HYDE — Simply put, the Clearfield Area High School girls basketball team took way too long to shift out of low gear in Weiss Gym Thursday night.
The Lady Bison didn’t find high gear until staring at a 21-point deficit midway through the third quarter, so a valiant comeback fueled by Breanna Peters and Dakota Farmery went for naught.
Clearfield (5-12) almost wiped out Huntingdon’s huge lead but ran out of gas after closing to within four points twice with plenty of time left in the fourth period and absorbed a 47-38 loss in the Mountain League make-up that had been postponed last Friday and again Monday.
The Lady Bison got double-doubles from both of their senior posts.
Peters, who didn’t start because she missed Wednesday’s practice due to illness, earned game-high honors with 19 points before fouling out with 3:23 remaining, while Farmery tossed in 14 markers.
They matched 14-rebound performances under the glass.
However, both found it difficult converting their combined 14 offensive rebounds into putbacks, especially in the first half when failure to capitalize on a 23-13 rebounding advantage and too many giveaways left the Lady Bison in a 30-14 hole.
It seemed like another re-run for coach Joey Castagnolo, who watched the Lady Bison struggle to hit double figures by intermission of their previous three outings. They registered 13 against St. Marys, 12 at Central and 10 at Bald Eagle Area.
“We can’t come out and play that sluggish and nonchalant in the first halves,” he lamented. “We’re not that high-powered of a team to come back from those big deficits.”
Clearfield actually jumped out 4-0 and 6-3 with Farmery hitting a jumper in the lane, banking in a short shot on the left baseline and flipping in a putback.
Tara Smith’s steal and lay-up and Shannon Henney’s second three-pointer from the right wing put Huntingdon (7-7) in front 8-6 and triggered a 13-2 run over the final 4:11 of the first quarter.
In the second period, the Lady Bearcats scored the first eight points, six by Bri Rivello, and padded their cushion to 26-8 as the Lady Bison drought lasted 6:43.
Peters finally ended it at the foul line with 2:41 left in the half.
Clearfield’s first field goal of the quarter, a putback by Peters with 1:29 to go, came after 16 misses and five turnovers were marked on the stat sheet.
Peters buried a three-pointer from the left corner with 15 seconds remaining, but Rivello countered with a jumper before time ran out to send the Lady Bearcats to the locker room with the 16-point lead.
Many of the Lady Bison’s 16 turnovers in the first half were ill-advised passes that Castagnolo couldn’t excuse.
“Bad decisions,” he said. “This was our 17th game, and we should be a little bit more poised with the basketball on those presses and not so anxious. And they want to dribble against a zone press instead of taking their time and look for the openings.
“I wasn’t very happy at halftime. I gave them a good talking.
“And they responded. It seemed like we had more composure. The difference was they took their time on the press. And we played more high-low offense and freed up Bre Peters a lot better.”
Still, the Lady Bison got only a steal for two by Maggie Sopic and a putback by Farmery in the first 4:15 of the third quarter while the Lady Bearcats were increasing their lead to 39-18.
Just when the game appeared out of reach, Clearfield came to life and closed the quarter with seven consecutive points, the last five by Peters.
“They should have made a little more of a run into the deficit,” Castagnolo said. “I know we were down by 21 at one time, but we ended up being down 14. We should have been down about eight or 10, and then we could have really made in a run.
“I told them we needed to play one possession at a time. And stop them. They listened, and we almost did it.”
Peters banked in three peeps, two on assists from Farmery and one on a feed from Emily Aveni, to get the spread into single digits, 40-31, with 5:36 to play.
Then, Brittany Renaud drained a three-pointer from the top of the circle and dished to Farmery for another bank shot that made it 40-36 at the 3:49 mark.
Clearfield’s comeback hopes were dealt a blow when Peters fouled out with 3:23 remaining, and Henney calmly swished the two free throws after the Lady Bearcats had opened the period 1-for-4 at the charity stripe.
Farmery made it a two-possession game again nearly a minute later by kissing a difficult turnaround jumper off the glass.
The Lady Bison had two opportunities to put more pressure on the visitors, but those possessions ended on a turnover and a missed shot.
They still had 1:41 after Smith drove the lane for Huntingdon’s lone field goal in the final 11:45.
However, Clearfield came up empty on its last three trips down the floor while Smith was sinking three of four free throws.
“With Peterson on the bench, we were a little disorganized,” Castagnolo said. “And the girls were a little out of sync.”
Rivello topped the Lady Bearcats with 14 points. Smith and Henney had 12 apiece.
Both teams shot 30 percent from the field.
Clearfield did hold a 35-24 rebounding edge but that was neutralized Huntingdon’s 13-2 bulge at the foul line and fewer turnovers, 16 compared to the Lady Bison’s 26.
Huntingdon’s jayvees also were winners, 33-25. Victoria Ireland tallied eight points for Clearfield.
The Lady Bison will attempt to halt their second four-game losing streak of the season Friday when they journey to Bellefonte for another ML test Friday.
See photos of the game here: http://www.ladybisonsports.org/lbsbball013113.html
Mountain League Standings – Bald Eagle Area 10-0, Tyrone 8-1, Philipsburg-Osceola 5-4, Central 5-5, Huntingdon 5-5, Clearfield 3-7, Penns Valley 2-7, Bellefonte 0-9.
HUNTINGDON — 47
Tara Smith 4 4-6 12, Logan Felton 0 1-2 1, Cheyanne Snyder 1 0-0 3, Shannon Henney 4 2-6 12, Bri Rivello 4 6-8 14, Katie Kurtz 1 0-1 3, Sierra Shoemaker 1 0-0 2, Samantha Mansberger 0 0-0 0, Hannah Cunningham 0 0-0 0, Janay McCrum 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15 13-23 47.
CLEARFIELD — 38
Brittany Renaud 1 0-0 3, Dakota Farmery 7 0-0 14, Maggie Sopic 1 0-0 2, Tessa Munshower 0 0-2 0, Mary Ishman 0 0-0 0, Breanna Peters 8 2-4 19, Emily Aveni 0 0-0 0, Emily Ryan 0 0-0 0, Sarah Lash 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 2-6 28.
Three-Point Field Goals – Huntingdon 4 (Snyder, Henney 2, Kurtz); Clearfield 2 (Renaud, Peters).
Score by Quarters
Huntingdon 16 14 9 8 – 47
Clearfield 8 6 11 13 – 38
Officials – Kenny Knepp, Bud Brennen and George Schneider.
Lady Bison Scoreboard:
|@ Brookville Tip-Off Tourney|
|12/07||Clarion-Limestone||36-54||0 – 1|
|12/08||North Clarion||41 – 36||1 – 1|
|12/12||CENTRAL||25 – 57||1 – 2|
|12/14||@ Huntingdon||34 – 51||1 – 3|
|12/17||PUNXSUTAWNEY||29 – 39||1 – 4|
|12/19||BALD EAGLE AREA||38 – 67||1 – 5|
|12/21||BELLEFONTE||44 – 39||2 – 5|
|12/27||CURWENSVILLE||60 – 52||3 – 5|
|01/04||@ Punxsutawney||30 – 46||3 – 6|
|01/09||@ Tyrone||49 – 60||3 – 7|
|01/11||PENNS VALLEY||49 – 39||4 – 7|
|01/14||@ Central Mountain||41 – 45||4 – 8|
|01/16||@ Philipsburg-Osceola||56 – 54||5 – 8|
|01/18||ST. MARYS||31 – 59||5 – 9|
|01/23||@ Central||30 – 45||5 – 10|
|01/25||HUNTINGDON||ppd.||5 – 10|
|01/28||HUNTINGDON||ppd.||5 – 10|
|01/29||@ Bald Eagle Area||25 – 54||5 – 11|
|01/31||HUNTINGDON||38 – 47||5 – 12|