HYDE – The Clearfield Bison kicked off the 2012-13 boys basketball season with a hard fought victory over rival Curwensville on Monday night, 42-37, on the Bison home floor. It was the season opener for both teams.
Even though Clearfield maintained the lead from start to finish it wasn’t until the final minute that victory was secured by the Bison.
It was a typical opening game, with lots of jitters, missed lay-ups and a boat load of turnovers on both sides.
Bison coach Forrest Campman talked about the win and his team following the win, “The way our team is made up we are going to make a lot of games look ugly, like this one. We don’t shoot the ball well at times but our defense can cause of lot of turnovers though, and I thought we rebounded half-decent tonight, so those are pluses.”
Then Campman talked some about the Golden Tide, “Curwensville hit some clutch shots that kept them in the game but we were able to keep the lead throughout, which was big for us. I thought if we got behind we could be in trouble, but thankfully we didn’t.”
Junior Christian Lezzer, of Clearfield, was the first to hit a field goal for either squad at the 4:12 mark of the opening stanza.
The Bison jumped out to a 10-6 first quarter lead, a quarter in which the Tide’s first field goal wasn’t scored until 3:56 was left on a bucket by Tide reserve Trey Rauckhorst.
Clearfield’s first eight minutes was fueled by senior Seth Beardsley who accounted for half of the Bison’s 10 points.
The Bison would increase the lead at the half to 23-15, outscoring the Tide once again by four points, to take the second quarter 13-9 as Clearfield senior Trey Jordan made three of nine from the foul line while picking up six tallies in the second.
Curwensville would play Clearfield even to start the second half as both teams dumped in 10 points in the third eight minutes of play. Tide junior Brett Gardner dropped in two treys in the third quarter to keep the Tide alive.
At the 2:30 point of the third frame Clearfield would get the only double digit margin of the contest, going out in front of its visitors, 33-23. Jon Janocko, who had a game high 13 points, pumped in six straight points for the Bison in the period.
Then the Tide started a push to get back into the battle and at the midway point of the final quarter trailed by just one point, 36-35, on a basket by the Tide’s Austin Jacobson.
Clearfield hit three of four free throws within the last minute of action though, Lezzer one of two and Jordan two of two, to ice the win for the Bison.
Tide head coach Shane Pentz, in his second season, said afterwards, “We did get it down to one point in the fourth quarter but we couldn’t get over the hump and get it done.”
Then Pentz added, “We just missed too many easy lay-ups and let too many opportunities get away from us, but we can’t let one loss turn into two as we play again tomorrow (Tuesday) night.”
In the Junior Varsity game it was all Clearfield coming away with a convincing 39-12 victory over the young Tide.
The Bison will be on the road for its next contest when they play at Central on Wednesday and the Tide are immediately back in action as it travels to Brockway Tuesday night. Both games are slated to start at 7:30 pm.
CURWENSVILLE — 37
Brett Gardner 3 0-0 8, Kyle Johns 1 2-2 4, Tanner Elensky 4 1-2 9, Alex Olson 2 0-0 4, Austin Jacobson 1 0-0 2, Marcus Stephenson 1 2-2 4, Justin Brooks 0 0-0 0, Trey Rauckhorst 3 0-0 6, Nate Kurtz 0 0-0 0, TOTALS - 15 5-6 37.
CLEARFIELD — 42
Christian Lezzer 4 2-4 11, Seth Beardsley 3 0-0 8, Wyatt Westen 0 0-0 0, Trey Jordan 1 6-13 8, Jon Janocko 6 0-0 13, Seth Ford 0 0-0 0, Andy Brown 1 0-0 2, TOTALS - 15 8-17 42.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CURWENSVILLE 6 9 10 12 37
CLEARFIELD 10 13 10 9 42
THREE-POINTERS: Gardner 2, Beardsley 2, Lezzer, Janocko
OFFICIALS: Alan Price, William Wolfe, Richard Dickinson