ST. MARYS — If Tuesday’s District 9 Class AA playoff game between Clarion-Limestone and Coudersport were a boxing match, the unbeaten Falcons had a counter punch to every Lions jab in a 69-57 victory at St. Marys High School.
The knockout blow came at the free throw line where Coudersport finished 26-of-33 while C-L attempted 13 free throws, making eight.
Both teams advance to another game, the 23-0 Falcons to Saturday’s championship game at Clarion University against the winner of Wednesday’s Ridgway-Brockway game at a time to be announced while the 18-7 Lions play the loser in the consolation game with the winner getting the third state playoff berth.
That game will be played either Friday or Saturday at a site and time to be announced.
Zach Layag led the Falcons with 22 points, including an 8-of-9 effort from the free-throw line. Owen Chambers added 18 points and 10 rebounds while going 7-of-10 effort from the foul line. Jacob Green notched 14 points while draining 5-of-6 freebies.
Dan Callen paced C-L with 21 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 2:48 left in the contest. Freshman Deion Deas connected for 13 points off the bench. Ian Callen added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Both Dan Callen and starting point guard Julian Laugand were hampered with foul trouble in the second half and both wound up fouling out.
C-L trailed 7-5 early before Coudy closed the quarter on a 10-2 run for a 17-7 lead after one. Green scored six points for Coudy in the first.
The lead grew to 14 at 21-9 before the Lions climbed back into the game with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to five at 21-16. However, as the theme of the night dictated, the Falcons had an answer. They bumped the lead to 11 at 29-18 before C-L trimmed the lead to 32-29 by halftime.
Dan Callen led the Lions with 10 points in the second.
Coudy led by seven twice in the third before an 8-2 run fueled by a pair of Deas 3-pointers cut the lead to one at 44-43 with just over a minute to play. Coudy closed the quarter on a 6-0 run for a 50-43 lead going into the fourth quarter.
C-L got no closer than five points early in the fourth, but the Falcons free throw shooting (10-of-12) over the final three minutes helped them pull away. Layag finished a perfect 8-for-8 during that final stretch.