Clarion Women’s Basketball Goes Down to the Wire with California (PA)

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published January 18, 2024 5:18 am
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CLARION, Pa. — The Golden Eagle women’s basketball team went shot for shot with California (PA) for 40 minutes and beyond on Wednesday night, but Clarion could not finish off the Vulcans in falling 66-62 in overtime at Tippin Gym.

(Pictured above: Abby Gatesman. Photo by Kirkland Photography)

It was a slugfest from beginning to end as neither side was able to pull away from the other.

With 14 tied scores and 23 lead changes, it was clear early on that every possession was going to play a critical factor in determining the outcome.

The biggest lead for either side in regulation was just a four-point advantage, when Siara Conley scored with 3:21 left in the first quarter to make it an 11-7 game. There would not be an advantage that great until there was just two seconds left in overtime, after Sierra Bermudez sank a pair of free throws to ice the game for the Vulcans.

Clarion trailed 45-42 heading into the third quarter but opened the fourth on a 6-0 run, tying the score at 45 on a three-pointer from Autumn Taylor and eventually going ahead 48-45 on another trey from the freshman guard.

From the 7:33 mark until the end of regulation, the teams traded buckets, with neither team scoring two consecutive baskets. The Golden Eagles looked to be in the driver’s seat with 1:08 after after Hannah Wilkerson drove to the hoop through a foul by Allycia Harris, finishing off an and-one to put her team ahead 57-55.

Dejah Terrell countered with a midrange jumper on the next trip down the floor to tie it at 57-all, and the Vulcans got a stop to give themselves one more possession before the end of regulation. Abby Gatesman blocked a shot by Terrell with seconds remaining, and Kimaya Williams’ late shot attempt just rolled off the rim.

Cal finally pieced together two consecutive scoring possessions at the start of overtime, going up 62-59 after a free throw from Nina Shaw. Terrell made a three-pointer with 1:28 to play to make it 64-61, but a Malayziah Etheredge cut that down to two points before the end.

With possession of the basketball and 17 seconds remaining, the Golden Eagles had time for one more offensive look. Hannah Wilkerson drove but missed the layup, and Etheredge’s putback attempt was blocked by Williams to halt the comeback.

Etheredge was a force off the bench, scoring 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting while also adding eight rebounds.

Wilkerson posted 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists, while Taylor had 12 points, five assists and four boards.

Gatesman, while shut out on the score sheet, finished with five assists, two blocks, and four offensive fouls drawn.

The Vulcans led 7-4 early in the game after a jumper by Terrell, but Taylor countered that with a three-pointer at the 6:34 mark of the first quarter to tie it. Etheredge and Conley scored buckets down the stretch to cap the 7-0 Clarion run.

The teams traded leads in the second quarter, with Etheredge hitting a fast break three-pointer at the 1:26 mark to make it 26-23, but Cal scored six of the next eight points to take a 29-28 lead at the break.

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