HYDE — There is a saying that goes “history has a way of repeating itself.” For the Clearfield Bison basketball team, they had a unique opportunity to make history repeat itself not a second time, but a third.
At the Purchase Line tournament the Bison (17-2) faced off with the Bald Eagle Area Eagles in the tournament championship, a game the Bison would win. Just a few short days later, the two teams would square off a second time at the Bald Eagle Area high school, and Clearfield would triumph a second time. On Tuesday night, the Bison Gymnasium would see the Bison and Eagles square off one more time.
The contest would go back-and-forth early on, with the teams tied after the first quarter. But the Bison then began their run, jumping out to a lead just two minutes into the second quarter that would never go away. At the end of 32 minutes, Clearfield would be on top of a 63-49 score, taking down the Eagles for a third time on the season.
“They (Bald Eagle) are an excellent team. They’re one of a few teams on our schedule, which includes all great teams, but they present a challenge where they have five guys that can all shoot. That puts so much pressure on the defense,” head coach Nate Glunt said afterward. “To be able to beat them three times, I’m proud of our kids. They’re an excellent team.”
It was a 13-13 contest after one quarter of play, but when the Bison began rolling in the second quarter, it was hard to stop them. The lone senior on the team, Erik Sellers, showed how he can be tough to both defend against, and also how physical he can be on the floor. He would end the night with 16 points plus seven rebounds, along with three assists.
“He played physical without fouling, I thought he posted up, he jumped up on a break a few times. He did an excellent job,” Glunt said of his senior.
Sellers had to play hard all game long, especially after the third quarter. Teammates Tommy Hazel and Cody Spaid entered the final frame with four fouls a piece, with Cody earning a technical due to him hanging on the rim of the basket when going for a rebound. Both would exit early in the fourth quarter with their fifth personal foul. Spaid only accounted for two points, but added in eight rebounds. Hazel finished with 12 points and six boards.
Yet at the same time, the Bison seemed to remain calm and poised, thanks to some strong play from the players coming off the bench.
“That’s our depth. Evan Brown came in and played excellent again. I think Kaleb Strouse is improving so much, he really gets after it,” Glunt said. “Our coaches do an excellent job when they’re coaching the other team (junior varsity) in practice in preparing them to play.”
Will Myers led the Bison in scoring with 18 points.
On the opposite side of the ball, the five starters for the Eagles saw the most playing time, and stayed strong all game long. Brandon Gettig would lead all scorers on the night with 22 points, the only Eagle player to hit double figures in scoring. Jason Jones led the visitors in boards with 14. But, what ultimately did the visiting Bald Eagle squad in was turnovers, as they would commit 11 of their 16 giveaways in the second half, allowing Clearfield to open up a double-digit advantage.
After the disappointment on Friday night against Tyrone, Glunt was quick to point out that the win was big for his squad, but the loss was also a lesson for them.
“I always tell our kids it’s not a loss unless you don’t learn from it. Yes, they (Tyrone) did put the ball in the basket more than us, it’s going to happen, but it’s only a failure if you don’t learn from it,” Glunt said. “I thought we learned from the game Friday, and it showed tonight in how we executed.
“We played much better offensively. Our defense was solid, especially as the game went on tonight.”
The junior varsity squad also was victorious in their game to open the night in a 61-34 triumph.
Clearfield has only a few regular-season games remaining on the year, and are already heading into playoff action. But, Glunt already knows one tough game awaits later this week, as the Bison will travel to Penns Valley on Friday and attempt to avenge their first loss from earlier this season. For Glunt, the game is played on Friday, but it could be won a few days prior.
“I told the kids that we have Penns Valley on Friday, and how we play on Friday will be determined by how we practice tomorrow and Thursday. Just Keep working, keep concentrating, keep trying to get better on all the little things every day,” Glunt said.
Tip-off for the junior varsity contest will be at 6 p.m. in Spring Mills, with the varsity game to follow.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bald Eagle Area 13 11 11 14 – 49
Clearfield 13 18 14 18 – 63
Bald Eagle Area 49
Dubbs 0 0-0 0, Butterworth 3 0-0 7, Barnyak 0 0-0 0, Gettig 5 12-12 22, Onder 3 0-0 6, Jo. Jones 0 0-0 0, Ja. Jones 2 0-2 4, Friedline 0 0-0 0, N. Chambers 2 3-4 8. TOTALS 16 15-18 49
Sorbera 0 0-0 0, Heichel 0 0-0 0, Brown 1 0-0 3, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Strouse 2 2-2 6, Sellers 7 2-5 16, McKenzie 0 6-6 6, Wood 0 0-0 0, Hazel 5 0-1 12, Royer 0 0-0 0, Spaid 1 0-2 2, Myers 6 4-5 18. TOTALS 22 14-21 63
Bald Eagle Area/Clearfield
Field Goals Made-Attempted: 16-53/22-48
Team Fouls: 20/20
Three-Point Shots: Butterworth, Chambers/Brown, Hazel (2), Myers (2)
Foul-Outs: None/Hazel, Spaid
|12/09||CENTRAL||54 – 50||1 – 0|
|12/12||@ Huntingdon||73 – 64||2 – 0|
|12/15||@ Curwensville||71 – 40||3 – 0|
|12/17||@ Bellefonte||53 – 31||4 – 0|
|12/19||TYRONE||79 – 61||5 – 0|
|12/22||PUNXSUTAWNEY||57 – 47||6 – 0|
|12/29&30||Purchase Line Tourney|
|12/29||vs. Purchase Line||67 – 42||7 – 0|
|12/30||vs. Bald Eagle Area||77 – 72||8 – 0|
|01/06||@ Bald Eagle Area||79 – 56||9 – 0|
|01/07||@ Brookville||53 – 45||10 – 0|
|01/09||PENNS VALLEY||ppd.||10 – 0|
|01/12||PENNS VALLEY||49 – 61||10 – 1|
|01/14||@ Philipsburg-Osceola||64 – 27||11 – 1|
|01/16||@ St. Marys||66 – 62||12 – 1|
|01/19||@ DuBois||53 – 49||13 – 1|
|01/21||@ Central||ppd.||13 – 1|
|01/22||@ Central||44 – 25||14 – 1|
|01/23||HUNTINGDON||59 – 41||15 – 1|
|01/28||BELLEFONTE||53 – 28||16 – 1|
|01/30||@ Tyrone||42 – 47||16 – 2|
|02/03||BALD EAGLE AREA||62 – 49||17 – 2|
|02/06||@ Penns Valley|