HYDE — The beginning of 2018 for the Lady Bison had them feeling as though momentum was coming to them. During the break from school, Clearfield managed to gain a victory over its rival from up the road in Curwensville. That win came last Thursday, meaning it was seven days since Clearfield took to the hardwood.
When they finally managed to do so, two things were different. For one, the team across the floor on the Bison Gym was a much bigger, and a much quicker Lady Chucks of Punxsutawney. The second, it almost felt like the “Frozen Tundra” that is often used to describe the home field of the Green Bay Packers. With temperatures hovering in the single digits outside the doors, Clearfield looked to heat things up when the ball was tipped off Wednesday night.
Unfortunately, Lady Bison head coach Joey Castagnolo was not having a happy new year at night’s end. Despite an early lead, miscues in the second quarter left the Lady Chucks with many opportunities to gain points. After the final buzzer, Punxsutawney was the one enjoying the night, taking home the 41-24 victory.
Castagnolo acknowledged they had a strong start to the night, holding a 7-5 advantage after the first quarter in what appeared to be a low-scoring, defensive contest. But, the second quarter changed things almost immediately.
“We got dejected, we were just flat-footed,” Castagnolo said afterwards. “We missed a couple easy shots, and we never could get the crowd into it. We were flat the whole game. We never had that run that we could always come up with.”
The run he never saw his squad achieve certainly was obtained by Punxsutawney in the second stanza. The Lady Chucks began rolling after Elyse White hit a jumper just inside the key, and then Kate Horner added to the lead with a pair of jumpers beyond the arc, including one right before the halftime buzzer sounded, completing a 13-2 run to put Punxy up by nine heading into the break.
Clearfield went 1-for-9 from the floor in the quarter, finishing the night 10-for-41. Plus, a total of seven turnovers in the quarter led to easy looks for the Lady Chucks.
“(Punxsutawney has a) Very good defense. They scouted us well. Every shot was contested,” Castagnolo said. “It was so tough to come back. We had that run in the third quarter, but then they came back and that was it.”
Horner finished the night with a game-high 18 points, but the player of the game was Miller, especially in the final quarter. Despite only putting in two baskets, she finished going 7-for-8 at the foul line, to tally 11 points. But her fourth quarter was all about denying shots, as she had four blocks in the final eight minutes, a pair of assists, and a couple of rebounds to complete a double-double on the night, as she led all players on the boards with 18, 11 of which were on offense.
“She dominated in the fourth quarter. They knew where to go to, and that Tess (Miller) had four fouls on her. The effort was there, I can’t say anything bad about the effort. We just have to execute better,” Castagnolo said.
Leading the way for Clearfield in scoring was Alayna Ryan, the lone Lady Bison in double figures with 10 points, plus six rebounds and four assists. Clearfield had missed opportunities at easy points as they were only 4-for-8 at the foul line, while Punxsutawney was 12-for-14.
“We’re a better foul-shooting team than that,” Castagnolo said with dejection.
Clearfield also missed out on victory in the opening junior varsity contest, falling 43-12 in a shortened contest.
Castagnolo did get the positive out of a tough night, seeing that his team put forth the effort to compete, stating, “Defensively, to hold that team to 41 points is great, but we missed some shots near the end, and that hurt us.”
Now at 3-6, Clearfield is scheduled to head on the road this Friday to face the Golden Lady Eagles of Tyrone. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. for the jayvee game, varsity to follow. Game is weather permitting, due to the extreme cold that is set to arrive at the end of the week.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Punxsutawney 5 13 10 13 – 41
Clearfield 7 2 9 6 – 24
Punxsutawney – 41
Presloid 1 0-0 2, Gigiotti 1 0-0 2, Griebel 0 0-0 0, Lingenfelter 1 0-0 2, Miller 2 7-8 11, Weaver 0 2-2 2, Horner 5 3-4 18, White 2 0-0 4, Bowell 0 0-0 0, Maines 0 0-0 0, Wyatt 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 12-14 41.
Clearfield – 24
Durandetta 0 0-0 0, Brossard 3 1-2 7, Cline 3 0-0 6, Ryan 4 2-4 10, Vantassel 0 0-0 0, Gisewhite 0 0-0 0, Rowles 0 0-0 0, Alt 0 0-0 0, Rhine 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 1-2 1. TOTALS 10 4-8 24.
Three-Point Baskets: Horner (4)
Lady Bison Scoreboard:
|12/09||@ Brookville Tip-off Tourney|
|12/09||vs. North Clarion||51 – 58||0 – 1|
|12/10||vs. Clarion-Limestone||60 – 19||1 – 1|
|12/13||@ Central||30 – 46||1 – 2|
|12/15||HUNTINGDON||32 – 54||1 – 3|
|12/18||@ Brookville||48 – 65||1 – 4|
|12/19||BELLEFONTE||51 – 42||2 – 4|
|12/22||@ DuBois||36 – 41||2 – 5|
|12/28||@ Curwensville||45 – 15||3 – 5|
|01/03||PUNXSUTAWNEY||24 – 41||3 – 6|
|01/09||BALD EAGLE AREA|
|01/12||@ Penns Valley|
|01/15||@ St. Marys|
|02/02||@ Bald Eagle Area|