For the Brookville Raiders and Clarion-Limestone Lady Lions basketball teams, it’s time to play again.
It’s been quite a layoff for both teams, but Friday night both are back in action as the Raiders meet District 5 champion Chestnut Ridge for the District 5/9 Class 3A sub-regional title. at Windber High School starting at 7 p.m. while the Lady Lions take on Brockway for the D9 Class 2A title at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium starting at 6 p.m.
Tickets for both can be purchased online. For the Raiders game, it’s $8 per ticket online only at www.district5.piaa.org. For CL, tickets can be purchased online at www.piaad9.org for $8 or at the door for $10 each.
Win or lose, both teams qualify for the PIAA playoffs starting next week as the sub-regional and D9 Class 2A brackets advance two teams.
For the Raiders, it will be next Wednesday. If they win, they’ll host the fifth-seeded WPIAL — yes, they’re home gyms in the first round of 16 games in each bracket this year — and it’ll be either Ellwood City or Washington. A Raiders loss on Friday earns them a trip Wednesday to the WPIAL’s third seed, either South Allegheny or Aliquippa.
The WPIAL seeds will be determined by the winner of Friday night’s WPIAL final between Avonworth and Shady Side Academy. An Avonworth win puts the three and five seeds in South Allegheny and Ellwood City, while a Shady Side win puts them in Aliquippa and Washington.
Winner and loser CL/Brockway will play next Tuesday. The winner gets a home game against third-placed District 10 – the D10 semi-finals were scheduled for Wednesday night with West Middlesex v Cochranton and Maplewood v Cambridge Springs – while the D9 runner-up goes to third place in the WPIAL which will be either Serra Catholic or Seton LaSalle.
Here’s a look at Friday’s matches:
This will be the fourth year of the sub-regional final for the Raiders and the third time in a row that the Raiders and Lions have faced each other for the sub-regional title and the Raiders have won the first two encounters including the thrilling 68- 58 of last year. home win that saw the Raiders bounce back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter.
Chestnut had to beat Perry Academy of the Pittsburgh City League 71-59 last Saturday to advance to the sub-regional final. The Lions are led by double-digit scorers in senior Matt Whysong (18.1 ppg), junior Christian Hinson (15.9) and sophomore Nate Whysong (10.9).
Matt Whysong was the team’s top scorer last year and while the Raiders’ Jace Miner scored 16 of his fourth-quarter-high 27 points, Whysong scored 24 and his brother Nate finished with 14.
The Raiders, who had no Class D9 3A opponents to face this year, have not played since their decisive D9 League victory over DuBois on February 18. Since then, they have faced Otto-Eldred, Clearfield and Du Bois twice. Raiders head coach Dalton Park knows his team has a chore ahead of them on Friday.
“Their backcourt is quite good and they have two guards who can shoot and (Matt Whysong) is very quick, then they have a very quick playmaker who can shoot mid-range with the others who can shoot three-man,” said Park, who watched Perry’s game in person. “That’s the job we’ve done for us, so it’s not an easy thing to do when you have two shooters who can spread you around enough, so hopefully our big guys can step up and help us when we get in. need and we can contain them within.”
The Raiders are once again showing balance through their rotation with two double-digit senior scorers Danny Lauer (11.6 ppg) and Griffin Ruhlman (11.3). Lauer leads the team in 3-point shooting with 38 triples on 37 percent shooting while Ruhlman has shot more than 65 percent from the field the past eight games.
Hunter Geer (7.1) and Clayton Cook (7.1, 6.5 rebounds per game, the team record ahead of Ruhlman’s 5.6) are shooting over 50% as well as Ruhlman. Ian Pete (6.4 ppg) and Noah Peterson (3.3) are also in the Raiders’ base rotation.
“It took us a while to get there, but they’re finally playing where I thought they should be,” Park said of his team. “It’s tough when you’re 20-2 and you feel like you haven’t played well and you don’t want to pick on the kids too much, but at the same time I know what we’re up against. are capable and how we have to play the playoffs and that’s what young people want. So I really think the last five or six games they’ve stepped up and shown that they can compete at that level.
CL (12-8) vs. Brockway (15-7)
Since no other D9 Class 2A team entered the playoffs, the Lady Lions have not played since Feb. 15 while Brockway last played in their Allegheny Mountain semi-final playoff game. League where he lost to eventual champion and D9 Class 1A runner-up Elk County Catholic, 41. -34.
The teams were supposed to play during the regular season, but their Feb. 4 game at Brockway was postponed and not rescheduled.
The Lady Lions share five common enemies with Brockway – Karns City, Moniteau, Clarion and Union of KSAC and Ridgway. CL is 2-5 against this group with gaps to Karns City and Moniteau. Brockway is 4-2 against the group with a split against Ridgway.
The Lady Lions are led by Frances Milliron (15.9 ppg) and Kendall Dunn (13.1) while Brockway’s duo of Danielle Wood (17.5) and Selena Buttery (16.8) make up 75% their team’s score.