HYDE — The final score is not always indicative of how a team plays.
The Clearfield Bison boys basketball team gave a respectable effort in a 51-34 loss at the hands of the defending PIAA Class A State Champion in Elk County Catholic on Wednesday evening in front of a packed house at Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium, but it was the effort the Bisons gave on the floor that has head coach Forrest Campman upbeat and positive as his squad heads into the bulk of District 9 League play.
\”This might have been the best game we\’ve played all year,\” Campman said. \”Now, Elk County is a good team and they played good, too. There is a real good reason Jesse Bosnik is going to St. Bonaventure on a full ride. He is a Division-I player. You take him off their team – the game is right down to the wire and we probably beat them. Salter is a solid No. 2 player. He is going to go somewhere and get money to play, too. They were open and they made shots.
\”By far, that is the best defense we played all year. We turned the ball over less than we have all year. Kyle (Kline) and Andrew (Janocko) played good games. I thought they played very good floor games. But, obviously, you\’ve got to score more points. I won\’t say anybody played bad for us. I thought we had as good or better shots than what Elk County had at the basket. They just made more.\”
Clearfield played well in all aspects of the game. The Bisons were aggressive on both offense and defense, moved the ball well offensively, rebounded well and played solid defense to show a marked improvement despite the loss.
Elk County Catholic (10-0, 3-0 D9 League play) hit its shots early and raced out to a 15-6 lead after one quarter of play. The big reason was the play of Jesse Bosnik – who has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at St. Bonaventure University. Bosnik scored 11 of his 20 points in the opening stanza to put the Crusaders out in front. Josh Salter and Jimmy Higgins scored seven points apiece for the Crusaders in the win.
\”I think we expected the type of game that we got,\” said Elk County Catholic head coach Aaron Straub. \”Clearfield played very hard. They are reflective of their head coach. Forrest (Campman) coaches real hard and that is where the kids play. They are scrappy. They get after you.
I think their style is pass-oriented, a pass-intensive style. We thought that is how the game would play out. I was real happy with our defensive disipline. I think we got beat for one back-court layup. We did a nice job of denying the pass. I was happy with our defense. I thought we did a nice job.\”
Clearfield (6-4, 1-2) came out strong with solid ball movement on offense and a defense that didn\’t allow the Crusaders many easy shots. The Bisons stormed up the court and created four excellent scoring chances in the opening minutes, but failed to convert. On the other end of the court, the Crusaders were making their shots count.
Salter hit a pair of free throws to open the game and Bosnik followed with a runner through the lane to give ECC an early 4-0 lead. Clearfield came right back as Jarrin Campman, who scored 10 points off the bench to lead Clearfield, converted a foul shot. James Zimmerman then connected on a wide-open 3-pointer to knot the score with 5:20 left in the first quarter.
\”I was encouraged how Jarrin (Campman) came off the bench and gave us a lift offensively,\” Campman said. \”I expect him to do that. I don\’t expect him to do it every game, because he is a sophomore but I expect him to do it more consistently. Todd Hryn is getting better. We are starting to develop where we are. I am not afraid to put guys into the game. Mike Johnson hustles out there. John Lhota did a great job handling the ball at the point guard position. He didn\’t turn it over.
\”We moved the ball well on offense. We got a pretty good shot. We just didn\’t make a lot of them.\”
The Crusaders then went on a 9-0 run as the Clearfield offense just couldn\’t get a shot to drop through the cylinder.
Bosnik answered Hryn\’s 3-pointer with a long shot of his own to get the Crusaders running. He followed with a layup and a foul shot to convert a 3-point play after being fouled while driving to the basket. He finished the run with another 3-pointer – the one from the right wing – to give his Crusaders a 13-4 lead and leaving Clearfield calling for a timeout.
Afer the timeout, the Bisons used a 7-2 run to pull within four, 15-11. Clearfield\’s Todd Hryn and ECC\’s Logan Haberberger traded layups to end the first quarter. Clearfield picked up a layup from Mike Johnson to start the second and a 3-pointer from Campman off the left corner closed the gap. However, Elk County Catholic tuned on the jeft again and build a 10-point lead, 26-16, with 2:35 left in the half.
The Crusaders worked the ball around Clearfield\’s aggressive defense and picked up layups from Jimmy Higgins and Bosnik to open the gap. The Crusaders ran to a 31-20 halftime lead and never looked back.
Clearfield continued to play aggressive through the second half, but just couldn\’t find a way to close the gap. Each team played well enough defensively to not allow their opponents offense the opportunity to go on any lengthy runs.
\”I thought Clearfield came in with a good plan. Fortunately, we made some shots early and were able to get a cushion and made it hold up,\” Straub said.
Elk County Catholic – 51
Jesse Bosnik 6 5-5 20, Matt Fritz 1 0-0 2, Brad Meholic 2 0-0 4, Josh Salter 2 2-2 7, Logan Haberberger 3 0-0 6, Jimmy Higgins 3 0-0 7, Nate Higgins 2 1-2 5, Eric Mastrogiacomo 0 0-1 0, Ray Jablonski 0 0-0 0, J.D. Detsch 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 8-10 51
Clearfield – 34
Lhota 1 0-1 2, Campman 2 4-6 10, Janocko 1 0-0 3, Kline 0 0-0 0, Zimmerman 2 0-0 5, Hipps 1 0-0 2, Hryn 1 3-4 5, Johnson 3 1-4 7. Totals: 11 8-15 34.
Halftime score: ECC 31, Clearfield 20.
\”I was disappointed. We did not do a very good job on our defensive boards. We turned the ball over 16 times. Our offense, I think we did a decent job of passing in the zone. We probably could have gotten the ball inside a little bit more.\”
\”I was very positive with the team after the game. \”