Youngsters Help Redbank Valley Secure First District 9 Class 2A Girls’ Basketball Title Since 1998

CLARION, Pa. (D9Sports) – Getting over half its points from freshmen or sophomores, Redbank Valley won its first District 9 girls’ basketball title since 1998 with a 48-37 win over Keystone Friday night at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.

“It’s a great feeling,” Redbank Valley head coach Chris Edmonds said. “These girls have been working hard since May. We’ve been in the gym doing summer leagues, doing team camps, listening to me bark at them. It’s been a journey since May, and they got rewarded for it tonight.”

Relisten to the game:

Freshmen Calyen Rearick and Alivia Huffman and sophomores Madison Foringer and Claire Clouse combined to score 28 of the Lady Bulldogs 48 points led by 11 by a game-high 11 points from Rearick, who was named the Hager Paving Player of the Game.

“I feel like we have worked a lot together throughout this season,” Rearick said. “We know when our opportunities are to step up, and we take them. We do a good job at it.”

Edmonds said he wasn’t surprised his young players stepped up – Foringer added eight points, Huffman seven and Clouse one.

“I think it’s just the games we play,” Edmonds said. “We take every game one game at a time, but we also in a summer league we go to win. So I don’t think any games any different to them. They just like to come out and compete. If you see us in practice, we do the same intensity. They just like to go out and play ball.”

Defense played a key role in the win, as Redbank Valley (19-7) limited Keystone (16-9) to 11 of 63 (17.5 percent) shooting on the night, including 5 of 41 (12.1 percent) in the second half and 4 of 26 in the fourth quarter. The Lady Bulldogs also held Lady Panthers’ leading scorer Emily Lauer to seven points with Lauer not making a basket until the fourth quarter.

“I feel like we were just trying to play really tight defense,” Rearick said. “We were just trying to shut (Lauer) down because she is a really good scorer.”

Edmonds said defense is something he has stressed since taking over the Redbank Valley program three years ago.

“Three years ago, we started our 2-3 defense,” Edmonds said. “The girls rotate. They get their hands up. They look for that opportunity to steal the ball and go coast-to-coast. This year, we have been mixing in the 3-2. But, we went back to the 2-3 to try to keep their freshman (Natalie Bowser) off the boards and out of the paint. It worked out for us.”

Redbank Valley never trailed and led from the point it took a 9-7 lead on two Lauren Smith free throws with 59.9 seconds left in the first quarter forward.

An 11-0 run in the second quarter that featured five points from Rearick, who hit a 3-pointer during the spurt, and a triple from Emma Huffman, helped push the Bulldogs lead to 22-9 at the halfway point of the second quarter.

“It was very important for us to be playing from ahead,” Edmonds said. “It settled us down a bit.”

Keystone was able to stabilize things and used a 9-0 run that included four points from Bowser and a 3-pointer from Alyssa Dunlap to get back within four, 22-18, with just over a minute to play in the first half, but Alivia Huffman pushed the Redbank Valley lead back to six, 26-20, when she scored at the first-half horn.

A quick 6-2 spurt at the start of the second half got Keystone back within two, 28-26, on two Bowser free throws with 3:56 to play in the third quarter.

BUt Redbank Valley ended the third quarter on a 6-0 run that included four more points from Rearick to go up by eight, 34-26, going to the fourth quarter.

That run became a 13-0 run when Redbank Valley scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter with Alvia Huffman scoring the first five points in the quarter. That put the lead at 41-26 on a Tara Hinderliter fastbreak basket with 5:23 to play.

“We were ahead of North Clarion (in the KSAC championship game and lost),” Edmonds said. “This time, the girls finished the job.”

Keystone had one last spurt on it, as Lauer hit her first two baskets of the game, helping the Lady Panthers cut the deficit to 43-35 on an offensive putback by Danae Hurrelbrink with 1:57 to play.

Keystone then got a steal, but three separate shots wouldn’t fall, and then Redbank Valley hit free throws down the stretch to put the game on ice.

Smith added 10 points for Redbank Valley with Tara Hinderliter scoring eight.

Jozee Weaver paced Keystone with nine points with Bowser adding seven.

Both teams move into the PIAA playoffs. Redbank Valley will play the fourth-place team out of District 10, while Keystone will take on the third-place team out of District 10. The District 10 consolation game is on Saturday.

“It’s amazing,” Rearick said. “Being my freshman year and coming out and winning a D9 championship, it feels amazing.”

Watch Rearick’s postgame interview.

NOTES – Redbank Valley outrebounded Keystone 46-43 with Foringer collecting nine rebounds, Alivia Huffman eight and Smith and Emma Huffman six each … Lauer had 11 rebounds for Keystone with Weaver hauling in nine, Bowser seven and Hurrelbrink six.


Score by Quarters

Keystone 8 12 6 11 – 37
Redbank Valley 11 15 8 14 – 48


Emily Lauer 2 3-6 7, Maddie Dunlap 1 1-4 3, Alyssa Dunlap 2 1-2 6, Danae Hurrelbrink 2 0-05 , Jozee Weaver 3 2-6 9, Natalie Bowser 1 5-6 7. Totals 11 12-24 37.


Kennedy Heeter 0 0-0 0, Karlee Shoemaker 0 0-0 0, Ryeigh Smathers 0 0-0 , Emma Huffman 1 0-0 3, Claire Clouse 0 1-2 1, Megan Gourley 0 0-0 0, Madison Foringer 4 0-0 8, Tara Hinderliter 3 2-3 8, Lauren Smith 2 5-8 10, Alivia Huffman 3 0-2 7, Caylen Rearick 3 4-6 11, Brooke Edmonds 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 12-21 48.

Three-pointers: Keystone 3 (Alyssa Dunlap, Hurrelbrink, Weaver). Redbank Valley 4 (Emman Huffman, Smith, Alivia Huffman, Rearick).

Copyright © 2021 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Comments are temporarily closed. A new and improved comments section will be added soon.