JOHNSONBURG — A little attitude adjustment a few weeks ago by head coach Joey Castagnolo has turned things around for the Clearfield girls basketball team. The Lady Bisons avenged their season opening loss to Johnsonburg Monday night, at Johnsonburg, with a gut checking 51-46 victory.
The win gives Clearfield a five game winning streak and sets their season record over .500 at 9-8 with five games left. The Ramettes are now 12-5 after the home court defeat.
Castagnolo said that after his squad fell to a 4-8 record he told his players, “ I am not taking this team to the playoffs if we continue to play like this.” Hence, a little attitude adjustment.
What a turnaround. After being blown out by Johnsonburg 61-38 in the opening game of the 2008-09 season, Clearfield traveled to the Ramettes home venue with only one purpose. Win, just win.
The first time around Johnsonburg won the second and third periods 34-10 to win going away. Not this time.
With a renewed enthusiasm to play defense, the Lady Bisons turned the tables on the Ramettes, keeping the game close, then winning it at the foul line in the fourth period. In the final eight minutes the Bisons were 12 of 17 from the charity stripe ending the game at 13 for 20.
Sarah Kovalick of the Lady Bisons hit for seven points in the opening period to help keep the game tied at nine each after one. On the evening Kovalick led all scorers with 18, hitting on four treys along the way.
The defensive effort wasn’t lost on Castagnolo, “Ever since the girls have picked up their play at the defensive end of the court good things have happened. It has carried over to the offensive end and helped us put together this current winning streak.”
After trailing by one at the half, 20-19, Clearfield didn’t come out of the locker room timid at all. They outscored the Ramettes 13-9 in the third and 19-17 in the fourth to secure a huge confidence building win.
Gwenn Porter added eight to help Kovalick in the scoring department for Clearfield. Porter was four for four from the line down the stretch.
Johnsonburg was paced by Ellie Kocjancic and Abby Grumley who each had 11. Grumley went over the 1,000 point mark for her career last week.
In the junior varsity tilt it was Johnsonburg coming away with 34-29 win over Clearfield.
The Lady Bisons return to their home court Tuesday night when the Lady Crusaders of Elk County Catholic (ECC) come calling. ECC won the first battle earlier this year at St. Marys, 61-40.
JV action starts at 6 pm with the varsity to follow fifteen minutes afterwards.
CLEARFIELD – 51
Gwenn Porter 2 4-4 8, Annie Janocko 2 0-0 4, Sarah Kovalick 6 2-3 18, Jayme Ryan 1 0-0 2, Elizabeth Peters 3 1-2 7, Madison Sopic 1 3-7 5, Amber Byerly 1 3-4 5, Angela Moore 1 0-0 2, Lori Zalno 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 17 13-20 51
JOHNSONBURG – 46
Bobbi Pritt 3 0-0 8, Justis Myers 4 1-2 9, Ellie Kocjancic 4 1-1 11, Anna Polaski 2 0-0 4, Abby Grumley 4 3-6 11, Becca Myers 1 0-0 3, Katie Boylan 0 0-2 0, TOTALS 18 5-11 46
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CLEARFIELD 9 10 13 19 51
JOHNSONBURG 9 11 9 17 46
THREE-POINTERS: CLEARFIELD 4 – Kovalick 4. JOHNSONBURG 5 – Pritt 2, Kocjancic 2, B. Myers 1.