Columbiana sets up district final matchup with Ursuline

Kayla Muslovski scores 20 in Clippers win over Lisbon

Columbiana sets up district final matchup with Ursuline

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana Clippers and Lisbon Blue Devils battled into double overtime the last time they played. This time the top-seeded Clippers used a strong fourth quarter to avoid any drama as they won 63-57 over the third-seeded Blue Devils to advance to the Division III District final game on Saturday at Struthers.

With the victory, the Clippers improve to 25-0 on the season and will face the second-seeded Ursuline Irish at 1:00 pm on Saturday at the Struthers Fieldhouse. Much like Ursuline, the Clippers beat a bitter rival for the third time this season to reach the championship game.

“I thought they played really hard,” Clippers coach Ron Moshella said of his team. “Muslovski, the freshman, made some big plays in that game. I thought we played not our best offense. We just were not thinking out there. The game got to them a little bit and we’re going to have to work on that.”

Through the first three periods of play, the lead changed hands 8 times as the Blue Devils led at the end of the first quarter 11-7, but the Clippers grabbed the advantage in the second stanza and held a 24-23 lead at the halftime break.

The game would see-saw back and forth to start the second half also as the lead changed hands four times. But with just a little over two minutes remaining in the period, the Clippers took the lead for good when they went out ahead 39-37. They would close the period with a slim three-point lead at 46-43.

The Clippers started the fourth stanza with an 8-4 run to pull ahead by seven at 54-47 midway through the quarter. The Devils cut the deficit down to just 1-point at the 2:33 mark when Chloe Smith connected on a basket and was fouled making it 56-55. But Muslovski and Alexis Cross would convert six of six foul shots in the final 35-seconds to seal the game for the Clippers.

“I think we were 27 of 32 in foul shots,” Moshella said. “We practice 45 minutes every day, and a lot of people say that takes practice time away from you. It might take practice time, but it helps you win basketball games.”

Muslovski would lead the Clippers in the scorebook with 20 points on the night while Cross would finish with 17. Mariah Rovnak would also score in double figures with 11 points. Cross would also lead the Clippers in rebounds with 11 on the night.

“It was like the other three,” Blue Devils coach Jamie Entrikin remarked. “We felt confident playing against them and we know they are good. But when you play good teams you have to execute when you need to execute. And you have to knock down free throws and maintain your defensive assignments. We had too many breakdowns.”

The Devils, who finish the season with a 19-6 mark were led by McKenzie Mason with 18 points while Karlee Pezzano added 16. Autumn Oehlstrom led the Devils on the boards with 6 caroms.

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