HYDE — The season is drawing to an end for the Lady Bison of Clearfield. It’s been a journey that’s seen many ups, and many downs along the way. As fans began filing into the Bison Gymnasium on Friday night, they were welcomed with decorations and a lot of celebrating.
Before the Lady Bison (4-14) took to the court to warm up, the team honored the five senior players on the squad that contributed to the program for the last four years. There were some tears shed, and many laughs, but once all the celebrating had concluded, there was still business to attend to.
On the opposing side of the court were the Penns Valley Lady Rams, hoping to make a clean sweep of the season against the home squad.
At the end of 32 minutes, the visiting team would be the one spoiling the festivities. Clearfield struggled from the opening tip to get any momentum offensively, while defensively they would defend well in one aspect, but that left Penns Valley another opportunity in another direction to get points. The Senior Night festivities would get spoiled in a 56-25 loss.
From the opening tip, the Lady Rams seemed to get momentum, and it would be the first quarter that set the pace for the night. Penns Valley opened the night on an 8-0 run and would finish the first eight minutes with a 17-4 advantage. What was more difficult for the Lady Bison besides hitting the baskets were getting the rebounds.
Early in the game, Penns Valley was hitting shots, but on the missed opportunities they were gaining the offensive boards to take another crack at points. When the ball was in the hands of Clearfield, the opposition was getting to the basket quicker, and the put-back opportunities were unavailable.
Clearfield would lose the battle on the boards by a 25-19 margin, with Rachel Glenny leading the Lady Bison with 11 rebounds to her credit. Bethany Miller would lead Penns Valley in rebounds with eight.
Not getting rebounds meant the Lady Bison needed to make their shots count, but were only 9 for 39 on the night, and struggled on the foul line when they went only 7-for-14.
Still, even when down, head coach Joey Castagnolo was looking at the positives his team was putting on the floor, because it was a different game than when his team traveled to Spring Mills to play Penns Valley earlier in the season.
“The kids didn’t back away. The effort was there, but we’re not a team that can come back and shoot like that,” Castagnolo said. “They (Penns Valley) shot lights-out tonight. We were in their face and didn’t give them many easy shots. They were all contested.”
Both Miller and Karli Ripka led Penns Valley with 12 points a piece, while Mackenzie Ironside added in another eight points, which was a third less than what she scored in the previous encounter.
Glenny and Emily Aveni would lead the Bison in points with five a piece.
Clearfield started the second half with a little momentum, despite being down 13 points at the break. The Lady Bison controlled the ball, only committing three turnovers, and had two personal fouls. All night long the Rams would have little opportunity to go to the charity stripe as many of the Clearfield fouls were on the floor, and were taken in-bounds instead of at the stripe.
Penns Valley would also win the opening jayvee game in a low-scoring 26-18 affair.
Even in the loss, Castagnolo was quick to talk about the seniors on the team that have contributed a lot to the program, whether playing from the bench or were in the starting line-up. However, one senior his team has missed this season was Maggie Sopic, who went down for the year after an injury suffered against Punxsutawney in December.
” (Emily) Aveni has been with me four years, and has been a three-year starter. Mary (Ishman) has been with me four years, also a three-year starter. Janessa (Riddell) and Tessa (Waring) haven’t been with me as long, but they play with heart, and it shows,” he said. “We lost a lot of depth when she (Maggie) went out. She understands my philosophy.
“But when she went down, we gathered up and did the best we can.”
Clearfield’s final week of the season is a stretch run of games on four consecutive nights. It begins on Tuesday with a trip to Philipsburg-Osceola, with tip-off set for 7 p.m. as there will be no junior varsity game. The following night they return home to host Central, a game that was to take place on Monday but was postponed due to the snowstorm that hit. The Lady Bison will conclude their season then with back-to-back road games against Bellefonte and finally Curwensville.
The final three games are set for a 6 p.m. tip-off in jayvee action, with the varsity game to follow.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Penns Valley 17 10 17 12 – 56
Clearfield 4 10 9 2 – 25
Penns Valley 56
Ripka 4 0-0 12, Ilgen 4 0-0 8, Swartz 3 0-0 6, Houser 0 0-0 0, Lyons 0 0-0 0, Ironside 3 0-1 8, Orndorf 4 0-0 8, Miller 5 2-4 12, Homan 0 0-0 0, Bierly 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 24 2-5 56
Castagnolo 1 0-0 2, Cline 0 0-0 0, Ryan 2 0-0 4, Lindstrom 1 0-0 2, Waring 0 0-2 0, Riddell 1 0-0 2, Rockmore 1 0-0 2, Aveni 1 3-3 5, Glenny 2 1-5 5, Ishman 0 3-4 3, Boal 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 9 7-14 25
Field Goals Made-Attempted: 24-47/9-39
Team Fouls: 10/12
Three-Point Shots: Ripka (4), Ironside (2)/None
Lady Bison Scoreboard:
|12/05||@ Brookville Tip-off Tourney|
|12/05||vs. Northern Clarion||25 – 43||0 – 1|
|12/06||vs. Clarion-Limestone||63 – 40||1 – 1|
|12/10||@ Central||38 – 57||1 – 2|
|12/12||HUNTINGDON||25 – 37||1 – 3|
|12/15||PUNXSUTAWNEY||43 – 57||1 – 4|
|12/16||BELLEFONTE||49-47 2ot||2 – 4|
|12/19||@ Tyrone||45 – 73||2 – 5|
|12/22||@ Brookville||31 – 70||2 – 6|
|12/29||CURWENSVILLE||40 – 66||2 – 7|
|01/05||@ Punxsutawney||34 – 63||2 – 8|
|01/07||BALD EAGLE AREA||45 – 31||3 – 8|
|01/09||@ Penns Valley||ppd.||3 – 8|
|01/13||PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA||70 – 64||4 – 8|
|01/16||ST. MARYS||44 – 45||4 – 9|
|01/21||CENTRAL||ppd.||4 – 9|
|01/23||@ Huntingdon||31 – 56||4 – 10|
|01/26||@ Bellefonte||ppd.||4 – 10|
|01/28||@ Penns Valley||25 – 45||4 – 11|
|01/30||TYRONE||34 – 58||4 – 12|
|02/02||CENTRAL||ppd.||4 – 12|
|02/04||@ Bald Eagle Area||33 – 40||4 – 13|
|02/06||PENNS VALLEY||25 – 56||4 – 14|