CLARION 60, REDBANK VALLEY 46
Feb. 10, 2006
By Chris Rossetti
NEW BETHLEHEM Clarion weathered a slow start and beat Redbank Valley 60-46 in the KSAC finale for both teams Friday night at Redbank Valley.
On Senior Night, the Bulldogs (13-10 overall, 6-7 KSAC) came out firing scoring 11 of the games first 13 points to take an 11-2 lead midway through the first quarter.
"I think that is the emotion of Senior Night and guys coming out fired up," Redbank Valley head coach Don Wanninger said. "The kids were ready to go coming out of the gate."
Redbank Valley still held a 14-6 lead late in the quarter when Clarion started what would turn out to be an 18-2 run that gave the Bobcats (18-6 overall, 10-3 KSAC) a 24-16 lead midway through the second quarter.
"That comeback was big," Clarion head coach Jim Harmon said. "I think we just weathered the storm. I think we figured things out and started playing harder."
Redbank Valley stayed close trailing by four points 27-23 at halftime. The Bulldogs then cut the lead to 29-28 in the opening minutes of the second half, and Clarion looked to be in trouble with starters Peter Baschnagel (fouls) and Sean Wolf (slight injury) on the bench.
But the Bobcats behind the play of reserves Elliot Fabri and Steve Odenthal and starters Ryan Hritz and Andrew Banner went on a 13-4 run to end the quarter with a 45-34 lead.
"We are a pretty deep team," Clarion head coach Jim Harmon said. "We are going to need our bench guys stepping up as we go into the playoffs. I thought Elliot was key defensively and Steve as well, especially running the point."
Banner, who had nine points during the stretch, got the run started when he drove the lane scored, was fouled and converted the traditional 3-point play at the 5:58 mark. Him and Hritz then combined to score 10 of the next 11 points to put Clarion ahead 43-34 with 13.1 seconds left in the third. Fabri then rounded out the scoring in the quarter stealing the ball from Redbank and converting a lay-up with 8.4 seconds left to put the Bobcats ahead 45-34 going to the fourth quarter.
Hrtiz started the fourth quarter with a basket giving Clarion its biggest lead of the game to that point at 47-34.
Redbank Valley answered with a 6-1 run to cut the lead to 48-40 with 5:21 to play. The run was jump started by a Skyler Smith 3-pointer at the 7-minute mark.
The Bulldogs, though, short-circuited their own run when they missed four straight free throws between the 5:21 and 4:09 marks.
"That really hasnt been characteristic," Redbank Valley head coach Don Wanninger said. "We have been consistently around a 75 percent free-throw shooting team. So it is a little bit of a tough pill to take."
Clarion took advantage of the cold free-throw shooting to go on a game-ending 12-6 run to put the game away.
Hritz had a huge night for the Bobcats with a season-high 19 points to go with six rebounds.
"I think with Ryan it is a confidence factor," Harmon said. "What he gets that confidence back and knows he is going to score every time he touches the basketball, he is more aggressive in everything he does."
Banner added 15 points, while Baschnagel had nine points, five rebounds and five blocked shots for Clarion.
Mike Goth paced Redbank Valley with 10 points, while Brandon Doverspike had eight and Nick Johnston seven, nearly eight points below his season average.
NOTES The 13 wins for Redbank Valley are the most in the regular season since it won 13 in the 1993-94 season Clarion has secured its first 18-win regular season since 2000.
CLARION 60, REDBANK VALLEY 46
Score by Quarter
Clarion 11 16 18 15 60
Redbank 14 9 11 12 46
Peter Baschnagel 4 1-1 9, Andrew Banner 5 2-4 15, Ryan Hritz 8 3-6 19, Drew Vandermeer 3 0-0 6, Sean Wolf 2 2-2 6, Elliot Fabri 2 1-2 5, Theron Miles 0 0-0 0, Steve Odenthal 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 9-15 60.
Redbank Valley 46
Josh Riggle 3 0-0 6, Skyler Smith 2 1-1 6, Brenton Shirey 2 1-2 5, Mike Goth 4 0-0 10, Brandon Doverspike 3 1-2 8, Nick Johnston 2 3-6 7, Bryan Doverspike 1 0-1 3, Mike Booher 0 0-0 0, Ethan Rowe 0 0-0 0, Brock Reed 0 0-0 0, Joe Monteleone 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 7-14 46.
Three-pointers Clarion 3 (Banner 3). Redbank Valley 5 (Goth 2, Smith, Brandon Doverspike, Bryan Doverspike).