STRATTANVILLE — Building a big lead can be both a blessing and a curse for a coach as Clarion-Limestone head coach Joe Ferguson found as his Lions built a 37-15 lead at halftime and had to fend off a fourth-quarter rally by Redbank Valley in defeating the Bulldogs 62-48 Tuesday night.

“We played really well in the first half,” said Ferguson, whose Lions improved to 8-3. “We know Redbank has a good team with some shooters, but we felt they were maybe shy a true ball-handler, so we wanted to pressure them a bit. When we got that lead I didn’t want to run the score up so we dropped back and still were playing good defense and we doing some nice things offensively in that first half.”

After Bryson Bain opened the scoring for Redbank, the Bulldogs only mustered a Logan Wadding free throw with 1:10 remaining in the quarter. C-L on the other hand proceeded to score 17 points in taking a 17-3 lead after one. Deas scored seven and Goheen six in the opening frame for the Lions.

“Our kids played hard until the very end,” said Redbank Valley head coach Emmanuel Marshall. “We just came out flat and couldn’t hit shots in that first quarter. We scored just 15 for the half and that won’t get it done very often.”

C-L pushed its lead to 20 at 28-8 with 5:10 remaining. A 3-pointer by Chris Marshall who scored a game-high 18 for Redbank trimmed the lead to 28-11 at the 4:31 mark. The Lions then closed the half on a 9-4 run for a 37-15 halftime lead.

The Lions then used a 28-9 scoring blitz in the third in pushing their lead to 24 points at 48-24 after three.

After a Goheen putback to start the fourth put C-L up 50-24, Redbank would begin to claw back into the game by going on a 14-0 run to close to within 12 at 50-38 with 4:29 to play. C-L finished the game off with a 12-10 scoring edge the rest of the way to set the final score.

“We made a little run in the fourth quarter but that early hole was just too much,” said Marshall. “If we added a fifth quarter we might have been all right. I’m proud of how our kids played hard.”

Deas scored 27 points for the Lions while Callen came two blocks shy of a triple-double as he scored 12 points with 14 rebounds and eight blocks. Goheen added 14 points with 12 boards. Julian Laugand chipped in with seven points.

Chris Marshall led the Bulldogs with 18 points while Declan Fricko added nine off the bench with Nick Smith and Keaton Kahle each scoring eight points.

Redbank Valley won the junior varsity contest 44-43. Gunner Mangiantini and Owen Magagnotti each scored 11 for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs (4-6) host Forest Area Friday and travel to Venango Catholic Monday. Next Wednesday, they host Clarion in a varsity doubleheader with the girls starting at 6 p.m.

In last week’s game:

FRIDAY, Jan. 4

Moniteau 64, Redbank Valley 50

At West Sunbury, the visiting Bulldogs found themselves trailing 15-4 after one quarter and dropped a KSAC-South game to the Warriors.

Chris Marshall led the Bulldogs with 15 points while Keaton Kahle finished with 12. Nick Smith and Tanner Kerle each scored seven points.

Ethan McDeavitt had 20 points for the Warriors, who led 36-21 at halftime.

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