Bobcat Boys Down Winchester Thurston, Move On In PIAA State Basketball Playoffs (03/07/20)

(Above photo) Cal German looking to pass

The Clarion Area Bobcats downed the Winchester Thurston Bears, 49-44, in the first round of the PIAA 2A Boys Basketball playoffs, at Keystone on Saturday (March 7th).

Hunter Craddock at the line

The Cats were down 8-4 late in the first quarter, but went on a 7-0 run to close out the stanza, up 11-8, with Hunter Craddock sinking a basket, followed by another bucket by Beau Verdill and then Craddock finishing the quarter off with a basket with 8.6 seconds remaining, while getting fouled, and completing the three by sinking the free throw.

Josh Craig opened the period with a three-pointer and Cal German made a free throw.

Cats used solid defense to defeat Bears

Skylar Rhoades opened the second with a pair of free throws. The Bears Jackson Zuzang followed with a trey and the Bobcats led by two at 13-11. German and Rhoades both hit baskets. Later, Rhoades hit the back end of a pair of free throws. Zuzang closed out the period with a bucket and the Cats led 18-13, at the half.

The third period was a little more wide open and pretty even, with the Bears holding a 17-16 edge, sending the game to the final quarter, with the Cats up 34-30. The Bobcats were down 30-29, but closed the frame out with Verdill hitting a pair of free throws and German sinking a shot, while drawing a foul and completing the three, with the free throw.German also hit a pair of traditional three-pointers in the period.

Winchester Thurston’s, Langston Moses, scored 9 of his game-high nineteen points, in the third. Moses play is very reminiscent of former Bobcat Jonathan Smith, with a lot of tenacity on the boards.

A bucket by Zuzang, with around three and a half minutes left in the game, put the Bears up by one, at 41-40. But the Cats would finish the game out, with a 9-3 run, to seal the victory, with seven of the points coming from the free throw line. Geman had four of the free throws, Craig had two and Nick Frederick had the other.

The Bobcats played pretty solid defense throughout the game.

German led the Cats with eighteen points. Craddock had , Rhoades had 9, Verdill finished with 6, Craig with 5 and Frederick with one.

Zuzang followed Moses’ twenty-one, with sixteen for the Bears.

The Bobcats will face the winner of the Bishop Guilfoyle – Brentwood game, on Wednesday (March 11th) at a location and time to be announced.

Bobcat Coach Scott Fox was very happy with his team’s effort. “I’m very proud of the kids today. They worked hard. We worked last week trying to get the first win in I don’t know how many years, but it’s been a while. It’s the first (state playoff game) in fifteen years.

“I’m very happy with them. I hope they enjoyed the atmosphere today. We played tough and played good defense. The key was defense; we held them down.

“The kids, everybody worked hard. We played seven or eight and they all worked hard. I’m very happy for them.”

(Great game, Cats!!!!)