HYDE — After coming off a tough loss in their home opener on Wednesday night, the Lady Bison of Clearfield took to the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium hoping to avoid a possible run of back-to-back losses to start the season. On the opposing side of the court were the Lady Bearcats of Huntingdon.
What it turned into was a shooting frenzy on the part of the ladies in the blue jerseys. Huntingdon would open up the first quarter outscoring Clearfield 15-4, thanks to three big baskets from behind the arc, and would cruise from there. On the opposite side, the Lady Bison seemed to be rather timid, or hesitant against the defense, a defense that they employ in their own games, and missed some easy opportunities.
In the end, Huntingdon would outscore Clearfield in all four quarters, leading to a 39-23 victory for the Lady Bearcats.
“All year we’ve been struggling offensively. We don’t have the shooters like Central did on Wednesday or like tonight with Huntingdon popping off the three. We just don’t have that kind of firepower, and to have these kids move against the zone, they’re not accustomed to it,” Lady Bison Head Coach Joey Castagnolo said afterward. “I haven’t seen this many zones; every team we’ve played this year has been zone (defense), and we’ve been struggling against it. So, we have some work to do.”
It was easy to see the trouble that Clearfield experienced on offense as the zone defense proved to be difficult to work against, and Huntingdon was able to force bad passes, and difficult shots, while creating many turnovers. After four quarters, Clearfield would turn the ball over 25 times, while only going 10-for-38 from the floor.
No Clearfield player hit double digits, with Emily Ryan leading in scoring with six points and six rebounds for the home squad.
On the opposite side, the Lady Bison had trouble defending the outside shot. Huntingdon went deep on 22 shots beyond the three-point arc, hitting six of them. At the same time, Lady Bearcat center Brianna Rivello had a strong night, leading with a game-high 11 points and nine rebounds. It’s a player that Castagnolo has seen a lot in the last few years.
“She’s very quick inside. She plays a lot of basketball, she’s an AAU player. I’ve seen her before, and this is her third year, and she’s a two-year starter,” Castagnolo said. “She was quick, and knew how to read the passes. They know how to play that defense, and we were tentative.”
Huntingdon opened the night with the first three-point basket coming from Shannon Henney, and from there it was tough to defend. The Lady Bearcats hit double-digits in points in both the first and third quarters, while only shooting four free-throws on the night. It was those three-point shots that Castagnolo said were the most difficult thing to overcome, especially when his team could not answer on the next possession.
“I thought we played well, but it’s hard to give up a three, then come back down and miss an easy two,” Castagnolo said. “Now we missed some shots, and we turned the ball over a lot, but we cut those turnovers down, I think we’ll be okay.
“It’s hard in practice to go game-speed. The jayvee team doesn’t know those kind of big defensive moves that big teams are putting on us.”
Clearfield did manage to hang on and win the jayvee game, despite a late charge by Huntingdon, winning by a final of 33-28.
The Lady Bison (1-3) know that they have work to do, but Castagnolo is extremely optimistic about his team, especially since he has only one senior and knows that her supporting cast is only going to get better as the year progresses.
“We’re still a young team. Spence (Brianna Spencer), she’s been hurt for two years and this is her senior year, finally she’s getting a lot of playing time, but in the past she didn’t because she was injured,” Castagnolo said. “I thought we played real well. It’s just hard to trade a three and then miss a two, then they go down and make another three, then we finally make a two.
“The effort was there, and we just have to keep plugging away. It’s early, and we can be respectable. Nothing is going to be easy.”
Clearfield has three games next week before the Christmas break. The Lady Bison will travel to Punxsutawney and Bald Eagle on Monday and Tuesday before returning home next Friday to host Bellefonte.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Huntingdon 15 2 17 5 - 39
Clearfield 4 4 9 6 - 23
Marko 0 0-0 0, Kurtz 1 0-0 2, Jenkins 0 1-2 1, Ronk 0 0-0 0, Pelton 1 0-0 3, Kyle 0 0-0 0, Coleman 0 0-0 0, Henney 3 0-0 8, Keller 2 2-2 8, McCrum 3 0-0 6, Marsberger 0 0-0 0, Rivello 5 0-0 11, Alexander 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 15 3-4 39.
Castagnolo 1 0-0 2, Spencer 1 0-0 2, Ryan 3 0-0 6, Waring 0 0-0 0, Lash 1 0-0 3, Aveni 1 2-4 4, Sopic 1 0-0 2, Glenny 0 0-0 0, Aycock 0 0-0 0, Ishman 1 0-0 2, Ireland 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 10 2-4 23.
Three-Point Shots: HN-Pelton, Henney (2), Keller (2), Rivello; CF-Lash
Field Goals (Made-Att): 15-47/10-38
Team Fouls: 8/9
Lady Bison Scoreboard:
|@ Brookville Tip-Off Tourney|
|12/06||vs. Brookville||ppd.||0 – 0|
|12/07||vs. Brookville||18 – 45||0 – 1|
|12/07||vs. North Clarion||47 – 38||1 – 1|
|12/11||CENTRAL||35 – 54||1 – 2|
|12/13||HUNTINGDON||23 – 39||1 – 3|
|12/17||@ Bald Eagle Area|
|01/17||@ St. Marys|
|01/28||BALD EAGLE AREA|
|02/07||@ Penns Valley|