HYDE — It has been a successful week for the Clearfield Bison basketball squad. On Monday night, the intensity they had against a strong DuBois squad may have come at a loss, but they did not quit the entire night. On Wednesday, they would be on the winning side of the scoreboard, taking down Central in a strong contest.
That kind of performance was the boost the struggling squad needed, and entering Friday night’s contest against the Huntingdon Bearcats, head coach Forrest Campman was looking to finish off the week on a very strong note.
From the opening tip, the Bison (4-11) looked to keep it close, and after one quarter the two squads were still deadlocked. But as the next 24 minutes wore on, the Bearcats used some quickness, good ball handling, and turnovers to outscore the Bison in the final three quarters. In the end, the Bison would not follow-up their winning ways from Wednesday, falling in the end 61-49 to the visiting squad.
Campman said afterward that his team had a plan, and almost did execute it as they wanted.
“We wanted to take time off on possessions, and the ones we did take time off we didn’t make the shots,” Campman said.
After getting beaten by Huntingdon earlier in the year, the hope of holding onto the ball and keeping it from their playmakers was working, but once the Bearcats got momentum, their top scorers began shining. Of the six players that scored for Huntingdon, three of them hit double digits, led by center Kobren Frederick. His play inside down by the basket was all but perfect, as he was 8-for-10 shooting, plus drained six free throws, finishing the night with a game-high 22 points, and was one rebound away from a double-double.
“If I were to look at all year, Frederick inside, he wasn’t a very good player when they crushed us the first game. But right now, he’s one of the first real good post players I’ve seen in this league,” Campman said.
Teammate Nate Gearhart added in another 16 points, and Devon Claar added another 11. At the same time, combined the two players had 12 assists, most of which went to Frederick.
“Gearhart may even be a 1,000-point player already. Both those kids are first-team all-conference,” Campman said. “Every time we left Gearhart or Claar in a position to score, they scored. They’re both good one-on-one ball players.”
Clearfield still would not quit in the second half. Despite only being down five at the break, the Bison would begin hitting their stride early, and did so with some great shooting from behind the arc. Clearfield would shoot 17 shots from three-point range, and eight of them would go in. Freshman starter Will Myers would hit the first one of the half, and then would get help from Derek Hryn off the bench as he would add another. Christian Lezzer would drain his second three-pointer in the quarter, and kept the Bison in it as they would be down just seven entering the final quarter.
“I thought we played decent for us,” Campman said. “Myers played well, and Hryn played well off the bench.”
Hryn and Sellers would both end the night with a team-high nine points, while Myers and Lezzer had four assists a piece.
The final trio of three-point shots came in the fourth quarter, one each from Hryn, Wyatt Weston and Eric Sellers. But, the problem that Clearfield had for most of the night wasn’t making shots, but trying to get the ball on the shots that were missed. Combined, the Bison only had 10 rebounds on the night, not recording one during the second quarter.
Huntingdon, on the other hand, had double what the Bison grabbed.
“They almost made us go smaller because Frederick was out quicking our kids inside,” Campman said. “So we’re trying to go smaller, be more active, and then you’re going to have trouble on the boards.”
Campman and his team knew that the game was going to be a tough one, and emotions were high coming off a very successful week. The loss was tough to take in, as it was possibly the last night the Bison would play on the hardwood inside the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium, as the new floor and the new gymnasium is nearly complete. Campman said that the game was tough on the team because of the loss, but sensed something was slightly off at the beginning of the night, even during warm-ups.
“Some guys just had a tough night. I don’t believe in making excuses, you always look at yourself and what did you do,” Campman said. “I felt that our energy level wasn’t anywhere near what we had on Monday and Wednesday, and I could almost sense it before the game. We played, but we weren’t trying to control them physically and mentally. That’s not good, especially when you’re on your home court.
“You just won a big game, and you played DuBois really tight on Monday night, and you want to cap the week off with a win. So it’s disappointing, but you saw this team three weeks ago, we still look like a different team. You get to a point where then, you’re not even in the game and down 20 points at the halftime, so we’re now starting to play.”
The season is winding down for Clearfield as they have seven games remaining, with three on the docket next week barring any weather-related issues because of the bitter cold temperatures expected to hit beginning Monday night. But for Campman and his team, the focus is clear: look ahead, not back.
“We got three games next week, two the week after, and two the week after. We’ve gotta block it all out and concentrate on having three good weeks of basketball.”
Next Tuesday and Wednesday the Bison are on the road against Brookville and Bald Eagle, then return home to host Bellefonte on Friday night.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Huntingdon 10 20 13 18 – 61
Clearfield 10 15 11 13 – 49
Huntingdon — 61
Cook 2 2-4 6, Claar 4 1-2 11, McLaughlin 0 0-0 0, Shetrom 0 0-0 0, Sulesky 0 0-0 0, King 0 0-0 0, M. Speck 1 2-4 4, Frederick 8 6-10 22, Mitchel 0 0-0 0, Montgomery 0 0-0 0, H. SPeck 0 2-2 2, Gearhart 7 1-2 16, Krause 0 0-0 0, Kyper 0 0-0 0, Zoerner 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 22 14-24 61.
Clearfield — 49
Ford 2 0-0 4, C. Lezzer 3 0-2 8, R. Lezzer 0 0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-0 0, E. Brown 0 0-0 0, Sellers 4 0-0 9, Westen 2 0-0 5, Janocko 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Spaid 2 0-0 4, Myers 3 0-0 8, A. Brown 1 0-0 2, Hryn 3 1-2 9. TOTALS 20 1-4 49.
THREE-POINT SHOTS: HN-Claar (2), Gearhart; CF-C. Lezzer (2), Sellers, Westen, Myers (2), Hryn (2)
Field Goals (Made-Attempted): 22-38/20-37
Team Fouls: 10/16
|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||39 – 68||2 – 8|
|01/14||PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA||71 – 56||3 – 8|
|01/17||ST. MARYS||41 – 51||3 – 9|
|01/20||DUBOIS||49 – 65||3 – 10|
|01/22||CENTRAL||44 – 41||4 – 10|
|01/24||HUNTINGDON||49 – 61||4 – 11|
|01/29||@ Bald Eagle Area|