The Drought Is Over! / Lady Cats District Nine Champions!!!! (03/03/13)
The 2012-13 edition of the Clarion Lady Cats Basketball Team accomplished something on Saturday night, at Tippin Gymnasium, that hasn’t been done for twenty-one years. They brought home the District Nine Girls Class A Title.
In a night that saw the team fire on all cylinders, all game long, the Top Seeded, Lady Cats came away with a fifteen point, 56-41 victory over the Lady Gators, of Port Allegany.
Leading scorer Ashley Hummell opened the game by draining a three, followed by a two point field goal by Mercy Kroh, giving Clarion a 5-0 lead. Port Allegany, which never led in the contest, tied it at five. They would tie the game two more times in the early going, 7-all and 9-all. But then, a Hannah Wolf basket gave the Lady Cats an 11-9 lead. They would lead throughout the rest of the contest. The score at the end of the first period was 18-15, Clarion.
The Lady Gators pulled to within one, twice in quarter number two, at 22-21 and then again at 24-23. But a 9-0 Clarion run, to close out the period, put the Bobcats on top by ten at halftime, 33-23. The final two points of the 2nd period, came on a Laken Ganoe buzzer beating layup off of a beautiful pass from Maci Thornton after a fast break.
Déjà vu in the 3rd quarter, as Ashley sank a three to open the scoring just as she did at the start of the game, increasing the 9-0 run, to a 12-0 run. The period would see the Lady Cats outscore the Lady Gators 11-8 and Clarion led by thirteen, 44-31, heading to the final stanza.
A Port Allegany free throw opened the 4th period scoring. Then the Lady Cats went on a 10-0 run, the last two baskets of the run being three pointers by Ashley and Mercy, to give Clarion a twenty-two point lead, its largest of the game, at 54-32.
But then the Lady Gators went on a 9-0 run, late, a large portion of which took place when Coach Walter had his reserves in the game, closing the gap to 54-41. Then Lauren Wiser closed the game with a field goal to set the fifteen point Clarion victory.
Ashley had 19 points on the night, followed by Mercy with 15. Maci also scored in double figures, with twelve. Kyla Miles scored 4 points, while Lauren, Hannah and Laken each scored two points.
Brooke Roys led Port Allegany with 13 points and Rebecca Lathrop was right behind with twelve.
Coach Walter, extremely pleased with his team’s performance, said, “It’s fantastic waiting for this. The next step of the season to go.”
Praising his team’s work ethic the coach added, “And I’ve said it over and over, they’ve earned it. They work hard every single day.” And of the total team effort in securing the Championship Game victory, Coach Walter said, “The best part about today, every single person made good choices. We came in with a plan. We knew how we were going to attack and we did exactly what we wanted.”
Kyla Miles expressing her joy in winning the team’s first D9 Title after so many years, summed it up really well, “It’s an incredible feeling. I mean, it’s crazy our team, like we all pulled together and it’s definitely worth it all.”
The Lady Cats will play the number 5 team out of District 7 (WPIAL), Winchester Thurston, on Saturday.