HYDE — The Clearfield Lady Bisons scored a 59-32 victory over DuBois on Wednesday evenign at Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium at the Clearfield Area High School, but the game goes deeper than points scored in this eleventh Lady Bison victory of the season.
Head coach Joey Castagnolo is not only getting soild play from his top seven players – shooting guard Juliana Howell, point guard Nikki Collins, forwards Annie Janocko, Mallory Janocko, Alanna Luzier and Brooke Jordan and center Elizabeth Sopic – but he is pleased with what he is seeing from his entire team that has the veteran Clearfield coach as happy as he has been all season.
\”I felt we had control of the game throughout,\” Castagnolo said. \”The bench blended in. It\’s great because any given night my top seven or eight girls can score in double figures.\”
The Lady Bisons are getting solid play from their bench players, but more importantly their game is coming around at the right time of the season.
With the playoffs looming, Clearfield enters a key 5-game stretch over the next eight days. The Lady Bisons are back in action tonight at Philipsburg-Osceola, then host DuBois Central Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. for Senior Day. Clearfield then hits the hardcourt on Monday at Brookville, hosts Curwensville on Tuesday and travels to Bellefonte on Thursday.
Clearfield (11-7 overall, 6-4 D9 League) once again benefited from its full-court pressure defense and its run-and-gun offense. Howell, who is always the fastest player on the floor, led the Lady Bisons with 21 points.
\”(Juliana Howell) is the quickest kid on the floor almost every night. In the second quarter she was explosive,\” Catagnolo said.
Sopic turned in another double-double in the paint with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Brooke Jordan scored 11 points.
\”(Elizabeth Sopic) is dominating inside. They key on her more than anybody on our offense. She doesn\’t put up big numbers, but she scores when I want her to,\” Castagnolo said.
Hicks led DuBois with 22 points.
DuBois started quickly by taking an 8-4 lead on the Lady Bisons. But it was only a matter of time before Clearfield heated up.
Hicks hit a pair of layups and baskets from Barr and Newcamp put DuBois ahead with 5:30 left in the opening quarter.
From that point on it was all Clearfield. The Lady Bisons picked up a layup from Sopic and Howell followed with two jumpers to put Clearfield ahead 10-8. Barr then hit a layup while being fouled and converted on the free throw to complete a 3-point play and give DuBois an 11-10 edge with 3:30 remaining.
Alanna Luzier came in the game and gave Clearfield a boost. Luzier hit a layup and then a pair of foul shots to give the Lady Bisons a commanding 14-11 lead heading into the second quarter.
It was in that second quarter that Clearfield caught fire and doused any hopes of a DuBois victory. Howell connected on three 3-pointers and added a layup to score 11 of her 21 points. Jordan connected on a 3-pointer and hit a jumper as Clearfield outscored DuBois 24-7 to take a commanding 38-18 lead into intermission.
Castagnolo took advantage of his bench in the second half by mixing reserves and starters to sustain the quality of the effort. Plus, it gives those reserve key minutes on the floor in key situations.
\”Our focus is trying to win our last seven games,\” Castagnolo said. \”We are taking it one game at a time. Philipsburg is our next one. We have Senior Day on Saturday. I think we are focused real well.
\”I think it will give us confidence by winning games.\”
In junior varsity action, Clearfield downed DuBois 39-28 to improve to 11-5 on the season. Elizabeth Peters and Jayme Ryan each scored eight points in the win. Madison Sopic chipped in with seven points.
DuBois – 32
Newcamp 2 0-0 4, Hicks 10 1-3 22, Miller 0 0-0 0, Shenkle 0 1-1 1, Barr 2 1-1 5, Lockwood 0 0-0 0, Sayers 0 0-0 0, Groves 0 0-0 0, Wallock 0 0-0 0, Shricks 0 0-0 0, Wilcox 0 0-0 0, Gilmore 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 3-5 32.
Clearfield – 59
Howell 9 0-0 21, Collins 2 0-0 4, Jordan 4 1-2 11, E. Sopic 5 1-2 11, M. Janocko 0 0-0 0, A. Janocko 1 2-2 4, Luzier 2 2-2 6, Ryan 0 0-0 0, Peters 0 0-0 0, Porter 0 0-0 0, Byerly 0 0-0 0, Colesar 0 0-0 0, M. Sopic 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 6-8 59.
Score by Quarters
DuBois 11 7 10 9 – 32
Clearfield 14 24 9 12
3-pointers: Clearfield 5 (Howell 3, Jordan 2); DuBois: 1 (Hicks).