District 9 Class 2A Girls’ Basketball Semifinal Previews

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (D9Sports) – A pair of District 9 Class 2A girls’ semifinal contests will be played at Brookville High School Wednesday.

(Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)

The first game matches up upstart and top-seeded Ridgway against fourth-seeded Keystone at 6 p.m. followed by the third meeting of the year between second-seeded Redbank Valley and sixth-seeded Clarion at 7:30 p.m.

(4) Keystone vs. (1) Ridgway

When: 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26
Where: Brookville High School
Records: Keystone 15-8; Ridgway 17-6
How They Got Here: Keystone beat Cranberry, 50-43, in the quarterfinals; Ridgway beat Brockway, 39-22, in the quarterfinals
Leading Scorers: Keystone: Emily Lauer (14.9 ppg), Jozee Weaver (7.7 ppg), Natalie Bowser (7.1 ppg), Maddie Dunlap (5.8 ppg); Ridgway: Christina Fullem (10.0 ppg), Gabbi Rohr (9.4 ppg), Julie Peterson (5.0 ppg)
About Keystone: Keystone is 8-3 since Jan. 15 … The Lady Panthers are in the semifinals for the third straight season (all in 2A) and for the seventh time since 2012 with the first four coming in Class 1A, where Keystone won D9 titles in 2016 and 2012. The 2016 season was the last time Keystone played for a D9 title.
About Ridgway: The Lady Elkers’ win over Brockway in the quarterfinals was their first playoff wins since 1999 … Ridgway is looking to advance to the D9 title game for the first time since winning the Class 2A title in 1989 … The Lady Elkers are 10-2 in their last 12 games … Ridgway is all about defense. The Lady Elkers lead District 9 in scoring defense allowing 24.6 ppg but are 23rd in scoring offense in D9 averaging 33.3 ppg.
Game Tidbits: The winner automatically qualifies for the PIAA playoffs and will play the winner of the Clarion/Redbank Valley game in the championship contest at 6 p.m. Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym. The loser will play the loser of the Clarion/Redbank Valley game in the consolation contest with a berth in the PIAA playoffs at stake.

(6) Clarion vs. (2) Redbank Valley

When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26
Where: Brookville High School
Records: Clarion 14-9; Redbank Valley 17-7
How They Got Here: Clarion upset third-seeded Port Allegany, 56-50, in the quarterfinals; Redbank Valley beat seventh-seeded Kane, 37-25, in the quarterfinals
Leading Scorers: Clarion: Kait Constantino (20.9 ppg), Jordan Best (8.5 ppg), KK Girvin (7.9 ppg), Payton Simko (6.1 ppg); Redbank Valley: Tara Hinderliter (22.0 ppg), Alivia Huffman (8.2 ppg), Lauren Smith (7.3 ppg), Madison Foringer (5.8 ppg)
About Clarion: The Lady Cats are in the 2A semifinals for the second straight year having lost to eventual champion Kane last season before beating Keystone to earn their first PIAA berth since 2015 … Clarion made four straight D9 Class 1A title games from 2012 through 2015 winning D9 titles in 2013 and 2014 and also qualified for the Class 1A semifinals in 2011 … Constantino is the second-leading scorer in D9 has scored 1,274 career points. She has scored at least 20 points in five of her last seven games including a 26-point effort in the quarterfinal win over Port Allegany … The Lady Cats have won four straight games after losing 5 of 7 from Jan. 15 through Feb. 4 … Clarion is the fourth-highest scoring team in D9 averaging 50.1 ppg, but the Lady Cats rank 24th in defense allowing 43.2 ppg.
About Redbank Valley: The Lady Bulldogs are in the semifinals for the first time since 2016 when they had a bye into the semifinals but lost in Class 2A … Redbank Valley’s last title-game appearance was in 2015 when it lost to Karns City in Class 2A. The Lady Bulldogs also lost in the 2A semifinals in 2011, 2013 and 2014 and are looking for their first District 9 title since 1998 … The game against Kane in the quarterfinals was crazy with Redbank Valley limiting Kane to 6 of 55 shooting but only winning by 12 because of a 13 of 60 shooting night. Making only 6 of 28 first-half shots, Redbank Valley completed a terrible four-quarter shooting stretch dating back to the KSAC title game when it went 3 of 32 meaning the Lady Bulldogs shot 9 of 60 of a four-quarter stretch … Hinderliter is the leading scorer in D9 and has scored 1,338 career points … Huffman is one of the top freshmen in District 9 … Redbank Valley is the second-highest scoring team in D9 averaging 56.5 ppg, but the Lady Bulldogs rank 22nd in defense allowing 42.0 ppg … Redbank Valley didn’t close out the season strong. Even with the win over Kane, the Lady Bulldogs are 4-5 in their last nine games. The Kane victory broke a 3-game losing streak that cost Redbank Valley the top seed in the D9 playoffs.
Game Tidbits: This is the third meeting of the season between these clubs with Redbank Valley winning the first two by a combined eight points thanks to a pair of four-point wins. On Dec. 17 in Clarion, the Lady Bulldogs won 65-61 behind 27 points from Hinderliter. Constantino had 29 in the loss for Clarion. Redbank Valley rallied from a six-point second-half deficit to get that win … The game in New Bethlehem Jan. 31, a 69-65 overtime win for Redbank Valley, was crazy. There were 59 fouls called in the game including 32 on Redbank Valley and 27 on Clarion, and each team had three players foul out. A combined 89 free throws were shot with Clarion shooting 54 of them going 32 of 54 from the line. Redbank Valley was 18 of 35 from the line. Hinderliter poured in a career-high 40 points in the game while going 15 of 22 from the stripe, while Constantino had 25 points, including 20 from the line as she shot 20 of 24 from the charity stripe. A Claire Clouse shot in the closing seconds of regulation, her only made basket of the game, forced overtime tied at 60. Clarion led 49-44 going to the fourth quarter, but Hinderliter scored nine points in the fourth and seven more in overtime to will the Lady Bulldogs to the victory. The winner players the winner of the Ridgway/Keystone game in the title game at 6 p.m. Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym. The loser will play the loser of the Ridgway/Keystone game in a consolation game that will decide District 9’s third and final PIAA playoff berth.

Full coverage of District 9 teams in the basketball postseason can be found here.


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