HEILWOOD — The Clearfield Area High School girls basketball team outscored Curwensville 38-20 in the second half for a 58-46 win in the consolation game of the 16th Annual Penns Manor Holiday Tournament Saturday afternoon.
The win was No. 100 for coach Joey Castagnolo, who is in his eighth season at his alma mater.
Penns Manor (6-3) claimed the championship with a 59-41 victory over Purchase Line (5-4).
Julianna Howell scored 16 points, Nikki Collins tallied 10 and Elizabeth Sopic coupled nine points with 12 rebounds as Clearfield, playing without top scorer Brooke Jordan, avenged a 54-51 loss at Curwensville 10 days earlier.
Jordan, injured when she landed hard on the floor after colliding with a Penns Manor player in Friday night\’s first-round game, was taken to Clearfield Hospital and then lifeflighted to Children\’s Hospital in Pittsburgh that night because of a low heart rate. All tests proved negative, but she remained in the hospital for observation before being released Saturday night.
Castagnolo said the Lady Bisons, for most of the first half, seemed to be affected by the knowledge that Jordan was still hospitalized at that time.
\”The kids were down, and it took us a while to get adjusted without Brooke,\” he said. \”We missed a lot of shots in the first half.\”
Curwensville came out of the low-scoring first quarter with a two-point edge and then turned it into 26-20 halftime lead with Dani Struble (eight) and Hannah Walls (seven) combining for 15 of its 19 points in the second period.
Howell, who missed three games because of a tonsillectomy, had eight points in the second quarter and eight more in the third period, when the Lady Bisons took command to forge a 40-35 advantage.
\”We\’ve really missed her quickness,\” Castagnolo said. \”Julianna\’s just not in top shape yet. She didn\’t do any running after her operation.\”
A combination of better defensive play and patience on offense made the difference for the Lady Bisons after intermission, according to Castagnolo.
\”Our matchup zone really worked in the second half,\” he said. \”And we went out and took our time with our offense, which I was pleased with. I think the girls realized we don\’t have to run and gun and still score points. 58 is pretty good. It was a matter of us exploding and making our run to win.\”
He was happy that Collins was recognized by making the all-tournament team and with the play of Sopic, who \”dominated inside, which was good to see,\” and Mallory Janocko, who \”did a nice job, especially defensively, for still feeling ill.\”
Summing up the Lady Bison performance on the heels of three consecutive losses, two of them down-to-the-wire, he said, \”We played as a team tonight.\”
Struble, who torched the Lady Bisons for 25 points in the first game, wound up with a game-high 19 points, highlighted by four three-pointers, and Walls added 10 for the Lady Tide.
\”Struble just scored from everywhere,\” Castagnolo said. \”We just can\’t seem to stop her. She had another nice game against us.\”
Curwensville (5-3, 1-1) will host DuBois Central Catholic (5-5, 2-0) in an Allegheny Mountain League South Division game Tuesday, while Clearfield (4-3, 1-1) will travel to St. Marys Wednesday for a Distrtict 9 League test against Elk County Catholic (7-1, 1-1), which defeated Johnsonburg 71-46 in the Elk County Holiday Tournament title game Saturday.
CLEARFIELD — 58
Julianna Howell 6 2-4 16, Nikki Collins 4 0-0 10, Elizabeth Sopic 3 3-4 9, Mallory Janocko 2 2-2 8, Annie Janocko 0 4-4 4, Jayme Ryan 2 2-2 7, Alanna Luzier 0 4-6 4, Elizabeth Peters 0 0-0 0, Madison Sopic 0 0-0 0, Julie Colesar 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 17-22 58.
CURWENSVILLE — 46
Dani Struble 7 1-1 19, Hannah Walls 5 3-5 14, Ronna Knepp 0 0-0 0, Holly Fink 2 0-0 4, Jackie White 3 2-4 8, Holly Lansberry 0 0-0 0, Shannon Hamm 0 0-0 0, Alesia Bressler 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 7-12 46.
Three-Point Field Goals: Clearfield 7 (Howell 2, Collins 2, M. Janocko 2, Ryan 1). Curwensville 5 (Struble 4, Walls 1).
Score by Quarters:
Clearfield 5 15 20 18 — 58
Curwensville 7 19 9 11 — 46