STRATTANVILLE — Avenging two one-point losses to Forest Area earlier this season, the Clarion-Limestone Lady Lions also ended a long streak when it notched a 45-34 win Tuesday night.
The Lady Lions (1-16) won for the first time since Jan. 23, 2017 — a 65-32 win at Tidioute Charter — and ended a 24-game losing streak. It’s the first win over a KSAC team in just over two years.
“The way we have been playing so hard the last four weeks and just one quarter away,” Lady Lions head coach Gus Simpson said. “These girls deserve this one. There are a lot of very happy Lady Lions fans tonight. I can’t believe the support we have gotten from alumni and past coaches rooting for these girls. I told them enjoy this one until Thursday. Then we turn the page.”
Maddy Craig and Jes Ball scored 15 and nine points respectively for the Lady Lions, who led 22-20 at halftime. They outscored the Fires 23-14 in the second half.
C-L had lost 36-35 at East Forest High School in mid-December and then 39-38 to Forest in the Redbank Valley Christmas Tournament. The Lady Lions also dropped two close games to Union, 44-38 and 46-44.
The Lady Lions visit North Clarion Friday and Ridgway next Monday.
In other games:
MONDAY, Jan. 29
Redbank Valley 63, C-L 44
At home, visiting Redbank Valley used its pressure defense at the end of the second quarter and start of the third to turn a six-point lead into a 20-point lead with three minutes left in the third en route to a win over the Lady Lions.
The Lady Lions pulled to within six points at 26-20 with 1:38 to play in the first half before a quick 8-0 run by the Lady Bulldogs closed the half giving Redbank Valley a 34-20 lead at the break.
A 10-2 run starting the third ballooned the lead to 20 at 44-22 with just over three minutes left in the quarter. C-L would then use an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 11 before a Maddy Marshall putback gave the Lady Bulldogs a 46-33 lead after three.
“That’s been our ‘MO’ all year in that we have that hiccup where teams go on a run on us and we have to fight so hard to try and get back in the game,” said C-L head coach Gus Simpson. “I’m proud of our girls because they did keep fighting and battling the whole way.”
Redbank would bump the lead to 18 at 51-33 early in the fourth and the Lady Lions would get no closer than 14 at 55-41. The Lady Bulldogs then closed the game on a 10-3 run to set the final score.
Tara Hinderliter led Redbank Valley with 22 points. Lexi Holt added 19, and Marshall scored eight.
Maddy Craig paced the Lady Lions with 15 points while Jess Ball added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Anna Kennemuth chipped in with eight. Anna Burns pulled down nine rebounds while Morgan Clark pulled down seven boards.
“You can’t say enough about the job Anna Kennemuth does on the floor,” said Simpson. “She does it at both ends of the floor for us. She understands what we are asking when we are in the huddle. For a freshman, she is only going to get better and better.”
C-L led 5-2 early on before Redbank closed the quarter on a 15-5 run for a 17-10 lead after one quarter.
The Lady Lions cut the lead to three early in the second on 17-14 on a Jess Ball and Ashley Daugherty basket. Redbank responded with a 6-0 run for a 23-14 lead. A 6-3 run by the Lady Lions put the score 26-20 before the quarter closing 8-0 run by the Lady Bulldogs.
A pair of threes from Hinderliter and Holt opened the second half for Redbank pushing the lead to 40-20. After a Clark inside basket for C-L, Kelsie Elmer and Hinderliter would score for the 44-22 lead. Kennemuth started the Lady Lions’ 11-0 run with four consecutive free throws and a short jumper. Jess Ball would add a 3-pointer and Craig would make another short jumper which cut the lead to 44-33 with 30 seconds remaining in the quarter. Marshall would score to stop the C-L run and close the quarter.
“Redbank knew they were in a ballgame no matter what the score was and as a coach that’s all you can ask,” said Simpson.
C-L claimed a 34-26 victory in the junior varsity contest as Emma Smith scored 10 points while Kennemuth added seven and Janelle Pezzuti six.
SATURDAY, Jan. 27
Moniteau 53, C-L 36
At West Sunbury in a makeup game, the host Lady Warriors put three players in double figures as Emma Bair, Kristin Auvil and Izzy Bair scored 15, 10 and 10 points respectively.
Both Maddy Craig and Morgan Clark reached double figures for the Lady Lions with 12 and 11 points respectively.
FRIDAY, Jan. 26
Clarion 67, C-L 46
At Clarion, the Lady Cats got a career-high 30 points from Wendy Beveridge as they jumped out to a 25-12 lead after the first quarter and cruised to a 21-point win over the Lady Lions.
Kait Constantino also reached double figures for Clarion with 17 points.
For C-L, both Maddy Craig and Morgan Clark finished with 16 points apiece.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24
A-C Valley 73, C-L 32
At Foxburg, Lady Falcons senior Ellie Thompson became her team’s all-time leading scorer as she poured in 26 points to raise her career total to 1,288. She went into the game trailing Hilary McCall by four points on the honor roll.
For the Lady Lions, Anna Burns scored 12 points while Morgan Clark finished with eight points.