Connect with us


Late Run Helps C-L Knock Off Top-Seeded Redbank Valley in KSAC Boys Semifinals; Karns City Holds off Clarion in Other Semifinal

Paul Craig had five important fourth-quarter points including the go-ahead old school 3-point play for Clarion-Limestone Friday in the KSAC semifinals. Photo by Mike Maslar

CLARION, Pa. – In a game that saw five second-half lead changes, freshman Paul Craig’s old-school 3-point play 2:14 into the fourth quarter gave Clarion-Limestone the lead for good in a 48-38 win over top-seeded Redbank Valley in the KSAC boys’ semifinals at PennWest Clarion’s Tippin Gym.

Boys AML SemifinalsBoys/Girls Recaps

“I saw the one defender drop back,” Paul Craig said. “I knew I had to take it for my team.”

The fourth-seeded Lions, who trailed most of the first half, including by as many as nine, were down five, 24-19, at halftime.

But C-L (15-8), which scored the final four points of the opening 16 minutes, pushed their run to 10-0 with the first six of the second half taking its first lead since early in the game at 25-24 on two Jack Callen free throws with 4:57 to play in the third quarter.


The lead then changed hands four more times before the end of the third quarter with Redbank Valley (19-3) taking a 32-29 lead when Braylon Wagner’s backdoor layup beat the horn.

The Bulldog lead then went to five points, 34-29, on a Breckin Minich fastbreak bucket 30 seconds into the fourth quarter.

But Minich’s layup was the final Redbank Valley basket until Kieran Fricko hit a 3-pointer with two minutes left.

By that time, C-L had built a seven-point lead, 42-35, that was cut to four by the Fricko triple.

The Craig boys were instrumental in the 13-1 run with Paul scoring the opening bucket of the spurt followed by a Jack Craig basket then the old-school three by Paul that put the Lions ahead 36-34.


“My teammate really trusted me to keep shooting,” Paul Craig said. “I wasn’t hitting very well at the beginning, but towards the end, I knew I had to step up. We all contributed at the end.”

Jase Ferguson and Jesse Siewicki followed with buckets to make it 40-34 before Wagner hit the backend of two free throws with 3:29 left to stop the bleeding for a moment.

But Callen scored to push the lead to 42-35 prior to the Frico 3-pointer.

Callen, however, hit four free throws in the final 1:05, and Ty Rankin added a basket to complete the mini-upset.

“All season we played really tough teams,” Paul Craig said. “Iron sharpens iron. We have been down pretty much the whole season. We have learned to come back from not playing so hot in the beginning and learned to play way better at the end.

“We have learned to stay cool under pressure and not force too many passes or shots. We played really well.”

Watch Paul Craig’s full postgame interview powered by Cole Orthodontic Associates

Callen led C-L with 16 points and nine rebounds with Rankin adding 10 points, six rebounds, and five steals. Jack Craig chipped in with eight points, and Ferguson had seven points, five rebounds, four steals, and two assists.

Minich paced Redbank Valley with 10 points with Fricko adding eight and Wagner seven.


C-L will face Karns City in the title game at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Tippin Gym.


CLARION, Pa. – Using a pair of double-digit advantage first-half runs, Karns City built a 14-point lead midway through the second half before holding off a hard-charging Clarion squad, 61-58, in the KSAC semifinals at PennWest Clarion’s Tippin Gym.

First-half runs of 13-0 and 16-6 helped the third-seeded Gremlins (17-6) take a 38-28 halftime lead before they got the advantage to 14 a couple of times in the third quarter the latest being 49-35 on a Jacob Callihan fastbreak bucket with 4:26 to play in the quarter.

Karns City’s Shane Peters guards Clarion’s Bryce Brinkley during the KSAC semifinals. Peters had a double-double for the Gremlins. Photo by Mike Maslar

Second-seeded Clarion (15-8), though, closed the deficit to 10, 57-47, by the end of the third quarter before starting the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run to get within three, 59-56, on two Gabe Simko free throws with 3:27 to play.

But the remainder of the game could be summed up as missed opportunities for the Bobcats.

Devon Lauer, who had two breakaway dunks in the game, missed a chance to cut the deficit to one when he missed a pair of free throws following an offensive rebound with under three minutes to play.

Simko got the offensive board off the second missed charity shot but missed a shot of his own.

Derek Smail and Simko then missed back-to-back layups, and following a timeout with 1:46 to play, Simko missed a jumper from just beyond the foul line.

Despite all that, Karns City had problems of its own.

Taite Beighley missed two free throws, and Hobie Bartoe had what could have been a cost turnover with 1:03 to play when he overthrew a pass.

But Bryce Brinkly, who had hit three second-half 3-pointers to get Clarion back in the game, was off the mark from long range with a chance to tie the game with about 40 seconds to play.

Beighley then hit two charity shots with 26.2 seconds left to make it a five-point game, 61-56.

Clarion, after a missed shot, then had one last gasp when Dawson Smail came away with a steal and a bucket with 1.4 seconds left.


The Bobcats were able to tip the inbounds pass, but by the time they got to the ball time expired.

The early 13-0 run by Karns City saw five different players score including a 3-pointer by Beighley, who had just returned to the game after an injury scare that saw him twist his knee.

That run put the Gremlins up 17-8 at the end of the first quarter, and the 16-6 run, which saw both Beighley and Luke Cramer nail 3-pointers, extended the lead to 16, 36-20, on two Beighley free throws with 2:59 to play in the opening half.

Clarion, though, finished the half on an 8-2 run to get within 10, 38-28, at the half with Lauer’s first dunk capping the run with 4.1 seconds to go in the half.

Clarion’s Devon Lauer slams home a dunk at the end of the first half of the KSAC semifinals. Photo by Mike Maslar

Shane Peters led Karns City with an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double. Beighley added 13 points, and Callihan had 10.

Simko had 16 points and seven rebounds for Clarion with Brinkley adding 15 points and Lauer chipping in 11.

Karns City will face Clarion-Limestone in the KSAC title game at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Tippin Gym.


More in Basketball