Bobcats Fall To Knights In District Nine Boys Basketball Class-A Quarterfinals

The Clarion Area Bobcats dropped a 58-48 decision to the visiting Union Golden Knights in their District Nine Boys Class-A Basketball quarterfinal matchup, on Friday (February 24th).

The Knights jumped out to an 11-1 first quarter lead highlighted by three 3-point buckets by Zander Laughlin. Union held a 16-5 lead later in the quarter, after another trey by Laughlin. A free throw by Clarion’s Gabe Simko followed by a trey by Devon Lauer as time ran out in the period, had the Bobcats within seven at 16-9.

Both teams posted seven points in the second. Union’s Skylar Roxbury scored all of the points for his team in the period. He opened with a two point bucket, which was followed by a 3-pointer by Clarion’s Bryce Brinkley. A trey and two free throws, from Roxbury had Union up 23-12. But late buckets by Tanner Miller and Devon Lauer tightened the score, with Union leading 23-16 at the half.

Union opened the game up in the third, with a 17-11 advantage. They were up by nineteen points late at 40-21. But with a pair of three-pointers, one by Dawson Smail and the other by Lauer, as the period was ending, the Bobcats were down by only thirteen at 40-27 heading to the last stanza.

Lauer extended the comeback as he opened the fourth with a successful layup, where he was fouled. He converted on the free throw and followed with another bucket and the Bobcats were within eight at 40-32. Lauer got the Bobcats within seven at 42-35 with another trey a while later. The Cats were within five points at 47-42 after a basket by Derek Smail, but an 11-7 run by the Knights, with nine of Union’s points coming from the charity stripe set the 58-48 final.

Lauer led the Bobcats with eighteen points, including three treys. Dawson Smail had eight points, with two from beyond the arc. Simko had six points.

Bryce Brinkley and Mason Burford added five points apiece. Both had a three-point bucket. Derek Smail had 4 points and Tanner Miller contributed two points.

Laughlin led Union with his game-high twenty-one points, which included five long range buckets. Payton Johnston added seventeen.

The Knights will face DuBois Central Catholic in a semifinal matchup on Wednesday (March 1st).

The Bobcats will move on to the consolation bracket to determine District Nine’s fifth and final seed for the PIAA State Tournament. The Cat’s will host Smethport on Monday (February 27th), with Tipoff set for 7:00 pm. The winner of that game will face the winner of the other game between Keystone and Johnsonburg (which will take place at Johnsonburg on the same evening) on Thursday (March 2nd.)

Let’s Go Cats!!!!