Clarion Area Junior High Boys ‘A’ Basketball Team Closes Out A Solid Season

Photos courtesy of Tracy Durish – Above Bobcats Boys Junior High A-Team (Front Row L-R) Hunter Wiencek, Gavin Jones, Billy Kahle, Martin Ormeno, Jondell Jones. (Back row L-R) Blake Weckerly,  Anthony Bartley,Patrick Durish, Marlin Lewis, Ian Hoke.

The Clarion Area Junior High Boys ‘A’ Basketball Team is just coming off of a big season. Bobcats Head Coach Keith Murtha shared this summary:

Starting out with a redemption game against Cranberry, who handed the young Bobcats their worst loss of the season, first game of the year. Clarion looked like they were on fire and came out in the first quarter with a 11-6 lead. They replicated that to go into halftime 22-12. The third quarter showed an even exchange with Cranberry winning the quarter 11-10. The final quarter was not kind to the Bobcats as they were outscored 18-4 with Cranberry hitting 8 of their 12 free throws and Clarion 2 for 4. The Bobcats eventually succumbed to the undefeated Berries 41-36.

Cross town rivals rematched as Clarion traveled to Strattanville to take on the Clarion-Limestone Lions.

Both teams started slow on the offensive end, with Clarion leading the quarter 6-5. The second quarter saw the offense come alive with the combination of Hunter Wiencek and Patrick Durish chipping 13 of the 19 points in the quarter to lead at the half 25-9. The 3rd quarter C-L showed signs of life, leading the quarter 9-8, but still in a deficit 34-18. The final frame showed another even exchange, C-L leading 8-7 but Clarion with a significant win 42-25.

Clarion and C-L have played a number of competitive, close games over the years but this is the first time Clarion has won both home and away in three years.

Chris Kim had a strong game on both ends of the floor, scoring eight points.

Next up was the Panthers, where the teams played to a 3 point decision in favor of Keystone to kickoff hoops for hoop. The game got off to a fast start with Keystone leading 14-10 but with a defensive change for the Bobcats it was their quarter on 14-2 run for a halftime score of 24-16. The teams played evenly through the second half, Clarion leading 6-4 in the 3rd quarter and 5-6 run for a final score of 35-26 and a Bobcat win!

Patrick Durish had a dominant scoring 14 points inside and putbacks!

Photo by Tracy Durish – Patrick Durish scores on an assist from Jondell Jones.

The Bobcats traveled to Karns City where they got in a hole early trailing 16-6 after the first quarter. With adjustment on both halves of the court, the Bobcats took the second quarter 11-8 but still losing 24-17 at half. In the third quarter the Bobcats continued the trend again winning the quarter 11-7 to bring the score 31-28 in favor of the Gremlins. The final chapter was problematic for the Bobcats with foul trouble and the Gremlins scoring half their 9 points from the free throw line. Karns City closed out the quarter 9-2 for a 40-30 win.

Billy Kahle and Jondell Jones led the scoring with 8 points each.

Photo by Tracy Durish – Patrick Durish waits on the rebound.

Next the Bobcats hosted North Clarion who they played to a tight game in the first half of the season and this time was no different.

The teams tied 6-6 in both quarters for a 12-12 tie at intermission. Clarion did enough to win the second half 8-6 and 9-7 for a solid win 29-25. Patrick Durish had a strong afternoon from the free throw line, going 5 for 7 and leading the team with 9 points.

The Union Knights came into Clarion but couldn’t get much going with Clarion getting off to a fast start 16-4 in the first quarter, the second quarter was more of the same for a 12-4 run and a half time lead of 28-8. The second half was more even but the Bobcats won both quarters 6-4 and 7-4 for a final score of 41-12.

Jondell Jones had a big day leading the squad with 15 points.

Photo by Tracy Durish – Coach Murtha instructing his charges.

The Bobcats closed out the season at A-C Valley where they led the first half 12-10, played to a 6-2 third quarter and a 8-7 deficit in the final frame for a final victory 27-20.

Patrick Durish led all scorers with 13 points from the block. This team will be fun to watch as they progress to Junior Varsity and Varsity. They finish with a record of 11-4 but 3 of the 4 losses were by 4 points or less!

(Congratulations on a fine season Bobcat Boys Junior High Basketball ‘A’ Team!!!! Thanks to Coach Murtha for this summary and to Tracy Durish for her photos!!)