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Clarion, Cameron County, Farrell Boys Advance With PIAA Class 1A First Round Wins

Clarion's Devon Lauer. File photo by Mike Maslar

CLARION, Pa. – District 9 runner-up Clarion put three players in double digits on its way to a 75-50 win over District 5 third-place finishers Southern Fulton in the PIAA Class 1A first-round at Clarion High School.

Devon Lauer netted a game-high 22 points for the Bobcats (18-9) while Dawson Smail added 16 points and Derek Smail chipped in 11 tallies.

Clarion led 31-20 at halftime thanks to scoring from eight different players including eight from Lauer and six from Dawson Smail.

Still up 10, 51-41, going to the fourth quarter, the Bobcats then put the game away thanks in part to 3-pointers from Lauer, Dawson Smail, and Jameson McIlwan with Lauer and Dawson Smail each scoring five points in the frame.

Southern Fulton (14-12), who Clarion’s baseball team beat in the PIAA semifinals a year ago, got 13 points from Gaven Mellott, 1 from Hunter Ward, and 10 from Jett Burger. Ethan Mellott added eight tallies.


Clarion will face WPIAL champion and defending PIAA champion Imani Christian in the second round on Tuesday, March 12, at a site and time to be announced. Imani Christian beat Union, 88-65.


ALTOONA, Pa. – Down four at halftime, Cameron County turned on the jets in the third quarter on its way to a 62-47 win over Williamsburg in the opening round of the PIAA Class 1A playoffs at Altoona High School.

The D9 third-place finishing Red Raiders (23-5) trailed 28-24 at the break after being outscored 17-8 in the second quarter thanks to 12 points from Rowan Gorsuch.

But in the third quarter, Cameron County turned the tables on the D6 runner-up Blue Pirates (17-9) outscoring them 17-6 to take a 41-34 lead.


Ryan Shaffer and Josh Smith combined to score 13 points in the third quarter led by seven from Shaffer.

Shaffer then added eight more in the fourth quarter to help the Red Raiders pull away.

Shaffer finished with 22 points with Smith adding 18.

Josh Beer contributed 10 in the victory, and Landon Farren scored nine.

Gorsuch tied Shaffer for game-high honors by scoring 22 for Williamsburg, but he was the only Blue Pirate in double digits. Jesse Brumbaugh chipped in with seven tallies.

Cameron County will face District 10 champion Farrell, a 69-45 winner over Rochester, in the second round on Tuesday, March 12, at a time and place to be announced.


FARRELL, Pa. – Danny Odem scored 21 points as Farrell powered past Rochester, 69-45 in the PIAA Class A first-round.

Farrell (20-5) led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter and went on a 17-6 run in the second quarter to seize control.

The lead swelled to 50-33 after three quarters as Odem scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half.


Dontaye Bell also had a big second half for the Steelers, scoring 11 of his 13 points over the final 16 minutes.

JuJu Phillips chipped in with nine points for the Steelers, while Aiden Marshall added eight.

Xavier Rigby scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half for Rochester (17-9), while Javin Haymer added 11 points.

Farrell will face Cameron County in the second round.


EBENSBURG, Pa. – Turnovers plagued Johnsonburg in a 56-47 loss to Bishop Carroll in PIAA Class 1A first-round action at Bishop Carroll.

The Rams, who were in the game all the way into the fourth quarter, couldn’t overcome 32 giveaways.

That allowed the D6 champion Huskies (16-10) to hold the lead for all but a couple of brief moments in the game.

That included a three-point advantage for Bishop Carroll going to the fourth quarter, but that lead quickly grew thanks to the play of Jace Casses, who scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the final eight minutes.

Johnsonburg (19-9), the D9 fourth-place finisher, was down 21-20 at halftime after being outscored 14-8 in the first quarter.

The Rams were able to take a brief lead in the third quarter but couldn’t hold it.

Luke Repko added 15 points in the win for Bishop Carroll with Max Oravee adding 10.

Isaiah Jackson had a game-high 23 points for Johnsonburg, while Noah Stauffer added 11.

Bishop Carroll will face WPIAL runner-up Neighborhood Academy, a 63-40 winner over Rocky Grove, in the second round on Tuesday. 47



NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. – For the second straight year, Union’s season came to an end at the hands of WPIAL champion Imani Christian.

A year after beating the Golden Knights, 80-48, in the second round, the Saints (15-10), the defending PIAA champion, built a 19-point halftime lead on their way to an 88-65 first-round Class 1A win at Norwin High School.

Union (13-12), the fifth-place finisher from District 9, was more competitive this season than a year ago and was down just 14, 65-51, going to the fourth quarter.

But Imani Christian went 8 of 9 from the line in the final eight minutes to help seal the victory.

RJ Sledge, who played for Bishop Canevin two seasons ago before transferring to Imani Christian last year, and Nate Brazil each scored 23 points for the Saints, who had 12 different players score.

Dawson Camper had a monster game for Union with 19 points and 25 rebounds in his final game for the Golden Knights while Hayden Smith also scored 19 points. Owen Bish chipped in with 10 tallies, Gage Jordan had nine, and Trey Fleming eight for Union.

Imani Christian will play D9 runner-up Clarion, a 75-50 winner over Southern Fulton, in the second round on Tuesday, March 12 at a time and place to be announced.


UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Uniontown outscored Grove City, 24-8, in the third quarter on its way to a 67-33 win in their PIAA Class 4A first-round game.

Jamire Braxton scored eight of his game-high 19 points in the frame and led four Red Raiders (23-4) in double figures scoring.

Uniontown got off to a hot start, leading the Eagles (15-11), 15-4, after the first quarter, and 34-15 at the half.

Calvin Winfrey and Notorious Grooms each had 11 points for Uniontown, while Jeremiah Hager added 10 points.

Nathan Greer led the Eagles with 10 points. Brett Laughry had nine points and Ben Fischer had eight points.

Uniontown will face Lincoln Park, a 73-56 winner over Montour, in the second round on Tuesday, March 12 at a time and location to be announced.


ALLISON PARK, Pa. – Hampton scored 20 points in the first and third quarters on its way to a 63-43 win over Hickory in their PIAA Class 4A first-round game.

The Talbots (23-4) also had a pair of 20-point scorers. Peter Kramer scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the third quarter, while Liam Mignogna scored nine of his 22 points in the first quarter.

Hampton led 20-7 after the first quarter, and 29-19 at the half.

Dom Uberti led the Hornets with 16 points, and Landon Bean had nine points.

Hampton will take on Greater Johnstown, a 75-50 winner over Lewisburg Area, in the second round on Tuesday at a time and location to be announced.


PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – WPIAL fourth-place finisher Avonworth was too much for District 9 champion Punxsutawney knocking off the Chucks, 65-43, in the opening round of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs at Chuck Daly Gymnasium in Punxsutawney.

It was a hot start that set the tone for the Antelopes (18-9), who led 28-12 after eight minutes of play thanks to five 3-pointers from Rowan Carmichael.

Carmichael finished with a game-high 34 points, while Anthony Arlia added 14 points.

Noah Weaver paced Punxsutawney (14-11) with 11 points while Zach Presloid added 10.

Avonworth will face North Catholic in the second round on Tuesday. North Catholic beat Warren, 67-58.


ERIE, Pa. – Trailing 39-37 going into the forth quarter, Fox Chapel went on a 20-13 run in the fourth quarter to rally for a 57-52 win Cathedral Prep in the PIAA Class 5A first round.

Asher White connected for 23 points for Fox Chapel (16-11), including five 3-pointers.

Jefferson Moorefield-Brown also had 19 points in the win for Fox Chapel.

Amaree Pickens was the lone Cathedral Prep (15-11) player in double figures with a game-high 25 points.

Fox Chapel moves on to play Bethel Park, a 59-45 winner over Hershey, in the second round on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.


WEXFORD, Pa.- Courtney Wallace scored 25 points to lead Neighborhood Academy to a 63-40 PIAA Class 1A first round win over Rocky Grove.

Syncer Nicholson and Kedron Gilmore each scored 11 point for Neighborhood.

Landen Carter led Rocky Grove with 12 points.


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