Defense Helps C-L Get 47-45 Win at Keystone Monday

| February 5, 2019

KNOX, Pa. (D9Sports)Clarion-Limestone turned to its quickness on defense Monday night to pick up another road key win, this time a 47-45 down to the last-second victory over Keystone.

(Photo: C-L’s Hayden Callen takes a first-half 3-pointer with Keystone’s Andrew Lauer getting a hand in his face Monday night. Photo by Mark Rearick)

The Lions came away with 22 steals while forcing 29 Keystone turnovers and needed every last one of those, as the Panthers had a potential game-winning 3-pointer by Troy Johnson rattle in and rattle out at the horn.

“It’s a big relief,” C-L head coach Joe Ferguson, whose team was coming off an emotional win at North Clarion Friday night, said. “That ball banging around the rim at the end was kind of making me sick. It was nice to get that win, and it was nice to have a good, competitive contest for us going down the road.”

The shot that made Ferguson almost sick was an off-balanced 3-pointer attempt from just to the right of the top of the circle by Johnson with C-L’s Deion Deas trying to play defense while not fouling at the same time. It rattled around and came out.

“I thought that was in,” Keystone head coach Greg Heath said.

The play started when Julian Laugand missed two free throws with 11.8 seconds left, and Max Thompson collected the rebound.

Thompson then quickly fed to Dawson Steele, who hurried up the court. Steele tried to drive the lane but was stopped by Ayden Wiles with an assist by Laugand. Steele then passed it off to Thompson, who fed it to Johnson for the hopeful game-winner.

Watch the play unfold from the second missed free throw forward.

The defensive effort by C-L on the final sequence was fitting considering it was the Lions defense that allowed it to win the game.

C-L started the contest 3 of 19 from the floor and fell behind 16-6 with 6:22 left in the first half.

But the Lions didn’t allow another point – and just one total – in the second quarter and rolled off a 15-0 run to take a 21-16 halftime lead.

“When you give them a big lead like that, it’s hard to come back,” Ferguson said. “Thankfully, we had our own run and held them to one point in the second quarter.”

C-L pushed the lead to 12, 31-19, following a steal and a basket by Wiles with 3:24 to go in the third quarter.

But a funny thing happened on the way to a potential blowout by the Lions. Keystone got hot again.

Steele hit a 3-pointer and scored seven of the next nine points for the Panthers to help Keystone close within five, 33-28, at the end of the third quarter.

The game then started to fluctuate between two points and five points for most of the fourth quarter before a 3-pointer by Johnson, who had a game-high 15 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and coming away with three steals, brought Keystone back within one, 41-40, with 2:43 to play.

“They didn’t quit,” Heath said of his players. “We made some big plays when we needed them. I’m very proud of them for that.”

A basket by Curvin Goheen off a feed from Ian Callen pushed the lead back to three, 43-40, before two Hayden Callen hit free throws following a Deas steal to make it 45-40 with 2:03 to left.

But Steele hit another 3-pointer at the 1:29 mark to cut the lead to 45-43 before Deas scored on a floater in the lane with 1:05 left to make it 47-43.

Andrew Lauer then hit two free throws to cut the deficit back to two before Keystone got the ball back with around 20 seconds to play.

But Goheen came up with a steal on an attempted inlet pass by Johnson to Lauer with just over 12 seconds to go.

That sent Laugand to the line, but he missed both setting up the ending sequence.

“The bottom line is we just turned the ball over too much,” Heath said. “That was the game. I told the guys when they look at the game film to look at the turnovers. Because that was really the game right there. We gave them so many easy baskets off of some of those turnovers. If we cut those (turnovers) in half, which is still not great at taking care of the ball, (we) probably win easily. But I give (C-L) credit. They were creating those turnovers. If you aren’t strong with the ball, they are coming after it. They are going to get it. They are quick. So, you have to give them a lot of credit for creating those turnovers. They really get after you on defense.”

The usually star-heavy Lions were more well-rounded offensive Monday night than on a lot of evenings with Ian Callen leading the way with 14 points, seven steals and five rebounds. His younger brother, Hayden Callen, added 10 points and six board with Laugand chipping in six steals and five points and Deas, who didn’t start the game because of a sprained ankle suffered in the win Friday at North Clarion, added eight tallies. Goheen also had six points, five rebounds and two steals. Wiles contributed two points, four steals and a rebound.

“Tonight it was a team effort,” Ferguson said. “Ayden didn’t play a lot the other night. Between Ayden, Mitch (Knepp) and Curvin, which are the kind of guys I like to rotate, I believed they gave us the minutes we needed.”

Steele and Lauer each added 13 points for Keystone with Lauer grabbing nine rebounds as well.

The win moves C-L to 15-3 on the year with Keystone falling to 13-5 having lost two straight.

“They know if that ball goes in at the end, we win,” Heath said of his team’s mental state. “I don’t think they are too broken up about (the loss). We just take it one game at a time. Hopefully, we will be ready for Redbank. We are going to have to be, because they are playing pretty well right now.”

The Panthers, who are in a tie in the loss column with Moniteau for first-place in the KSAC South, host Redbank Valley, who is just a game back in the loss column, Wednesday.

C-L, which is looking to secure a sixth straight KSAC North title and is currently tied with North Clarion for first place, is at Venango Catholic Wednesday.


Score by Quarters

Clarion-Limestone 6 15 12 14 – 47
Keystone 15 1 12 17 – 45


Deion Deas 4 0-0 8, Julian Laugand 2 1-2 5, Ayden Wiles 1 0-0 2, Ian Callen 5 3-4 14, Curvin Goheen 3 0-0 6, Hayden Callen 3 4-5 10, Mitch Knepp 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 8-11 47.


Troy Johnson 5 1-3 15, Max Thompson 0 0-0 0, Luke Hurrelbrink 0 2-2 2, Alex Rapp 0 0-0 0, Dawson Steele 4 2-2 13, Andrew Lauer 3 6-8 13, Brandon Kapp 1 0-0 2, Brooks LaVan 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 11-15 45.

Three-pointers: C-L 1 (Ian Callen). Keystone 8 (Johnson 4, Steele 3, Lauer).

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