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Clarion Gets Momentum-Building Win Over Brockway
(Photo: Cam Craig, Clarion)
In the end, Clarion jumped out to an early lead and kept it throughout in knocking off visiting Rovers, 62-55.
“This game was huge for us,” said Clarion senior Spencer Miller, who had eight points and did a solid job defensively against Brockway leading scorer Carter Adams.
“We knew it was going to be a big game for us. They are big, they are fast. If we came out and played hard like it was a playoff game, that would really help us later in the season.”
Listen to more of Miller’s thoughts on the game.
The win could give the Bobcats a chance at the No. 4 seed, and perhaps the No. 3 seed, in the upcoming District 9 playoffs if everything breaks right.
Right now, Clarion is a half game back of both Clarion-Limestone and Keystone in the fight for the No. 3 through No. 5 seeds in the Class 2A bracket. While Clarion’s regular season is done, Keystone plays at North Clarion Tuesday and C-L is at Karns City Wednesday. If both Keystone and C-L lose, that would leave all three teams at 16-6 on the season. Keystone and Clarion split their regular-season games, C-L swept Clarion in its two games and Keystone beat C-L the only time they played. That would mean the District 9 tiebreakers would have to be most likely used with winning percentage against District 9 teams first and then power points.
It is unknown how the tiebreaker would play out, but Clarion head Jess Quinn is just glad his team has that opportunity.
“I think the win was huge,” Quinn said. “It could determine seeding position for us, but it also gives us another win over a good Double A team. (Brockway’s) record might be around .500, but they play a very tough schedule. We wanted to come out and rise to their level. I thought, at one point, we could have pushed it a little bit more and coasted. But, we are very fortunate to come out with a win.”
The loss puts Brockway in a tough spot in terms of seeds six through eight with the Rovers desperately hoping to avoid the seventh or eighth seeds because of matchups with Coudersport (if seventh) or Ridgway (if eighth) in the quarterfinals.
But to stay out of that spot, Brockway needs Smethport to lose its final two games at Cameron County and Galeton and Curwensville to lose to either Harmony or West Branch.
On Monday night, any chance of the Rovers controlling their own destiny went out the window when they shot 10 of 40 in the second half that included them starting 0-for-9 and 1-for-13 in the half when they entered the half down just five, 31-26.
“We started off the half with a couple stops to start the half down five and had five shots four or five feet or in and didn’t make any of them where we had a chance to cut it to three and kind of get ourselves on a roll,” Brockway head coach Rick Clark said. “We didn’t finish. We had some great looks. We just didn’t finish.
“It’s the story of the year. When we shoot the ball well, we are pretty darn good. When we struggle from the field, it’s nights like this.”
Brockway’s second-half struggles helped Clarion build its lead to nine, 47-37, by the end of the third quarter with freshman Calvin German playing a key role in that scoring seven points. German finished the game with 14 points, five rebounds, three steals.
“He is doing a nice job for us,” Quinn said. “He comes off the bench, gives us a little bit of spark. He can knock that shot down. He has really done a nice job for us.”
Clarion got the lead to as many as 15 in the fourth quarter, 58-43, on a Miller basket with just over three minutes to play. But Brockway came back on the strength of a couple of 3-pointers – one from Jon Wood and one from Noah Vokes – to close the gap.
“Our guys have battled all year,” Clark said. “We’ve battled down the stretch and been able to close out a couple of those games. In a couple of those games, we have fallen short. Tonight we fell short. But we always get a great effort out of the guys. They gutted it out and tried to give us a chance to make the comeback. One shot here or there and you never know. If we could have gotten it under a two-possession game, who knows.”
Vokes had a strong game for Brockway finishing with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds while adding a pair of blocked shots.
“He did a good job getting some boards and some blocks on the back end,” Clark said. “Overall, a pretty solid night for him.”
Carter Adams added 15 points and eight boards, Zane Puhala nine points and Jon Wood five points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Rovers.
For Clarion, Cam Craig had a double-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals. Austin Hummell chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.
CLARION 62, BROCKWAY 55
Score by Quarters
Brockway 14 12 11 18 – 55
Clarion 19 12 15 16 – 62
BROCKWAY – 55
Zane Puhala 4 0-1 9, Josh Salada 0 1-2 1, Noah Vokes 6 0-2 13, Anthony Esposito 3 0-0 7, Carter Adams 5 3-4 15, Alec Freemer 1 2-2 5, Jon Wood 2 0-0 5, J.D. Wood 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-11 55.
CLARION – 62
Spencer Miller 3 2-2 8, Archer Mills 2 1-2 5, Jake Burns 0 0-0 0, Jacob Selker 0 0-0 0, Josh Craig 2 0-1 6, Skylar Rhoades 0 0-0 0, Calvin German 5 2-2 14, Gavin Brinkley 0 0-0 0, Austin Hummell 5 0-0 10, Cam Craig 7 4-7 19, Zak Bauer 0 0-0 0. Total 24 9-14 62.
Three-pointers: Brockway 7 (Adams 2, Puhala, Vokes, Esposito, Freemer, Jon Wood). Clarion 5 (Josh Craig 2, German 2, Cam Craig).
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