Lady Bisons Enjoy Senior Night Victory

HYDE — The Clearfield Lady Bisons thoroughly enjoyed a Saturday matinee by celebrating Senior Day with a 71-46 beating of DuBois Central in front of a packed house at Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium.
\”We fired on all cylinders,\” Clearfield head coach Joey Castagnolo said. \”Our defense triggered our offense. We dominated all aspects of the game.\”
The Lady Bisons (13-8, at Brookville on Monday) honored seniors Nikki Collins, Juliana Howell, Mallory Janocko, Brooke Jordan and Elizabeth Sopic before going out on the court and totally dominating a shocked DuBois Central squad.
\”I\’m just so happy these seniors played so well,\” Castagnolo said. \”Mallory (Janocko) didn\’t score, but the effort, the defense, was there for Mallory. She boxed out. They played together. They have meant a lot. All five of them have been with me since ninth grade. Elizabeth (Sopic) is the only four-year letter winner. The mean just so much to this program. They are leaders. They understand the game. That was a nice job of them, tonight.
\”You have a Brooke Jordan that gives 110 percent. You have Elizabeth who is a four-year letter winner. Nikki Collins is just a pure athlete. That is the mark they are going to leave on the program – their athleticism, their leadership. They are good kids.\”
Each senior has left a mark on the program and Castagnolo knows he had a special group. The outgoing seniors went out in style as each showed why they are so special to the program.
Clearfield\’s defense was its best offense in the win as the Lady Bisons were downright ferocious on defense. The Lady Bisons full-court pressure gave DuBois Central fits and the Lady Cardinals succumbed to that pressure as they committed 28 turnovers. Clearfield converted many breakaway layups off those turnovers and several odd-man rushes where the Lady Bisons used nifty ball-handling and passing in the paint to distance itself from the Lady Cardinals on the scoreboard. Clearfield also shot the ball well from the 3-point arc.
Clearfield came out with a a wealth of determination to not lose on its home floor – something that has only happened once this season in a 47-32 lop-sided loss to Brookville way back on December 15.
The Lady Bisons defense forced DuBois Central into eight first-quarter turnovers and Howell sparked the offense by scoring eight of her game-high 28 points. She connected on 2 of 6 shots from behind the 3-point arc as Clearfield ran out to a 16-11 edge.
\”I think our offense has stepped it up a lot,\” Howell said. \”That is what kept us ahead of them – even if we turned the ball over a little offensively.
\”We have been playing as a team lately. We\’ve been practicing hard and our shots have been hitting in the game. We\’re having a great time out there.\”
Howell started the scoring with her first 3-pointer, Elizabeth Sopic hit a nice jumper in the paint and Howell followed with her second 3-pointer, this time a bank shot of the glass, and then followed with a layup off a nice feed from Collins to give Clearfield a commanding 10-2 break and leaving DuBois Central confused and calling for a timeout.
Fluid ball movement all over the floor allowed Clearfield to find open players who successfully took open shots. After the timeout, DuBois Central made a run with baskets from two baskets from Andrea Moyer and a jumper from Megan Thomas and a pair of foul shots from Rachel Coggins to cut Clearfield\’s lead to two, 12-10, with 3:22 remaining in the first quarter.
Clearfield closed the quarter with a 3-pointer and a foul shot from Collins to take a 16-11 lead into the second quarter. The Lady Bisons cranked up the defensive pressure in the second quarter.
The Lady Bisons outscored DuBois Central 18-6 with Howell pouring in nine more points and Jordan drilling a trio of 3-pointers as Clearfield ran out to a 34-17 halftime lead.
\”I thought we worked really well together,\” Collins said. \”We have been for the past few games. It is all coming together and I\’m looking forward to the playoffs.
\”We were expecting a tough game. It is always tough on Senior Night because your rival is looking to ruin the night.\”
DuBois Central opened the second quarter with Pernesky hitting a layup. However, it was all Clearfield from that point. The Lady Bisons created nine turnovers and scored 18 points in the quarter.
Keying the run was a 13-0 stretch that saw a 3-point lead swell into a 16-point advantage.
Jordan connected on the first of her 3-pointers to jumpstart Clearfield. Howell then hit a layup on a breakaway after forcing a turnover and added a jumper in the paint to give the Lady Bisons a 23-13 lead with 5:21 remaining in the half.
Jordan then connected on a pair of 3-pointers from the right side to account for the 16-point advantage. Howell later drilled a 3-pointer as Clearfield led by 17 points at the break.
The Lady Bisons didn\’t relent in the second half. Clearfield outscored DuBois Central 20-11 in the third quarter to put the game out of the Lady Cardinals reach.
Howell scored nine more points in the third. Annie Janocko connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Collins, Jordan, Alana Luzier and Madison Sopic added buckets against a weary DuBois Central defense.
Collins led Clearfield with eight points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Bisons connected on 5 of 6 foul shots to maintain the lead.
\”I thought they were going to be a real aggressive team,\” Howell said. \”The last time we played them it took awhile to get into the game. It might have been the trip we took down there. I think we were ready for them tonight because it\’s a home game and it\’s Senior Night and we had all that adrenaline rushing. We were ready.\”
The Lady Bisons are in the midst of a rough stretch in the schedule, but Castagnolo is quite pleased with how his team is handling everything.
\”Six games in nine days – I\’m real happy,\” Castagnolo said of how his team has played. \”We had a real close game in Philipsburg, we bounced back and played really well tonight. DuBois Central is 10-10. We dominated them and they never got into any rhythm.
\”We have a make-up game against Brookville on Monday. I\’m expecting the same kind of effort right from the get-go. We have some revenge there, because Brookville beat us on our home floor. That\’s the only home loss we\’ve had because we didn\’t come to play.\”
In junior varsity action, Clearfield downed DuBois Central 49-31. Jayme Ryan led Clearfield with 12 points. Clearfield improved to 12-6 on the season.
DuBois Central – 46
  Moyer 3 3-4 9, Feraraccio 3 4-4 10, Coggins 4 8-10 16, Pernesky 2 1-5 5, Braun 0 0-0 0, Coldbach 1 0-0 2, O\’Conner 1 2-2 4, Heasey 0 0-0 0. Thomas 0 0-0 0, Yebernetsky 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 18-25 46.
Clearfield – 71
  Howell 12 0-0 28, Collins 5 3-6 14, Jordan 4 0-0 11, M. Janocko 0 0-0 0, E. Sopic 3 2-2 8, A. Janocko 1 1-2 4, Luzier 1 0-0 2, Ryan 0 0-0 0, Peters 0 0-0 0, M. Sopic 2 0-0 4, Porter 0 0-0 0, Colesar 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 8-12 71.
Score by Quarters
  DuBois Central 11 6 11 18 – 46
  Clearfield 16 18 20 17 – 71
  3-pointers: DuBois Central 0-7 (Feraraccio 0-1, Braun 0-1, Pernesky 0-2, Moyer 0-3); Clearfield 9-25 (A. Jancoko 1-1, Howell 4-8, Collins 1-2, Jordan 3-5, Ryan 0-1, M. Janocko 0-4, Luzier 0-4).

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