North Clarion to Battle Karns City For KSAC Girls’ Title Live on ExploreClarion Radio Tonight
(Photo courtesy of Diane McMunn)
While the Lady Gremlins (20-2 overall, 16-0 KSAC South), who beat Venango Catholic, 55-53, last year and Clarion, 36-28, in 2014, have a lot of championship-game experience, North Clarion (20-2, 15-1 KSAC North) is making its first appearance in the KSAC title contest and is believed to be looking for its first-ever conference title.
The teams met Jan. 6 in Karns City with the Lady Gremlins pulling out a 63-55 win despite losing one of their top players, LeeAnn Gibson, early in the contest to a hand injury.
In that game, sophomore Emily Hegedus scored a then-career-high 33 points (she topped that in the next game vs. C-L scoring 34 points), which really marked the point where she started taking over for Gibson as the Lady Gremlins leading scorer.
Hegedus finished the regular season averaging a team-leading 18.0 points per game, but prior to the North Clarion game in early January, Gibson was the team’s leading scorer averaging 21.3 ppg compared to 16.3 for Hegedus. Since that game, Hegedus is averaging 19.2 ppg with Gibson falling back to 13.8 ppg. Gibson finished the regular season averaging 16.9 ppg.
Karns City also gets production from Alyssa Gibson, LeeAnn’s younger sister, who averages 9.3 ppg as well as from Mackenzie Craig, who scores 8.0 ppg.
North Clarion is dominated by hits big two of senior Abbie Schmader and sophomore Tori Obenrader.
Both players are averaging a season double-double with Schmader, who just surpassed the 1,000-point mark, averaging 19.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
Obenrader, meanwhile, averages 16.9 points and 16.8 rebounds per contest. She just had a streak of 15 straight games with a double-double end in a win over Forest Area Tuesday, but she has recorded a double-double in 20 of the She-Wolves 22 games.
In the regular-season game with Karns City, Obenrader had 23 points and 19 rebounds with Schmader adding 13 points and 10 boards.
North Clarion also gets solid production from Cassie Wagner, who scores 6.1 ppg. Wagner had 12 in the Karns City game.
Both teams will advance into the District 9 playoffs. Karns City will be the top seed in the Class AA bracket, while North Clarion will be the No. 2 seed in the A tournament.
KSAC TITLE GAME HISTORY
(KSAC Title Game Started in 2007)
2015 – Karns City 55, Venango Catholic 53
2014 – Karns City 36, Clarion 28
2013 – Clarion 45, Keystone 40
2012 – Cranberry 57, Keystone 53
2011 – Cranberry 41, Union 33
2010 – Cranberry 49, Moniteau 40, overtime
2009 – West Forest 51, Moniteau 25
2008 – Keystone 47, Union 37
2007 – Union 43, Keystone 42
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