HYDE — Clearfield boys basketball head coach Forrest Campman figured his Bisons to be in the upper echelon of the District 9 League this season.
The Bisons didn\’t get off to a solid start Tuesday evening as visiting St. Marys handed Clearfield a 68-57 loss in the Bisons home and league opener at Arthur J. Weiss gymnasium. The loss ends Clearfield (2-2) two-game win streak and puts them at 0-1 in league play.
\”They had a tempo they wanted to play at and they lulled us into a tempo they wanted, and I thought we were not as aggressive as we what we normally play,\” Campman said. \”Because of that lull in the tempo … when you are playing a zone defense and they put that many guys on the perimeter and they are not pressuring the ball and not making some plays – after six or seven passes they is going to be a wide-open shot.
\”There weren\’t impatient and they moved the ball until they got a shot.\”
Clearfield did some things well in the loss, but it is the little things the Bisons didn\’t do well that has head coach Forrest Campman concerned.
\”When you start out the game missing a layup, that is not a good omen,\” Campman said. \”If we made our layups, we win the game. But, again, there are a lot of other things. That is only one statistic. The others you look at are how many turnovers, how many turnovers led to points and who misses more layups. We knew they were going to launch three-point shots, but you have to take advantage of their lack of size and beat them up a little bit inside.\”
Louie Pisani led St. Marys with 36 points – including six three-pointers and converting 14 of 18 shots from the free-throw line. Brian Dempsey chipped in with 12 points and Levi Welder added 11 points in the win.
Mike Johnson led Clearfield with 22 points, while Todd Hryn added 10 and John Lhota scored nine in the loss.
After an evenly-played first quarter, St. Marys was able to distance itself from the Bisons by taking advantage of turnovers. Clearfield committed 10 turnovers in the second quarter and Pisani lit up the boards for 14 of his 36 points as the Flying Dutch stretched the lead to seven, 30-23, at intermission.
Clearfield hung with the Dutch early in the second half as Lhota\’s layup gave the Bisons a 13-12 lead and Hryn\’s layup gave Clearfield a three-point lead. Pisani answered for St. Marys by draining a 3-pointer from the left wing and a jumper from Welder knotted the game at 17-17 with 4:35 left in the half.
Pisani\’s layup off a turnover and another Welder jumper gave St. Marys a 21-17 edge before Mike Johnson brought Clearfield back with a jumper of his own. St. Marys then went on a 9-4 run to close the half. St. Marys used four foul shots from Pisani along the way to garner a lead it would not relinquish.
\”We just dug too deep a hole,\” Campman said. Clearfield came out with some gusto in the third quarter, but couldn\’t close the game. Each time Clearfield hit a shot, St. Marys answered with enough firepower to prevent the Bisons from closing the gap.
\”What\’s disappointing for me is that we pride ourselves on playing pretty good defense. But, I thought they ate our defense up tonight. They moved the ball well and they got open shots,\” Campman said.
Clearfield pieced together a solid fourth quarter by outscoring St. Marys 25-22, but couldn\’t overcome the deficit.
In junior varsity action, Clearfield cruised to a 46-19 victory. Matt Shiner scored 10 points and Kruise Kerr added nine points as 10 of 11 players scored for the Bisons.
Clearfield travels to Brookville Friday. Junior varsity action is set for 6 p.m.
St. Marys – 68
Kurt Baumgratz 0 0-2 2, Matt Guido 2 1-2 6, Brian Dempsey 3 6-8 12, Brenden Mulcahy 0 0-0 0, Brett Quiggle 0 1-2 1, Louie Pisani 8 14-18 36, Shealin Mulcahy 1 1-2 2, Matt Greenthena 0 0-2 0, Levi Welder 3 5-5 11. Totals: 17 28-39 68.
Clearfield – 57
John Lhota 2 3-4 7, Nate Greenland 0 0-1 0, Jarrin Campman 2 1-2 5, Andrew Janocko 1 0-2 2, Mike Johnson 9 4-6 22, Kyle Kline 1 0-0 2, Todd Hryn 4 2-3 10, James Zimmerman 3 1-3 7, Drew Hipps 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 11-21 57.
Three-pointers: St. Marys 7 (Pisani 6, Guido 1).
Halftime score: St. Marys 30, Clearfield 23.