Bison Unable to Cope with Golden Eagle’s Zones in 62-40 Loss

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HYDE — Brandon Gripp showed why he was the Mountain League’s 2013 Most Valuable Player and Tyrone kept the Clearfield Area High School shooters in check through three quarters with a zone defense and full-court pressure en route to a 62-40 win on the Weiss Gym hardwood Thursday night.

Gripp, one of four starters and eight lettermen back from a team that won 18 games and was second-best in the league last season, sizzled the nets for 29 points, eight over his average, while orchestrating the Golden Eagle offense.

The 6-1 senior guard displayed his soft touch and range on jumpers, including two 3-pointers, and his versatility by penetrating the Bison defense as well as converting two offensive rebounds with putbacks.

“He’s a good player,” Clearfield coach Forrest Campman said. “The kid can shoot off the dribble and standing still, and he can get to the basket. He’s probably a 1,000-point scorer already, because he’s started since he was a freshman.”

However, as impressive as Gripp was, the Bison made the Golden Eagle defense look even better.

The Golden Eagles caught their hosts off guard with 1-2-2 and 3-2 zones and had 15 points in the hopper before Erik Sellers got the Bison on the board via a peep with just 1:12 left in the first period.

“You can only work on so much in practice, and our man-to-man offense has been so bad we’re working more on it,” Campman said. “We worked zone offense here and there over the last week.

“They came out in a zone and we didn’t have any idea what we were doing. Our big guys did not stay active and fill the high post. And bottom line, you can’t catch the ball and hold it. The ball’s gotta move with a pass or a dribble right now. All we did was hold and pass, hold and pass, and they would match up. We never got them moving.”

The Bison’s first 12 possessions resulted in eight misses and four turnovers.

“Their press definitely hurt us initially,” Campman said. “We don’t really have a true point guard and we do struggle with our ball handling.”

Christian Lezzer, who topped the Bison with 11 points, hit the first of his three treys to make it 17-5 at the first rest stop, but the Red and Black never got any closer.

A big reason was Clearfield failing to snare an offensive rebound until the final period as Tyrone controlled the boards 35-22.

“We were standing and they were getting around us,” Campman said. “Then we’re staring at the ball.”

Sparked by Gripp’s 19 points, Tyrone (8-2, 4-1 ML) continually expanded its advantage through the middle two quarters, turning a 39-12 halftime cushion on 50 percent (15-for-30) shooting into its biggest lead, 55-24, going to the final eight minutes.

Clearfield never recorded back-to-back field goals until Christian Lezzer canned his final trey midway through the third quarter and then freshman Will Myers spotted streaking classmate Ryan Lezzer on a fast break.

The Bison did close strong after the Golden Eagles switched to a man defense in the fourth period, registering a 16-7 edge with Jon Janocko muscling inside for five points and Seth Ford hitting two baseline jumpers.

And Campman was quick to point out that came with Tyrone’s regulars on the floor.

“We took much better shots and moved the ball a little bit better,” he said. “We got ball pressure. And I don’t care who the players are, when you put somebody under duress a little bit, they’re gonna turn the ball over at times.

“We play like that the whole game, I’m not saying we’re winning, but it’s probably a 10-point loss.

“We’re not a good team, but we’re not as bad as we play. And these teams aren’t world-beaters that we’re playing. They’re solid teams, but we make them look like they’re outstanding.”

The Bison (2-7, 1-4 ML) face another stern test Friday when they take on ML co-leader Penns Valley at Spring Mills.

In the prelim, Tyrone’s jayvees came from behind in the second half to claim a 36-32 win. Ryan Lezzer topped Clearfield with 10 points while Cody Spaid and Caleb Strouse added eight apiece.

Mountain League standings – Bald Eagle Area 4-0, Penns Valley 4-0, Tyrone 4-1, Central 3-2, Huntingdon 2-3, Clearfield 1-4, Bellefonte 1-4, Philipsburg-Osceola 0-5.

TYRONE — 62

Erik Wagner 4  1-2  9, Brandon Gripp 10  7-10  29, Tristan Lingafelt 1  7-8  9, Anthony Politza 3  0-0  6, Jordan Miller 3  0-0  7, Dalton McKeehen 0  0-1  0, Preston Mitchell 0  0-0  0, Blake Brooks 1  0-0  2, Nate Soellner 0  0-0  0, Shane Geis 0  0-0  0.  TOTALS:  22  15-21  62.

CLEARFIELD — 40

Jon Janocko 3  1-1  7, Seth Ford 2  0-2  4, Erik Sellers 3  0-0  6, Christian Lezzer 3  2-2  11, Will Myers 2  1-2  5, Andy Brown 0  0-0  0, Derek Hryn 0  0-0  0, Wyatt Westen 2  1-1  5, Cody Spaid 0  0-0  0, Ryan Lezzer 1  0-0  2, Evan Brown 0   0-0  0, Devin Jones 0  0-0  0, Kaleb Taylor 0  0-0  0, Luke Godissart 0  0-0  0.  TOTALS: 16  5-8  40.

Three-Point Field Goals – Tyrone 3 (Gripp 2, Miller); Clearfield 3 (C. Lezzer 3).

Score by Quarters

Tyrone                 17  22  16   7  –  62
Clearfield               5   7  12  16  –  40

Officials – Jeff Davis, Dave Wright and Dave Blair.

Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/09 CURWENSVILLE 38 – 56 0 – 1
12/10 @ Central 32 – 55 0 – 2
12/13 @ Huntingdon 41 – 65 0 – 3
12/18 BALD EAGLE AREA 57 – 89 0 – 4
12/20 @ Bellefonte 52 – 51 1 – 4
@ PL Lions Club Tourney
12/27 vs. Bald Eagle Area 41 – 68 1 – 5
12/28 vs. Harmony 51 – 32 2 – 5
01/03 @ Punxsutawney 38 – 70 2 – 6
01/06 TYRONE ppd. 2 – 6
01/07 @ Brookville ppd. 2 – 6
01/09 TYRONE 40 – 62 2 – 7
01/10 @ Penns Valley
01/14 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA
01/17 ST. MARYS
01/20 DUBOIS
01/22 CENTRAL
01/24 HUNTINGDON
01/28 @ Brookville
01/29 @ Bald Eagle Area
01/31 BELLEFONTE
02/05 @ Tyrone
02/07 PENNS VALLEY
02/12 @ Philipsburg-Osceola
02/14 @ Curwensville

 

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