HYDE – With 6-6 sophomore Seth Wagner and 6-3 senior Dakotah Roe anchoring a 1-3-1 zone in the middle, Indian Valley dared Clearfield to beat them from outside in their Mountain League basketball game Monday night.
The Bisons (2-7), coming off back-to-back wins, couldn’t do it.
They made just 11 of 53 attempts for a shooting percentage, 20.8, that was almost as cold as the temperature outside Weiss Gym and lost 44-26.
Only in the third quarter did the Bisons scored more than five points.
“”It’s difficult when you don’t put the ball in the basket,” Clearfield coach Forrest Campman said. “Everything gets magnified.
“I’ve seen it many times. You can’t create an energy level for your team defensively when you don’t make any shots.
“So, if you do make a good defensive play, and you come down and miss a shot, you see the air deflate out of the balloon.”
Points in the paint were virtually nonexistent for Clearfield because of Roe and Wagner, who blocked at least a half dozen shots and forced the Bisons to hurry or alter other attempts.
And they couldn’t find the range from the perimeter.
“It was a collective effort,” Campman said. “We just did not play well.
“And then we got frustrated. I know that happens. They all look at each other, and nobody will step up and make a play.”
Andrew Redden, who led the Bisons with eight points, did at the outset with a three from the right wing, but the Warriors answered with 14 consecutive points while the Bisons began to experience their shooting woes.
Indian Valley’s 6-1 guards accounted for the bulk of the points, junior Jeremy Koller swishing a pair of treys and freshman Hunter Wright following with a drive and a foul line jumper. Roe closed the run with a difficult spinning shot on the right baseline and a layup off a pass from Wright.
Finally, Derek Morgan dished to Robbie Myers for an easy two that got Clearfield back on the board with 14 seconds left in the first quarter.
Indian Valley (3-6) turned the 14-5 lead into a 22-9 advantage at intermission because the Bisons hit only two shots again in the second period to finish the first half 4-for-33 from the field.
“When they came in at halftime, I had to holler at them because they just had that stunned look on their faces,” Campman said. “They’re all sitting there thinking what the heck happened. I can’t make a shot. They’re all mad at themselves, I know, but then you almost go into a shell.”
The Bisons responded with their best eight minutes, back-to-back three-pointers by Christian Lezzer and Redden narrowing the margin to 10 with 3:02 left in the third period and Morgan darting outside for a steal and a layup that just beat the buzzer, finally getting the deficit into single digits at 30-21.
When Beau Swales nailed a jumper for the first points of the final period, the Bisons seemed poised to steal an improbable win.
However, turnovers and more missed shots allowed the Warriors to pull away when Wagner got free in the low blocks, Wright banked in a runner and Roe added a putback.
When Lezzer scored with 3:23 left, Clearfield still had life, trailing 36-26, but those proved to be the Bisons’ last points.
Wagner pretty much iced it when he was fouled on a putback at the 3:00 mark.
Four players scored all but two of the Indian Valley points, Wagner with 12 and Roe with nine inside and Koller with 11 and Wright with 10 outside.
“Their height gave us problems,” Campman conceded. “We’ve been executing against man-to-man much better the last couple games. We worked against zone (Sunday). We knew they were gonna play a soft zone, and you almost have to attack the seams and kick the ball. We didn’t attack it enough to create a mismatch in numbers for ourselves.
“You’d like to get the ball to the basket, but every time we went to the basket, it was a rejection. That kid was just much bigger than anybody we had that could challenge him inside.”
“The bottom line was, you’re going to get open shots from the perimeter and you’ve gotta make some shots.
“And, then, some of them definitely got afraid to shoot. Confidence is a big thing, and nobody had any confidence to shoot.”
The youthful Warriors, who lost all five starters from last season’s ML-Allegheny Division championship team, did at 16-for-35 for 45.7 percent.
They also won the battle of the boards 32-19 with the lanky Wagner corralling 15 for a double-double.
Clearfield’s zone press and zone traps did provide scoring opportunities that, too often, didn’t materialize because the Bisons were a little too impatient.
“”We created our own turnovers by trying to go one against three, one against four,” Campman said.
Indian Valley, guilty of some poor passing as well, wound up with 27 turnovers. Clearfield had 19.
The Bisons take on two more ML-Nittany foes Wednesday at Bellefonte and Friday at home against Lewistown.
Indian Valley also won the junior varsity game, 39-25.
INDIAN VALLEY — 44
Dakotah Roe 4 1-2 9, Hunter Wright 4 1-2 10, Jeremy Koller 3 2-2 11, David Yale 0 0-0 0, Seth Wagner 5 2-3 12, Dan Sutton 0 0-0 0, John Maclay 0 0-0 0, Ben White 0 0-0 0, Matt Potori 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 16 8-11 44.
CLEARFIELD — 26
Curtis Frye 0 0-0 0, Andrew Redden 3 0-0 8, Jack Mellgard 1 1-2 3, Derek Morgan 1 0-2 2, Robbie Myers 2 0-2 4, Beau Swales 2 0-0 4, Christian Lezzer 2 0-0 5, Vaughn Metz 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 11 1-5 26.
Three-Pointers: Indian Valley 4 (Wright, Koller 3); Clearfield 3 (Redden 2, Lezzer).
Score by Quarters
Indian Valley 14 8 8 14 – 44
Clearfield 5 4 12 5 – 26
Officials: Darrell Jones, Ray Wotkowski and Bill Correll.
|12/13||@ Huntingdon||38 – 73||0 – 1|
|12/16||@ Central||35 – 50||0 – 2|
|12/17||@ DuBois||31 – 48||0 – 3|
|12/21||TYRONE||39 – 65||0 – 4|
|12/27||Lions Club Invitational|
|vs. Somerset||38 – 61||0 – 5|
|12/28||Lions Club Invitational|
|vs. Harmony||40 – 52||0 – 6|
|01/05||PHILIPSBURG||44 – 31||1 – 6|
|01/07||@ Central Mountain||48 – 45 ot||2 – 6|
|01/10||INDIAN VALLEY||26 – 44||2 – 7|