This past Tuesday, the Golden Eagles saw their season conclude after an 84-68 loss at Mercyhurst University.
This loss ended the brief playoff run the Golden Eagles put together after a road upset win against the three seeded Edinboro Fight Scots, in which Clarion took a stellar second half comeback to grab the win.
The playoff berth for the Golden Eagles ended a five-year postseason PSAC tournament drought.
The contest at Mercyhurst started with a quick lead for the Lakers, who hit their first six attempts from the floor and ran out to a quick double-digit lead.
Clarion responded with a pair of Andre Anthony threes and cut the lead back to single digits.
There was then a controversial call on the floor that swung the momentum in the Laker’s favor.
Tim Gill was called for a technical, and after a heated exchange with the officials, head coach Marcess Williams was also given a technical.
That led to three free throws for Mercyhurst and possession.
From there, the first half was a forgettable one for Clarion and concluded with a 25 point Laker lead going into the locker room.
The second half was a stalemate for the first few minutes, with the Golden Eagles flirting with a 20-point deficit.
It wasn’t until about mid way through the half that Clarion mounted a legitimate comeback when the team went on a 9-0 run and cut the Laker lead to 12.
From there, Mercyhurst put the Clarion rally to bed with a quick four point response and then several three pointers.
Mercyhurst finished the game with an unbelievable 13 three pointers in just 20 attempts to put their three point field goal percentage at 65 percent.
The Lakers were led by Kayode Ajenifuja, who had a game high 23 points.
Clarion’s leaders included Rob Agurs who had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Andre Anthony who had 13 points, but shot only 5-14 from the floor.
The loss means the end of five seniors basketball careers at Clarion.
Those players are Andre Anthony, Rob Agurs, Tim Gill, De’Ondre Terrell and Ralph Naples.
Anthony was a first year player for the Golden Eagles, but contributed immediately with being the starting point guard and primary ball handler in the Clarion offense in addition to logging huge minutes every game.
Agurs in his second year in Clarion arguably became the best player both ways for the Golden Eagles, posting multiple double-doubles and having a knack for driving the lane that is rarely found at the D2 level.
Gill, another transfer, departs after just one season.
He filled a spot that was needed from the previous year with being a reliable offensive threat in the paint and the size to rebound just about anywhere.
Terrell, a starter for a bulk of the season, played major minutes for Clarion and had moments of talent in his first year with the team.
Naples, the only four-year Clarion player on the team, leaves behind a great mentality to the game and the appreciation of his teammates and fans of Clarion hoops.
The lone returning starter will be rising-junior guard BJ Andrews, who will look to compete as the team’s top scorer next winter.