Defense Stands Tall for Lady Bison in Victory Over Brookville

HYDE — In the hopes of keeping the momentum from Friday night going, the Lady Bison of Clearfield returned to the Bison Gymnasium on Monday night, the second of three games in a three-day span.  After once again getting an even record to their credit, Joey Castagnolo and his group looked to get above that mark for the first time since the season began.

Across the court, the visiting Lady Raiders of Brookville were ready to play spoiler, and turn away the home team.

No one anticipated the dominance that would come about.

Entering the night, Brookville had eclipsed the 40-point mark all but once on the year, with their lowest outing coming against Dubois last week when they lost, yet put up 38 on the scoreboard.  On this night, the Lady Bison defense made even reaching that mark a challenge.  In the first half, Brookville had 24 shots on the basket, and only one found the net.

That was the story of the night:  defense feeding the offense, and the Lady Bison fed off that by holding the Lady Raiders scoreless for almost 14 minutes into the game, and held on for a decisive 45-25 victory.

“This team is a good shooting team.  It’s the same way we started against Bald Eagle by playing up-tempo and good defense,” Castagnolo said afterwards.  “It was our defense that keyed our offense.”

It wasn’t just the shooting trouble that helped Clearfield get the edge to start the game, but the turnover margin in the early going favored the home team in a major way.  Clearfield forced 12 turnovers in the first half, which assisted in the Lady Bison holding a 12-0 margin after the first quarter, then a 27-2 edge heading into the half.

Those turnovers were mainly thanks to the aggressive play of Alayna Ryan.  It was her tenacity that led her to get easy points, and also helped feed the ball to her teammates.  Ryan’s night ended with a double-double, recording a game-high 17 points, seven assists, and 10 steals.

“That’s what she has to do.  She’s the one that runs the show, and has the ball 90 percent of the time.  I was so happy that she played an excellent game,” Castagnolo said of his point guard.

When her baskets weren’t going in, her cohorts of Nicolette Brossard and Ally Lindstrom were there picking up the rebounds.  Brossard led the way with 14 boards, while LIndstrom added in another seven.  Those boards especially were critical when buckets didn’t drop, as it helped feed others to making baskets.  Brooke Cline was a beneficiary of the offensive rebounds, recording nearly all of her 13 points off rebounds and feeds.

“She (Brossard) had some nice boards in the fourth quarter.  She’s just a little bit off her game offensively, but we’ll work on that, and she’ll be alright.

Brookville started to come back a bit in the second half, mainly due to offensive changes and also the Lady Bison starting to get tired.  Castagnolo credited the Brookville staff in their game plan for the final two quarters, as the visitors outscored Clearfield 23-18 in the second half.

“We were a little out of control in the third quarter, but we had such a run there, it was a natural let down…I think he was substituting so many to try and wear us out,” he said.  “But we’re really in shape, and that’s a testament to the kids to be in shape and ready to play.

“They know the situation when we’re only maybe seven-deep, we have to be in great shape.”

Brookville finished the night a dismal 7-for-53 from the floor.  Macey Schindler led all scoring for the Lady Raiders with six points, but also had a strong night on the boards, pulling in 12 rebounds.

In a much different affair, the junior varsity contest ended quickly.  So quickly that the mercy rule was in effect for a majority of the game as it was Brookville scoring the lopsided 55-3 victory.

Clearfield for the first time since the beginning of the season has a winning record, and has reached the halfway point of the year at 6-5.  Castagnolo knows that having the winning record is important, but was quick to point out that the latter part of the season is still a challenge, especially with more Mountain League games upcoming and plus a possible playoff run.

“It does feel good.  We should be able to have above a .500 season…We can’t look ahead.  All those league games coming up, they are important too,” Castagnolo said.

The next challenge for the Lady Bison comes Tuesday night as they travel to Penns Valley.  Tip off is at 6 p.m. for the jayvee contest, and varsity will follow.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Brookville   0   2   10   13  –  25
Clearfield   12   15   8   10  –  45

Brookville – 25

Macenish 0 0-2 0, Mo. Johnson 0 0-0 0, Schindler 3 0-2 6, Ma. Johnson 0 1-2 1, Shattenberg 1 2-2 4, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Macbeth 2 1-2 5, Hatzinacolus 1 0-0 2, Hergert 1 0-0 2, Powell 1 0-0 3.  TOTALS 7 4-10 25.

Clearfield – 45

Brossard 0 0-0 0, Chew 4 1-2 9, Cline 6 1-2 13, Ryan 5 6-11 17, Lindstrom 1 0-0 3, Gisewhite 0 0-0 0, Clark 1 0-0 2, McLain 0 0-0 0, Twigg 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 1-2 1.  TOTALS 17 9-17 45.

GAME STATISTICS
Brookville/Clearfield

Shooting:  7-53/17-58

Rebounds:  35/32

Fouls:  17/16

Turnovers:  26/26

Three-Point Shots:  Powell/Ryan, Lindstrom

Fouled Out:  Taylor

Lady Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/09&10 @ Brookville Tip-off Tourney    
12/09 vs. Clarion-Limestone 64 – 22 1 – 0
12/10 vs. North Clarion 39 – 51 1 – 1
12/14 @ Central 24 – 64 1 – 2
12/16 HUNTINGDON 43 – 35 2 – 2
12/19 BELLEFONTE 52 – 55 2 – 3
12/21 @ Tyrone 47 – 65 2 – 4
12/23 DUBOIS 52 – 45 3 – 4
12/28 CURWENSVILLE 52 – 51 4 – 4
01/03 @ Punxsutawney 33 – 50 4 – 5
01/06 BALD EAGLE AREA 46 – 27 5 – 5
01/09 BROOKVILLE 45 – 25 6 – 5
01/10 @ Penns Valley    
01/13 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA    
01/16 ST. MARYS    
01/18 CENTRAL    
01/20 @ Huntingdon    
01/23 @ Bellefonte    
01/27 TYRONE    
02/01 @ Penns Valley    
02/03 PENNS VALLEY    
02/07 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA    
02/08 @ Curwensville    
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