HYDE — The Clearfield Area High School boys basketball team returns a solid core in 2006-2007, and head coach Forrest Campman feels his squad will be very competitive.
Clearfield returns John Lhota, Mike Johnson and James Zimmerman from last season, and will receive help from the likes of Andrew Janocko, Kyle Kline, Todd Hryn, Drew Hipps and Jarrin Campman.
\”We are solid with three returning starters,\” Campman said. \”Our only worry is John Lhota. He hurt himself during soccer season, and he is about 80 percent right now. He\’s the guy that makes us go.
\”We have three very experienced kids right there. We have experience coming back. We don\’t have a lot of points coming back, but we have a lot of experience coming back. Two other seniors, Andrew Janocko and Kyle Kline, are coming back. There are five letterman coming back.
Hryn and Hipps are juniors, but provide some much-needed heighth under the basket, and Jarrin Campman will step in at guard some.
\”They are both 6-foot-2, 6-foot-3 type of kids that give us good size. We need them to really help up. Jarrin Campman will help us at the guard position,\” Campman said.
Offensively coach Campman look to play uptempo basketball on both ends of the court.
\”The kids like to run the floor and play basketball,\” the veteran coach said. \”They don\’t like to slow the pace down. We should be able to go 9-10 guys deep. David Ryan, another junior, can give us minutes. A couple sophomores in Matt Shiner and Curtis Kerr and Parker Harrington (can give us minutes). We have 18 kids.
\”We are going to try and play the game 94-feet, press quite often, run the floor and try to wear teams down.\”
The Bisons feel they can stand up to anyone on their schedule, but their toughest tests come in the form of district rivals Bradford – who has won five of the last six district titles – and defending state champion Elk County Catholic.
\”In our district, Elk County Catholic is the returning defending state champion,\” Campman said. \”Bradford has a couple kids that were all-district players coming back. You look at the rest of the schedule, I think we are as good as all the other teams on our schedule. Those two teams are the benchmark. Bradford has won the district championship five of the last six years. I think our depth will give them some problems this year. Elk County will be real tough this year. They have a Division I player on their team, and another kid transferred in from St. Marys. The starting center for St. Marys left and went to Elk County.
\”Punxsutawney will be down, DuBois is down, Brookville has quite a few kids back. Brookville is more of a football-type team out there playing. We sit pretty good in the league compared to the other tiered teams.\”
Defensively, Clearfield is going to be in its opponents face this season.
\”We run a zone press,\” Campman said. \”We will either zone press you, man-to-man full court, or a three-quarter 1-3-1 defense. It will be a full-court pressure defense more often than not. In general our press has been pretty good in past years. We are not going to get into a press where it\’s an all out gamble. Once we drop back into a half (defense) we\’ll probably give people our 2-3 matchup zone. I think we can play more man-to-man than we\’ve played in the past and use the 1-3-1 in the half-court also. We will probably drop back into zone a little more than man, depending on the type of team we are playing against.\”
Clearfield travels to the Keystone Tournament tonight for a 6:30 p.m. clash with Philipsburg-Osceola.