CLARION — It’s that time of year for District 9 basketball fans as the final weekend of the District 9 playoffs is upon us.
Some area teams have already punched their tickets to the PIAA Playoffs, which start next weekend, while a few need a win in their respective games this weekend.
All games will be held at Clarion University. Here is a breakdown of all the championship games from around the Tri-County Area this weekend:
Class 3 A Championship
vs. (1) Karns City
The Raiders got to the championship of the three-team tournament with a 56-47 win over No. 3 Kane last week to set up the title game with the Gremlins, which is a rematch of last year’s title game. Karns City won last year’s game, 56-51.
Karns City comes into the game with a 16-7 record after falling to Clarion-Limestone in the KSAC Championship game on Feb. 16.
The Gremlins have a freshman guard Chase Beighley (13.9 ppg.) leading them in scoring with junior Austin Fahlor (11.7 ppg.) also averaging double figures. Only Fahlor, and seniors Nolan Riley (8.1 ppg.) and Jacob Freil (7.7 ppg.) saw playing time in last year’s game.
Brookville (14-9) top scorers Aaron Park (13 ppg.) and Bryan Dworek (9.7 ppg.) started and saw playing time in last year’s game while Trenton Gilhousen (8.7 ppg.), Nick Keth (4 ppg.) and A.J. Lachnicht (3.9 ppg.) saw limited minutes.
The winner advances to the PIAA Playoffs, while the loser’s season ends.
Tip-off is set for tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Tippin Gymnasium.
Class 2A Championship
vs. (2) Coudersport
The Elkers still have a perfect season on the line coming into the district championship at 25-0.
After a bye in the quarterfinals, Ridgway cruised to a 44-24 win over No. 5 Clarion on Tuesday to set up Saturday’s title game with Coudersport.
The Falcons (21-3) defeated No. 7 Curwensville, 71-46, in the Class 2A quarterfinals before avoiding an upset in the semifinals with a 72-67 win over No. 6 Brockway in the semifinals on Tuesday.
The two teams also played a classic earlier this season as the Elkers held off Coudy, 59-57, at Ridgway High School on Feb. 3.
In their semifinal games, Ridgway got 15 points from Neil MacDonald, while Josh Thorwart added eight.
For Coudersport, Owen Chambers put in 32 points on the night for a fast-paced Falcons team. Jared Green added 14 points, and Hayden Keck put in 12.
Tip off is set for Saturday at 7 p.m.
Class A Championship
vs. (2) Elk County Catholic
It seemed like an unlikely matchup at first, but the Rams made a matchup with the Crusaders possible with a 45-42 win over top-seeded North Clarion on Wednesday evening.
Elk County Catholic took care of business with a 46-25 win over No. 3 Cameron County on Wednesday.
Johnsonburg (18-7) and ECC (21-5) will be playing for the third time this season, both won by the Crusaders. The first game was 55-38 in ECC’s first game of the season at Johnsonburg, while the second game was much closer at 43-36 in St. Marys.
In their respective semifinal games, Ben Freeburg led Johnsonburg with 11 points on the night, while Trevor Lobaugh and Austin Green each scored nine.
For the Crusaders, Ryan Newton led the way with 18 points, while Alex Breindel put in nine points.
Tip is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Class 3A Championship
vs. (3) Karns City
The Gremlins pulled off a 40-32 win over Moniteau last week to get to Friday’s championship game.
Brookville (17-5), which has had 15 days off prior to tonight’s game, will be meeting the four-time reigning champions in the Lady Gremlins (12-10).
Lady Raider head coach Mark Powell will also be playing for a milestone as he currently sits at 199 career wins.
Karns City is led by senior guard Emily Hegedus, the team’s all-time leading scorer at nearly 1,500 points. She scored 19 points in last week’s playoff win over Moniteau and she’s averaging 25.6 points per game, over half of the team’s total points with the next highest scorer Livia Andreassi at 8.5 points per game and Alyssa Stitt at 6.7 points per game.
Sophomore Marcy Schindler (10.4 ppg.) leads the way for Brookville along with twin sophomore guards Morgan (9.7 ppg.) and Madison (7.8) Johnson, and sophomore guard Kira Powell (6.2 ppg.).
Like the Brookville boys game, the winner advances to the PIAA playoffs and the loser’s season ends.
Tip is set for 5 p.m. this evening.