Early Hole too Much for Karns City to Overcome in Loss to Coudersport in D9 2A Semifinals

| February 23, 2019

ST. MARYS, Pa. (D9Sports) – Try as it might, Karns City dug itself too big of an early hole and lost out on a chance winning three District 9 titles in a row when it fell to Coudersport, 83-67, in the District 9 Class 2A semifinals Friday night at St. Marys High School.

(Photo of Coudersport’s Hayden Keck)

The Gremlins (16-8), who had won two titles in a row in Class 3A before moving down to 2A this year, trailed 30-10 at the end of the first quarter and by as many as 22 in the second quarter, before getting back within nine a couple of times in the third quarter.

“As you can see, we needed all those points we got early,” Coudersport head coach Brian Furman said.

An inability to stop Coudersport’s 3-point game hurt Karns City early, as the Falcons (23-1), who are looking for a third straight District 9 2A title, were lights out from beyond the arc in the first quarter hitting six 3-pointers on their way to the 20-point lead.

“We wanted to come out hard because the other night against Brockway (in the quarterfinals) we didn’t come out hard and it was a close game,” sophomore point guard Hayden Keck, who had 24 points and hit one of the six Coudersport 3-pointers in the first quarter, said. “We wanted to come out hard and put them away quick.”

And put away Karns City is exactly what it looked like the Falcons were going to do when they pushed the lead to 39-17 on a Daniel Frame basket with just over five minutes left in the first half.

But the Gremlins responded going on a 13-3 run that featured a pair of 3-pointers by Chase Beighley, who finished with 18 points, and four points from Nathan Waltman, to close the gap to 12, 42-30, on a putback by Waltman with 1:32 to play before halftime.

Karns City then got within 11, 46-35, at the break when Ethan McElroy, who scored 15 points, hit a 3-pointer late in the half.

The Gremlins kept coming in the third quarter and twice trimmed the deficit to nine, the first time on a 3-pointer by Austin Fahlor, who finished with a team-high 23 points, just over a minute and a half into the half, and again on another Fahlor three with 4:41 to play in the third quarter.

“I have a lot of respect for them,” Keck, who was named the Hager Paving Player of the Game, said. “They were playing hard, as hard as they could to get back in the game. They were making it pretty close at times.”

Watch Keck’s entire postgame interview.

Karns City’s fortunes, however, changed shortly after Fahlor’s second triple of the third quarter when 6-foot-4 sophomore center Nathan Waltman picked up his fourth foul of the game and had to take a seat on the bench.

While Waltman only scored eight points in the contest, his presence inside had been opening things up for the Gremlins.

“That (Waltman being in foul trouble) was really important,” Furman said. “He is a really good player, and he gives us some matchup problems. What was happening is we were collapsing down on him and his teammates were knocking down threes.”

With Waltman on the bench, Coudersport was able to get the lead back to 14, 67-53, going to the fourth quarter and then kept it in double digits the rest of the way.

Owen Chambers, Coudersport’s sensational senior shooting guard, led the way with 29 points giving him 2,188 in his career, just 67 shy of the District 9 career record of 2,255 set by Johnsonburg’s Calvin Grumley. But in all honesty, Karns City did a nice job on Chambers holding him to just three points in the second quarter and two in the fourth. But he exploded for 13 in the opening eight minutes and 11 more in the third.

But while Chambers was being held in check at times, other players stepped up for the Falcons, who ended up putting four players in double digits with Dillon Keglovits adding 12 points and Kolby VanWhy 10.

“The other guys can score,” Furman said. “They can shoot the ball a little bit. They pick their spots, and tonight they came through.”

Coudersport will play Ridgway in the District 9 title game for the second consecutive season. They beat the Elkers, 66-46, for the title last year. Ridgway handed Coudersport its only loss of the year, 57-56, Jan. 4, in Coudersport. A date, time and place for that game will be announced soon. It is the fourth straight D9 title-game appearance for the Falcons, who lost in Class 1A in 2016 to Elk County Catholic.

Karns City’s season isn’t over yet, as District 9 takes three teams to the PIAA Playoffs in Class 2A. The Gremlins will play KSAC South rival Keystone in the consolation game at a date, time and place to be announced.


Score by Quarters

Karns City 10 25 17 14 – 67
Coudersport 30 16 21 16 – 83


Josh Wimer 0 0-0 0, Austin Fahlor 9 0-0 23, Erik Pfeifer 0 0-0 0, Chase Beighley 6 3-7 18, Ethan McElroy 3 6-6 15, Luke Garing 1 1-2 3, Nathan Waltman 4 0-1 8. Totals 23 10-16 67.


Daniel Frame 2 0-0 5, Owen Chambers 9 7-9 29, Hayden Keck 10 1-2 24, Kolby VanWhy 3 2-5 10, Derek Easton 0 0-0 0, Dillon Keglovits 5 1-2 12, Travis Gleason 1 1-2 3. Totals 30 12-20 83.

Three-pointers: Karns City 11 (Fahlor 5, Beighley 3, McElroy 3). Coudersport 11 (Chambers 4, Keck 3, VanWhy 2, Keglovits, Frame).

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