the winner of the consy game moving into the PIAA playoffs as well.

(3) Ridgway vs. (2) Coudersport

When: 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25
Where: Bradford High School
Records: Ridgway 17-7; Coudersport 19-3
How They Got Here: Ridgway beat Smethport, 50-27, in the quarterfinals Thursday. Coudersport had a bye into the semifinals.
Leading Scorers: Ridgway: Matt Dush (14.5 ppg), Zack Zameroski (13.0 ppg), Dan Park (7.8 ppg), Dominic Allegretto (5.0 ppg); Coudersport: Hayden Keck (17.4 ppg), Kolby VanWhy (14.1 ppg), Dillon Keglovits (11.9 ppg), Travis Gleason (11.8 ppg in 5 games), Daniel Frame (6.4 ppg), Dalton Keglovits (5.6 ppg), Derek Easton (5.1 ppg)
About Ridgway: The Elkers are the defending District 9 champions having beating Coudersport in last year’s title game, although only Dush and Zameroski played roles on the 2019 team that advanced to the PIAA Class 2A Elite 8 … Ridgway is looking for a fifth straight trip to the PIAA playoffs, which would also be the Elkers eighth PIAA berth in the last nine years … It’s been a streaky year for Ridgway, as the Elkers started the year 6-0 before losing five of their next seven. They then won 8 of 9 before losing the AML semifinals to Johnsonburg and beating Smethport in the D9 quarterfinals … Ridgway ranks second in District 9 in points allowed giving up 37 ppg. But the Elkers don’t score a lot ranking 27th in D9 at 47.2 ppg, the worst among the remaining postseason teams regardless of classification.
About Coudersport: The Falcons are looking for a trip to their fifth straight District 9 title game and their fourth straight in Class 2A. Coudersport won the 2A title in 2017 and 2018 and finished second to Ridgway last year and second in Class 1A to Elk County Catholic in 2016 … Coudersport is the highest-scoring team in District 9 averaging 65.9 ppg, and the Falcons also rank third in points allowed giving up 38.4 ppg. That is a big reason that Coudy’s margin of victory is a D9-leading 27.5 ppg … The Falcons, the NTL champions, lost out on an opportunity to secure the No. 1 seed in the postseason when they lost to Cameron County, 40-35, Feb. 4. That loss is Coudersport’s only loss against a Pennsylvania team this season with the other two defeats coming to Olean (N.Y.) and Allegany-Limestone (N.Y.) at St. Bonaventure University just before Christmas … The loss to Cameron County snapped a 12-game win streak for the Falcons … Coudersport got a boost in late January with the return of Gleason, who missed the first 17 games recovering from a football injury … Keck, a junior, is closing in on 1,000 career points with 935.
Game Tidbits: This is the second meeting of the season between these teams with Coudersport winning, 50-39, Jan. 3 in Ridgway behind 13 points from Dillon Keglovits, 12 from VanWhy and 11 from Keck. Ridgway was led by Dush’s 14 points with Zameroski adding 11 … This is also a rematch of the last two District 9 title games. Ridgway won last year’s championship at St. Marys High School over Coudersport, while the Falcons beat the Elkers at the old Clarion University’s Tippin Gym … The winner automatically advances to the PIAA playoffs and will play the winner of the Keystone/Clarion game in the D9 title game Saturday at the new Clarion University Tippin Gym. The loser will play a winner-moves-on-loser-goes-home consolation game against the loser of the Keystone/Clarion game at a time, date and place to be announced.


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