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Kennedy Catholic Boys Outlast Redbank Valley to Reach PIAA 2A Quarterfinals

Kennedy Catholic's Gio Magestro (center) pulls in a rebound while being pressured by Redbank Valley's Chris Marshall (left) and Owen Clouse (right). Magestro had a game-high 19 points in the 61-56 Kennedy Catholic win. Photo by Andy Close.


KITTANNING, Pa. – With his team up two and under a minute to play, Kennedy Catholic’s Elijah Harden took matters into his own hands.

With Redbank Valley playing defense and attempting to steal the ball before having to give up a potential foul, Harden, who wasn’t having a great shooting night by his standards, shook loose and drilled a three to help seal the Golden Eagles’ 61-56 win in the PIAA Class 2A second round.

Hear Harden talk about the shot and the performance of the Golden Eagles afterward:

His coach, Ken Madison, knew he could count on him.

“I kept saying, you’re going to get one and it will be the biggest one of the game,” Maidson said of his conversation during the game with Harden. “He came to the bench after he knocked one down and I smiled at him and I said now your luck is starting to turn. I told him just keep shooting, keep doing everything you’ve done all year and it will work out. And it did. He hit the biggest shot of the game.”

Kennedy Catholic led nearly the entire game, with the margin staying between six and 12 points. A three from Gio Magestro made it 52-40 Kennedy (23-4) with 5:40 to go in the game, but that’s when Redbank Valley started to make its push.

A Mason Clouse three got the Bulldogs (23-5) with five at 53-48 and back-to-back buckets from Bryson Bain and Marquese Gardlock cut the deficit to two, 56-54 with two minutes to play.

“When we cut it down to two, I was thinking about calling a timeout just to regroup,” Redbank Valley coach Emmanuel MarshaIl said. “I figured they were going to take a shot there, that’s their style and my thinking was we’ll have another opportunity.”

They did, but it came when they were down five. Unable to convert, the Bulldogs fouled Malik Lampkins-Rudolph, who knocked down both free throws to put the game away.

“We’re excited to be able to survive and advance and celebrate this win,” Madison said. “We’re going to enjoy this one and move on to the next. All respect to Redbank Valley, they did a great job. We worked for everything we had all the way to the end.”

Kennedy looked as if they might run away early, forcing 10 Redbank Valley turnovers in the first quarter on their way to building a 19-9 lead, with Magestro canning a three at the end of the quarter.

Despite that, Redbank never let the game get out of reach, with the lead never getting larger than 12.

Mason Clouse and Bain drilled back-to-back threes late in the second quarter, but Lampkins-Rudolph closed the half with a tough off-balance jumper that made it 34-24 at halftime.

Lampkins-Rudolph, part of the Golden Eagles’ three-headed senior monster along with Magestro and Harden, battled foul trouble throughout, but still hit some big shots and finished with 15 points.

“There really wasn’t too many adjustments,” coach Marshall said. “We didn’t want them getting wide-open looks, so we wanted to clamp down a little bit more. It’s the playoff atmosphere, of course, there are going to be early jitters. I figured we could weather the storm. Kennedy jumps out on teams and it’s a battle to get back into it. I felt like if it was under 10, we got a shot.”

Redbank Valley’s talented senior trio of Marshall, Bain, and Gardlock stepped up as well. A Marshall three cut the lead to three, 43-40 with 27 seconds to go in the third, but a Remington Hart layup at the end of the quarter sparked an 8-0 Kennedy run to put them back up 12, capped by the Magestro three.

“You get up 10, you get up 12 and they would not go away,” Madison said. “For us, it’s something that we’ve prepared for. I told them to not worry and to stay composed. You guys earned this right to be in this situation in a position to win this game. I think it showed. They got stops when they needed to, got buckets when they needed to. We didn’t shoot free throws well, but we made the ones that we needed to.”

Owen Clouse led the D9 runner-up Bulldogs with 14 points, while Gardlock had 13 and Marshall and Mason Clouse 10 each.

“We had a great season,” coach Marshall said. “I’m still smiling. I’m not disappointed because those boys played 100%. They played like that all year. I’m proud of them. I’m proud to be their coach. We accomplished a lot as a program. I couldn’t ask for anything more from these kids, they gave everything they could.”

Magestro finished with 19 points to lead the D10 champion Golden Eagles, while Harden joined Lampkins-Rudolph with 15 points.

With the win, Kennedy Catholic moves on to play D6 champion Portage, a 67-52 winner over WPIAL runner-up Fort Cherry, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.


By Quarters

Redbank Valley       9 15 16 16 – 56
Kennedy Catholic 19 15 11 16 – 61


Bryson Bain 2-2-2-7, Marquese Gardlock 6-1-4-13, Chris Marshall 4-0-2-10, Owen Clouse 4-5-7-14, Mason Clouse 4-0-0-10, Cam Wagner 0-2-2-2, Aiden Ortz 0 0-0 0. Totals 20-10-17-56


Simeir Wade 3-0-0-6, Elijah Harden 6-1-4-15, Gio Magestro 7-2-4-19, Malik Lampkins-Rudolph 6-3-5-15, Remington Hart 2-0-2-4, Nick Ondo 1-0-1-2, Blaze Campbell 0-0-0-0, Totals 25-6-16-61

Three-pointers: Redbank Valley 6 (Marshall 2, M. Clouse 2, Bain, O. Clouse); Kennedy Catholic 5 (Magestro 3, Harden 2).

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