Basketball: Bobcat Boys And Girls Open D9 Playoffs With Wins

(Above image courtesy of Nate Girvan – Boys had a great night on defense)

The Clarion Area Boys and Girls Basketball Teams were both victorious in their District Nine – Class A playoff openers. The number 8 seeded Bobcat Boys downed the number 9 seeded Sheffield Wolverines 60-41, at home, while the number 10 seeded Clarion Girls downed the homestanding Coudersport Falcons, 31-27. Coudersport was seeded 7th.

The Bobcat Girls will travel to number 2 seeded North Clarion on Thursday (February 24th), while the Bobcat Boys will travel to Elk County Catholic, to face the number 1 seeded Crusaders, on Friday (February 25th), in the quarterfinals.

(February 24th) Both contests are scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Boys: Clarion 60 – Sheffield 41

The Wolverines built a 12-7 lead in the first, but with an 8-2 Clarion run, the Bobcats took their first lead of the game at 1:50, on a bucket by Devon Lauer. The Cats found themselves behind 20-17, as time was winding down, but a layup by Derek Smail followed by another layup by Christian Simko put Clarion up by one, 21-20 heading to the second. The Bobcats’ defense came up strong, limiting the Wolverines to just twenty-one points the rest of the way.

With the teams were tied at 25-all with under four minutes left in the second, Clarion went on a 9-0 run, which included buckets by Derek Smail and Dawson Smail, a free throw by Gabe Simko and a pair of baskets by Christian Simko. Clarion outscored Sheffield 13-5 in the period to lead 34-25 at the half.

The Cats had a 12-8 advantage in the third, with Clarion’s points coming on a pair of baskets by Christian Simko, one by Gabe Simko and a pair of three-point baskets by Lauer, who had three treys on the night. Clarion’s lead was now 46-33 heading to the final stanza.

The vast majority of the Bobcats’ points came on strong inside play, much of it set up by a fast tempo moving the ball up and down the court, as was on display during the fourth period. The Cats pushed their lead to twenty-four at 60-37, with Christian Simko providing three baskets, Devon Lauer with two and a bucket apiece from Dawson Smail and Derek Smail. A late basket and pair of free-throws by the Wolverines set the final.

Christian Simko led Clarion with a game-high twenty-three points. Lauer followed with 15 points, Derek Smail had 8 and Gabe Simko scored seven points.

Dawson Smail scored 5 points and Ryan Alston contributed two.

Connor Fitch led Sheffield with 14 points followed by Tony Richards, with 11 points (3 treys).

Girls: Clarion 41 – Coudersport 37

The Bobcats held an 11-4 lead after one. With a one-point 7-6 Coudersport advantage in the second, Clarion led 17-11 at the half.

A 9-8 third quarter edge, by the Cats, had them up 26-19 headed to the fourth. Coudersport had an 8-5 scoring edge the last frame to set the final.

Noel Anthony and Becca Ketner led Clarion with 8 apiece, with Gia Babington following with eleven points. Anthony and Babington each had a three-point basket.

Payton Simko and Jordan Best had four points each for the Cats.

Emma Chambers, with 10 points and Elizabeth Frame with six, led the Falcons. Both had a pair of three-pointers.

(Great work, Bobcat Boys and Girls!!!! Keep it Going!!!!)