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Defense lifts Karns City girls into first title game since 2008

By Chris Rossetti

CLARION, Pa. – Karns City used a stifling defense to avenge its lone loss of the year and move into the District 9 Class AA girls’ basketball championship game with a 57-33 win over Redbank Valley Thursday night at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.

The top-seeded Lady Gremlins (23-1) forced 29 turnovers while holding fifth-seeded Redbank Valley (15-9) to 36.4 percent shooting (12 of 33) and limiting Lady Bulldogs star Brooke Hinderliter, who came into the game as the second-leading scorer in District 9 at 20.1 points per game, to 13 points including eight through the first three quarters.

“That’s the first time we’ve pressed them the entire year,” Karns City head coach Dave Kerschbaumer said. “We wanted to use our athletisicm on their big girls and make them run the floor. We knew Brooke was going to get it, but we had to make sure we were aware of her and where she was at. The kids did a great job of executing our game plan tonight. They bought into everything we wanted to do.”

Karns City used its defense to score 24 points, with 12 of those coming in a pivitol second quarter that saw the Lady Gremlins outscored Redbank Valley 21-6 to break open a five-point game, 18-13, at the end of the first quarter and turn it into a 20-point lead, 39-19, at halftime.

“We’ve been doing that all year,” Kerschbaumer said. “That is kind of our MO. We get teams into a pressure situation, and we capitalize. We talked about being in attack mode. When we get a turnover, we’ve been in attack mode all year long. We talk about finishing. It doesn’t matter if it’s off a turnover or an offensive set. Kids know when they get it they need to go to the basket.”

A reign of 3-pointers, seven in the half, eight total, were a big reason why Karns City was able to put the game away before halftime.

Annie Hegedus had three of the triples on her way to 11 points and turned in a fine all-around game with five steals and three assists.

“Going into the game, we wanted to push it,” Kerschbaumer said. “We through if we pushed it, we would get some open looks on the wing. We talked all week long about just let it fly, don’t think about things. Of course, we buried (the threes) early. It just relaxed our kids.”

Emily LoPresti led Karns City with 14 points to go with five steals, two assists and two rebounds with Shanel Preston chipping in 12 points, LeeAnn Gibson nine points, 10 rebounds and three steals and Alyssa Gibson eight points.

Emma Kennemuth chipped in six points and 13 rebounds for Redbank Valley with Becca Dougherty adding six points as well.

Karns City will take on Kane in the District 9 championship game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Tippin Gym.

NOTES – Karns City split its regular-season meetings with Redbank Valley winning 43-36 at Karns City and losing 49-41 at Redbank Valley … Karns City 43-36 is making its appearance in a District 9 title game since 2008 when it beat Cranberry for its third straight title and its sixth title in seven years (ninth in 11). The five-year title-game draught was the longest for the Lady Gremlins since they went five years between title-game appearances from 1989-95 … C-L is making its first District 9 championship game appearances in any classification since losing in 1994 in Class A to Coudersport. The Lady Lions haven’t won a title since winning the 1988 Class A championship over Northern Potter … The teams met once in the regular season with Karns City scoring a 75-33 win in Karns City Jan. 31.

KARNS CITY 57, REDBANK VALLEY 33

Score by Quarters

Redbank Valley…………….   13    6    4   10  –   33

Karns City………………..   18   21   10    8  –   57

REDBANK VALLEY – 33

HINDERLITER, Brooke 3-5 5-6 13; KENNEMUTH, Emma 2-5 2-5 6; DOUGHERTY, Becca 3-10 0-2 6; MCCLAINE, Madison 2-5 0-0 4; GRUVER, Kaelyn 1-3 0-0 2; FINK, Cassie 1-4 0-2 2; HORNBERGER, Cambria 0-0 0-0 0; LANDERS, Samantha 0-0 0-0 0; ROUDYBUSH, Leah 0-0 0-0 0; NOLF, Megan 0-0 0-0 0; ADAMS, Mary 0-0 0-0 0; BAIN, Megan 0-0 0-0 0; GOURLEY, Sarah 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-33 7-15 33.

KARNS CITY – 57

LOPRESTI, Emily 4-12 4-4 14; PRESTON, Shanel 3-9 4-4 12; HEGEDUS, Annie 3-6 2-2 11; GIBSON, LeeAnn 4-6 1-2 9; GIBSON, Alyssa 3-5 1-2 8; SCHUMACHER, Emily 1-3 1-1 3; STOUGHTON, Clara 0-0 0-0 0; MOORE, Saydie 0-0 0-0 0; WOLFE, Abby 0-0 0-0 0; WHITED, Brody 0-0 0-0 0; JONES, LeErin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-41 13-15 57.

3-point goals–Redbank Valley 2-4 (HINDERLITER, Brooke 2-3; MCCLAINE, Madison 0-1), Karns City 8-19 (HEGEDUS, Annie 3-6; PRESTON, Shanel 2-4; LOPRESTI, Emily 2-8; GIBSON, Alyssa 1-1).

Rebounds–Redbank Valley 31 (KENNEMUTH, Emma 13), Karns City 19 (GIBSON, LeeAnn 10).

Assists–Redbank Valley 8 (MCCLAINE, Madison 2; KENNEMUTH, Emma 2; GRUVER, Kaelyn 2), Karns City 11 (SCHUMACHER, Emily 3; HEGEDUS, Annie 3).

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