Strong Early Defense, Pair of Double-Doubles Helps Clarion Girls Hoops Get Back to .500
(Photo of Clarion’s Jordan Best, the Hager Paving Player of the Game)
Relisten to the game:
The Lady Cats forced six first-quarter turnovers thanks to five steals from five different players while building a 10-point lead, 14-4, at the end of the quarter.
That lead grew to 13, 25-12, by halftime, and to 16 a couple of times in the third quarter – the latest at 36-20 – before Moniteau fought back within eight, 40-32, early in the fourth quarter.
Clarion, though, put the game away with a 10-4 run over the final 4:15 to get back to .500 (5-5) on the season.
“Coach was talking to us and said we really needed to get back to .500, build our self-esteem” freshman Jordan Best, who was the Hager Paving Player of the Game said. “He wanted us to change as a team because our last couple of games didn’t go too good. He really wanted us to step up and get this win tonight.”
Best finished the night with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds while adding two steals and two blocked shots.
She also had the knack of scoring key points for the Lady Cats ending a quick 4-0 spurt by Moniteau midway through the third quarter when she split the Lady Warriors defense for a layup and then doing the same thing late in the quarter to give Clarion a 38-28 lead heading to the fourth.
Then, in the fourth, after Moniteau had closed within eight, 40-32, on a basket by Kristin Auvil, who had a game-high 18 points to go with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, Best again had the answer with a bucket followed by an old-school 3-point play when she grabbed an offensive rebound, layed the ball in, was fouled and hit the foul shot. Those five points pushed Clarion’s lead to 13, 45-32, with 5:35 left.
“I definitely do feel a lot of pressure as a freshman,” Best said. “I just try to like step up and play my part and not act freshman. I try to play like a big girl.”
Ali Troese also played a big part in the win finishing with a double-double of her own. Troese had a team-high 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds including six rebounds in the first quarter.
“We want a team effort,” Best said. “We want everyone to have a bunch of points. We don’t want one person being that lead scorer every time. We want everyone to get as many points as they can.”
Watch Best’s complete postgame interview.
Best and Troese were far from alone in helping Clarion to the victory.
KK Girvin chipped in 12 points and four steals, Wendy Beveridge blocked nine shots while adding three points, five rebounds and a steal and Kait Constantino contributed a team-high five steals to go with six points and three rebounds.
Kaitee Chesonis chipped in seven points, four rebounds and three blocks for the Lady Warriors (3-8) with Aslyn Pry adding five points and 11 rebounds and Andie Arblaster four points and seven boards.
Clarion returns to action at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Keystone has part of the Hoops for Hope event, while Moniteau is back on the hardwood Monday when it hosts Cranberry.
CLARION 55, MONITEAU 40
Score by Quarters
Moniteau 4 8 16 12 – 40
Clarion 14 11 13 17 – 55
MONITEAU – 40
Kristin Auvil 6 4-4 18, Dolcey Shunk 0 0-0 0, Andie Arblaster 1 2-4 4, Haley Pry 1 0-0 2, Aslyn Pry 1 3-7 5, Zoey Hillwig 2 0-0 4, Mia Loos 0 0-0 0, Katie Chesonis 3 1-2 7. Totals 14 10-17 40.
CLARION – 55
Payton Simko 0 1-2 1, KK Girvin 5 2-3 12, Jordan Best 4 4-7 12, Ali Troese 7 0-0 15, Wendy Beveridge 1 1-2 3, Eva Lerch 1 0-0 2, Ava Cherico 2 0-0 4, Kait Constantino 1 4-5 6. Totals 21 12-19 55.
Three-pointers: Moniteau 2 (Auvil 2). Clarion 1 (Troese).
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