ST. CLAIRSVILLE'S magical carpet ride came up two wins short in Columbus.
The Red Devils' setback in the state Final Four semifinals, however, does nothing to tarnish a golden season. In fact, in will be long remembered throughout the Ohio Valley as one for the ages.
Indeed it is.
Kim Clifford's charges did what only a handful of OVAC teams have been able to do in the conference's seven decades of existence. That being advance to the state basketball tournament in Ohio.
The road to Columbus is an arduous one, especially in D-II.
It takes on added difficulty when your are the smallest school enrollment wise in the division, as St. Clairsville is. One less boy and the Red Devils would have been competing in Division III. We can only speculate on how successful St. C. would be competing in a smaller division.
Regardless, Clifford's squad enjoyed success previously foreign to the school.
The Red Devils won their first-ever OVAC boys' basketball banner as well as initial district crown. In the process, St. C. ran off a remarkable 22 consecutive wins.
The icing on the Red Devils' cake is that all the accomplishments were realized without a senior on the roster. Obviously, youth was served this season on the hilltop.
We commend Coach Clifford, his staff and players. They achieved greatness while exhibiting class every step of the way.