HYDE — With 3-8 records and scoring averages hovering around 45 points a game, the Clearfield and Philipsburg-Osceola boys basketball teams couldn’t have been much more evenly matched to begin the second half of the 2012-13 season Tuesday night.
The first of their two Mountain League meetings wound up as close as projected.
A furious Bison rally set up an exciting finish for the fans in Weiss Gym, but Alex Gray’s two clutch free throws with 27 seconds remaining and Andrew Reifer’s lay-up with 11 ticks left defused that comeback as the visiting Mounties held on for a 49-47 victory.
Reifer’s basket proved crucial when red-hot Christian Lezzer drained a 35-footer at the buzzer.
The three-pointer was the Bison junior’s sixth and gave him a career-high 26 points on 50 percent shooting.
Senior Trey Jordan, who made a quick recovery from what had appeared to be a more serious ankle injury in Friday’s game at Penns Valley, heated up in the second half for 14 of his 16 points.
However, the other six Bison who saw floor time contributed just five points.
“You just can’t win like that,” coach Forrest Campman said after Clearfield dropped its fifth game in a row. “I don’t care what team plays, you can’t have two guys get almost every point. They shot more, but some other guys have to find a way to put the ball in the basket. They had opportunities.
“We need someone else to pick it up, and we’re just not getting that.”
Led by Matt Carpin’s 20 points and Reifer’s 12, Philipsburg-Osceola had more balance, plus one big advantage under the glass in Taylor Golemboski.
The 6-4 pivotman grabbed 17 missed shots to key a 36-26 rebounding advantage for the Mounties, who shot 40.4 percent.
“He made it really difficult for us to score inside,” Campman noted. “He’s not very physical, but he’s does jump half decent. Their height helped them.”
Reifer, who is 6-3, chipped in with five rebounds as the Mounties limited the Bison to only a handful of second chances, especially in the first half when the hosts registered only one offensive rebound and just 15 points.
“I thought we lost the game in the first half,” Campman said. “Bottom line, you can’t stand around like we did. The first half effort wasn’t good.”
P-O capitalized on Clearfield’s lack of production, except for 11 points by Lezzer.
Golemboski’s short jumper in the lane and Carpin’s lay-up after a steal gave the Mounties a lead that stood until Lezzer gave the Bison their only edge, 44-43, with 2:21 remaining.
The Mounties were ahead 10-9 after one period, with Carpin netting seven points, and 23-15 at halftime.
Lezzer’s quartet of jumpers, including three from behind the arc, prevented the Bison from being in a much bigger hole.
In the third quarter, when Lezzer picked up his fourth personal foul, Jordan began to knife through the Mountie defense and also hit a long jumper to score 10 points, but the Bison never got closer than six points.
Carpin and Reifer tallied seven and six points, respectively, for P-O, which took a 37-29 lead into the fourth period and expanded it to 41-31 with 5:51 to play on Carpin’s putback and Ryan Nartatez’ rebound and length-0f-the-floor dribble.
Jordan then ignited Clearfield’s comeback, a 13-2 run.
After sinking one foul shot, Jon Janocko was off target on the second, but Jordan leaped high for the rebound and went right back up to bank in a short jumper.
Then, Lezzer took charge.
He quickly answered Gray’s bucket with a trifecta from the left side, followed up with another one from outside and made a tough shot on a baseline drive before nailing the contested jumper that capped the Bison rally.
“If I had one regret, I probably should have called timeout when we got the ball up by one,” Campman said. “I know they probably didn’t realize they were up by one at the time.”
The Bison paid for a turnover on that possession when Gray got open under the hoop to put the Mounties in front for keeps.
“We were really bad rotating on the weak side,” Campman said. “That probably was the worst thing (we did) defensively.”
Clearfield had four misfires and a turnover in next minute and a half, but it remained a one-point game because of P-O’s two giveaways and a miss on a one-and-one situation at the foul line.
Finally, Gray’s two high-arching free throws made it 47-44 and, following a Lezzer trey that didn’t fall, Reifer got behind the Bison defense for the clinching points.
“You could say could’ve, would’ve, but we’ve lost probably four or five games now (when) we had every opportunity to win,” Campman said. “And most of them have us coming out and sleepwalking in the first half and then playing well in the second half.
“But we’re not really that potent offensively to win that (type of) game.
“It’s not lack of effort. But some of those guys don’t get a break the way we ask them to run around out there. What almost happens is that they hustle as much as they can on the defensive end and when they get down on the offensive end, they can’t move.
“Then we stand around and it ends up being a one-on-one play. When you do that, you’re not gonna get an offensive rebound.”
The Philipsburg-Osceola junior varsity set the stage for a sweep with a 37-22 win in the prelim behind 15 points by Lewis Jones and 12 by Collin Maurer. For Clearfield, Erik Sellers and Derek Hryn netted eight points apiece.
Clearfield is booked for a non-league game at St. Marys Friday.
PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA — 49
Eric Nartatez 3 0-0 6, Matt Carpin 7 3-7 20, Taylor Golemboski 1 3-8 5, Alex Gray 2 2-2 2, Andrew Reifer 6 0-0 12, Collin Maurer 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 8-17 49.
CLEARFIELD — 47
Christian Lezzer 10 2-6 26, Seth Beardsley 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Westen 1 0-0 2, Trey Jordan 7 1-3 16, Jon Janocko 1 1-2 3, Seth Ford 0 0-0 0, Andy Brown 0 0-0 0, Erik Sellers 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 2-5 47.
Three-Point Field Goals – Philipsburg-Osceola 3 (Carpin 3); Clearfield 7 (Lezzer 6, Jordan).
Score by Quarters
Philipsburg-Osceola 10 13 14 12 – 49
Clearfield 9 6 14 18 – 47
|12/07||CURWENSVILLE||ppd.||0 – 0|
|12/10||CURWENSVILLE||42 – 37||1 – 0|
|12/12||@ Central||29 – 50||1 – 1|
|12/14||HUNTINGDON||55 – 61||1 – 2|
|12/18||@ Bald Eagle Area||50 – 79||1 – 3|
|12/21||@ Bellefonte||51-50 2ot||2 – 3|
|@ PL Lions Club Tourney|
|12/27||vs. Harmony||41 – 48||2 – 4|
|12/28||vs. Purchase Line||85 – 63||3 – 4|
|01/04||PUNXSUTAWNEY||31 – 69||3 – 5|
|01/07||BROOKVILLE||42 – 43||3 – 6|
|01/08||TYRONE||52 – 61||3 – 7|
|01/11||@ Penns Valley||23 – 44||3 – 8|
|01/15||PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA||47 – 49||3 – 9|
|01/18||@ St. Marys|