PUNXSUTAWNEY – The Clearfield Lady Bisons staged a brilliant comeback Wednesday night at Punxsutawney only to fall short in overtime, 36-31.
Clearfield, now 11-10 on the year and 6-6 in District 9 League action, had won the first game between the two schools 34-27 back on January 21.
To say that Clearfield came out as cold as an Arctic iceberg would be an understatement as they managed only ten points during the first sixteen minutes. In fact, at the half, the Lady Bisons had made only three field goals which meant they made a field goal every 5.3 minutes. Many teams would be packing up the equipment to get ready for the ride home.
At the half it was Punxsutawney 16 and Clearfield 10. However, the next sixteen minutes proved to be very interesting and entertaining.
The Lady Chucks came out opening the third period with an 8-0 run to up their lead to fourteen, 24-10. Then the spark to set the Clearfield fire came from junior Amberly Byerly.
With 4:21 left in the third, and Clearfield still scoreless in the second half, Byerly took it strong to the hoop for a lay-up while also drawing the foul. The three point play started a great Lady Bison comeback that carried over into the fourth period.
There was 7:08 to play in the game with Punxsutawney leading 25-20, when of all things, the power went out darkening the Lady Chuck home court.
The delay lasted approximately 25 minutes and one would think that the Lady Bisons would lose their momentum. Not so fast though.
Clearfield cut the Lady Chucks margin to 25-23 before sophomore Jenna Reitz hit two treys to push the lead to eight for Punxsutawney, 31-23.
Madison Sopic, a Clearfield junior, hit two critical free throws with 1:13 to go to make it a two point edge for the Chucks, 31-29.
With under 50 seconds remaining Annie Janocko got a Bison steal near half court and quickly hit Gwenn Porter who took it in for the lay-up which tied the game at 31.
Unfortunately the Lady Bisons couldn\’t find any more gas to refuel for the overtime frame as Punxsutawney outscored Clearfield 5-0 to pull out the victory.
The Lady Chucks now stand at 7-14 overall and 5-7 in District 9 play.
Pacing Clearfield was Jayme Ryan with nine points on three treys. Reitz scored 13, hitting four three pointers, to lead Punxsutawney.
Clearfield head coach, Joey Castagnolo, although disappointed, still found a bright spot or two, \”I can\’t say enough about the effort we gave in coming back from a horrible first half to send this thing into overtime. The girls just wouldn\’t quit and give up on one another.\”
One area the Lady Bisons came up short on, especially in the first half, was rebounding at both ends of the floor. Castagnolo addressed that, \”We did a poor job in the first half of getting position under the boards. That was addressed at the half with us making changes that really helped us in the second half.\”
The two squads will be meeting again soon as they battle in the District 9 AAA playoffs. Clearfield, the number two seed, will host the semi-final game with Punxsutawney, the number three seed, at a time and date to be announced in the next day or two.
Round three may be even better than the first two rounds.
In junior varsity play it was also Punxsutawney coming out on top, 31-28. Lori Zalno was high scorer for Clearfield with seven.
Clearfield closes out the 2008-09 regular season as they travel to Ridgway for a Friday night encounter with the Lady Elkers. JV action starts at 6 pm with the varsity to immediately follow.
CLEARFIELD – Jayme Ryan 3 0-0 9, Gwenn Porter 2 2-4 6, Annie Janocko 0 3-4 3, Sarah Kovalick 1 0-0 2, Madison Sopic 2 2-3 6, Elizabeth Peters 0 0-0 0, Amber Byerly 2 1-1 5, Lori Zalno 0 0-0 0, Kristen Butler 0 0-0 0. TOTALS – 10 8-12 31
PUNXSUTAWNEY – Jenna Reitz 4 1-2 13, Lauren Janocha 4 0-0 8, Brittany Baker 2 0-0 4, Amanda Toven 1 0-0 2, Allie Miller 3 1-1 7, Shawna Crago 0 0-0 0, Amber Fye 0 0-0 0, Megan McCully 0 2-6 2. TOTALS – 14 4-9 36
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CLEARFIELD 5 5 8 13 0 31
PUNXSUTAWNEY 8 8 9 6 5 36
THREE-POINTERS: CLEARFIELD – 3 Ryan 3. PUNXSUTAWNEY – 4 Reitz 4.