Punxsutawney Defeats Bison 54-35 for District 9 AAA Title

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CLARION – Trying to avenge a 70-38 regular season loss to Punxsutawney, the Clearfield Area High School boys basketball team fell again to the Chucks, 54-35 this time, on Friday evening in the District 9 AAA championship game at Clarion University.

Don’t be fooled by the final score, as Clearfield gave everything it had and then some, especially defensively, as the Bison trailed 19-18 with 6:56 left in the third quarter.

Bison senior Christian Lezzer picked up the first basket of the game with 5:54 left in the first quarter. Lezzer recorded six of the nine points for Clearfield in the opening eight minutes.

Punxsutawney went on a 7-0 run to go up by five, 7-2, before Wyatt Westen and Lezzer gave Clearfield a 9-7 margin.

Westen drained a three-pointer followed by a Lezzer free throw and a trey of his own.

Brandon Mancuso of Punxsutawney scored with just 10 seconds to play in the first that made it nine all after one.

The Chucks outscored Clearfield in the second period 10-7 to take a half-time lead of 19-16 in a very defensive minded first 16 minutes by both squads.

The Bison did go out in front twice in the second quarter, 11-10 and 13-12 before a 7-2 spurt by the Chucks gave them the intermission margin of three and a lead they would not let go of the rest of the evening.

Clearfield senior Jon Janocko scored the first bucket of the second half that put the Bison within one, 19-18 with 6:56 remaining in the third frame.

However, Punxsutawney would go on to outscore Clearfield the remainder of the third, 13-4, helping them build a 10 point lead going into the final eight minutes, 32-22.

Clearfield would not get the lead under 10 during the final quarter as the Chucks had their best offensive output with 22 points.

It was also the best quarter for Clearfield, however it was not enough, as they put up 13 points.

Clearfield Head Coach Forrest Campman spoke afterwards, saying, “I thought we could have been ahead at the half because we had better shots than they did.  We just didn’t  shoot the ball well, and that obviously hurt us. I also thought on defense, we matched up very well with them and seemed to confuse them, which I felt gave them a lot of problems .”

Campman then talked in general about the season, commenting, “We became very competitive the last month of the season and that’s a credit to how hard these guys worked in practice. They gave a very good effort tonight and you are always, as a coach, pleased with that.”

Punxsutawney went 18 of 30 from free throw line with Clearfield connecting on nine of 17.

The Chucks and Bison were fairly even in total rebounds as Punxsutawney had the edge 33-30 in the cleaning of the glass.

And even though it was a contest with high intensity defensive efforts by both teams, Clearfield had just 13 turnovers to 10 by the Chucks.

It is Punxsutawney’s second D-9 AAA title and first since 2005 when they also defeated the Bison, 60-41.

Leading the way for Clearfield was Lezzer with 14 points, while the Chucks had three players hitting for double figures. Tyler Young was the night’s high scorer with 16, followed by Cory Geer adding 13 and  Mancuso chipping in with 12 tallies.

The Chucks (14-9) now move on to the PIAA playoffs and will play the number four team out of District 7 (WPIAL) on Friday March 7 at a time and location to be announced.

The Bison finished the 2013-14 campaign with a record of 6-17.

Clearfield says good-bye to eight seniors from this year’s squad in Seth Ford, Christian Lezzer, Kaleb Taylor, Wyatt Westen, Jon Janocko, Luke Goddisart, Andy Brown and Derek Hryn.

Campman closed with, “I thought we carried ourselves well and represented our school in the best way possible.  And, as always, it is hard to say good-bye to the seniors and just wish them the best for the future.”

CLEARFIELD – 35

Seth Ford 1 4-9 6,  Christian Lezzer 6 1-2 14,  Erik Sellers 0 0-0 0,  Jon Janocko 0 2-2 2,  Will Myers 0 1-2 1, Wyatt Westen 3 0-0 7,  Cody Spaid 1 0-0 2,  Derek Hryn 0 1-2 1,  Andy Brown 1 0-0 2,  Kaleb Taylor 0 0-0 0, TOTALS  –  12  9-17  35.

PUNXSUTAWNEY – 54

Tyler Young  5 4-5 16,  Michael Klingensmith 1 4-4 6,  Cory Geer 4 5-10 13,  Ryan Sloniger 1 1-2 4,  Brandon Mancuso 4 3-5 12,  Bryan Lunger 1 0-0 2,  John Matthews 0 0-2 0,  Clayton Dale 0 1-2 1,  Rueben Taylor 0 0-0 0,  Andy Fedigan 0 0-0 0,  Will Curtis 0 0-0 0,  Keaston Perry 0 0-0 0,  Dylan Huey 0 0-0 0, TOTALS  – 16  18-30  54.

THREE-POINTERS: Lezzer, Westen; Young 2, Sloniger, Mancuso

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

CLEARFIELD 9 7 6 13 35

PUNXSUTAWNEY 9 10 13 22 54

OFFICIALS: Kevin Doverspike,  Roddy Hartley, Greg Schneider

Final 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 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
01/28 @ Brookville ppd. 4 – 11
01/29 @ Bald Eagle Area 53 – 73 4 – 12
01/31 BELLEFONTE 58 – 39 5 -12
02/03 @ Brookville 34 – 47 5 – 13
02/05 @ Tyrone ppd. 5 – 13
02/06 @ Tyrone 47 – 74 5 – 14
02/07 PENNS VALLEY 34 – 41 5 – 15
02/12 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 63 – 25 6 – 15
02/14 @ Curwensville 52 – 57 6 – 16
  D9 AAA Championship    
02/28 vs. Punxsutawney (@ Clarion) 35 – 54 6 – 17
AAA Northwest Region Wrestling: All Six Bison Alive in Consies
Sharon Robinson, Daughter of Baseball Legend, Rescheduled

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