HYDE — As heartbreaking as Thursday night’s contest, a 2-point loss to Brookville, was for the Bison cagers, Clearfield head coach Nate Glunt knew that his team couldn’t linger on what was already done, and let it carry over. He knew his team needed to get back to work, because there was no time to think about that game.
With playoffs still lingering in the distance, the Bison came right back to the hardwood on Friday night for a Mountain League contest against the Eagles of Bald Eagle Area.
The visiting Eagles got the opening basket to take the lead, but that was the only time they had any advantage during the game. Clearfield poured on the offense, and kept up the press defense, making it challenging for Bald Eagle in the remaining 30 minutes to keep any kind of momentum.
The Bison were wanting a victory after falling just short one night prior, and in the end, it was accomplished in a decisive 64-46 final to ensure at least a .500 record for the regular season.
“Coming off a game that was just heartbreaking, it’s almost a blessing in disguise, because when you have those, you want to play again to get it out of your system,” Glunt said of the victory. “It was tough, we lost last night, and to come back tonight, they showed mental toughness, a lot of grit and character, to come out and play the way they did.”
The man leading the way on this night was Reese Wilson in multiple aspects. His team followed his leadership as he would execute key passes to get his teammates in position for points. In the first quarter alone, he dropped in 10 points with a pair of rebounds. Wilson’s night concluded with a game, and career, high 22 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. The only time he was slowed down was when he got a cut lip that bled onto his jersey, and he was forced to make a uniform change.
Fellow senior Ryan Chew had a strong performance himself. Although only accounting for seven points, he added in
eight rebounds and three assists on a night where the Bison offense had contributions from every player on the court.
“His (Ryan) seven points are almost like 15 points for the little things that he does defensively, plus getting in the passing lanes,” Glunt said. “(Cade) Walker, he was fantastic defensively today as well. He was in proper position, defensive post, boxing out. He played great defensively.”
Clearfield held Bald Eagle to eight points in the first quarter, keeping the Eagles at just 2-for-10 in the opening eight minutes, and followed it up by keeping them to shooting 3-for-7 in the second quarter. A lot of that was in part to the play off the bench of Taye Lynch and Keagan Hess.
While Lynch scored 10 points, it was the play of Hess inside that kept Bald Eagle from getting many opportunities at good baskets and rebounds.
“If you had told me at the beginning of the season Keagan’s strength would be his defense, I’d have laughed,” Glunt said with a chuckle. “But, his defense is tough, he’s an athlete. He’s low in his stance, talking, and doing a great job defensively. Offensively, in the second half, he got to the basket, found some teammates to get a good shot. He’s really improving.”
Drew Bucha led the Eagles with 15 points and five rebounds, while Jaden Jones added in 14 points.
The Bison finished the game going 23-for-46 from the floor, but for Glunt, it was about choosing the right shot at the right moment, rather than just going deep every time. Clearfield attempted 13 shots from behind the arc, making seven. Of those, all but three came in the first half. Glunt’s philosophy has been to work inside later in the game, and he again mentioned that afterwards.
“This was a game where we shot the ball well in the first half. We executed to make good shots, and made them,” he said. “We always say, ‘When you make three’s in the first half, it’s a bit of fools gold.’ It’s good when it happens, but in the second half, you have to get the ball inside, because you can’t make them for two halves. We did that.”
At the same time, Glunt was praising the Eagles for how tough they played. At some instances in the game, they were getting a bit more physical and could have been called for fouls. However, that is something he and his team over the years have expected
“They (Bald Eagle) beat Bellefonte last night. Last time we played Bellefonte, it went to overtime. They have been playing well,” he said. “Coach Butterworth has been doing this a long time, and his kids always play with confidence, and hard. (For example), the Jones boys, they are a great family.
“It was going to be a tough game, and the kids stepped up.”
The Bison opened the night with a very close 53-50 victory in the junior varsity game, which came down to the final shot to possibly send it into overtime.
Clearfield (11-8) now sits in a position to still go to post-season play, with a pair of Mountain League games remaining. But, no matter how the season ends, Glunt was smiling not just because of his team, but what he was witnessing afterwards on the court. Long after the final buzzer, kids of all ages were on the floor shooting the ball, enjoying the time on the court with friends and family. For him, that is what makes coaching worth every moment.
“I love it. It’s a little crazy, but that’s my life,” Glunt said. “I love when they (the kids) are shooting around and having fun. Our student section was incredible. Pretty much the whole section was filled with students supporting their fellow classmates.
“We always have such great community support. It was a really cool night.”
The Bison have a little bit of a break before they get back into game mode, as they will travel to Penns Valley on Wednesday, with jayvee tip set for 6 p.m. Varsity will follow.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Bald Eagle 8 9 14 15 – 46
Clearfield 18 11 16 19 – 64
Bald Eagle Area – 46
Dubbs 1 0-0 2, Barnhart 1 4-6 6, Habovick 0 0-0 0, Bucha 5 5-7 15, Fetzer 1 0-0 2, Ja. Jones 4 5-7 14, Jo. Jones 2 1-2 6, Eminhizer 0 0-0 0, Barkett 0 1-2 1. TOTALS 14 16-24 46.
Clearfield – 64
Lynch 4 2-2 10, Kline 0 0-0 0, Hess 1 0-0 2, Walker 3 0-0 7, Lezzer 0 0-0 0, Gates 2 2-2 8, Wilson 7 7-8 22, Chew 3 0-0 7, Geppert 1 0-0 2, Lopez 0 0-0 0, Porter 2 0-0 6, Billotte 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 23 11-12 64.
Bald Eagle Area/Clearfield
Three-Point Field Goals: Ja. Jones, Jo. Jones/Walker, Gates (2), Wilson, Chew, Porter (2)
|12/08||CURWENSVILLE||54 – 52||1 – 0|
|12/13||CENTRAL||45 – 56||1 – 1|
|12/15||@ Huntingdon||62 – 85||1 – 2|
|12/20||@ Bellefonte||50 – 41||2 – 2|
|12/28||@ Purchase Line Christmas Tourney|
|12/28||vs. Harmony||73-31||3 – 2|
|12/29||@ Purchase Line Christmas Tourney|
|12/29||vs. Purchase Line||45 – 56||3 – 3|
|01/05||TYRONE||56 – 63||3 – 4|
|01/08||@ Punxsutawney||54 – 68||3 – 5|
|01/10||@ Bald Eagle Area||56 – 45||4 – 5|
|01/12||PENNS VALLEY||40 – 28||5 – 5|
|01/15||@ Clarion-Limestone||57 – 41||6 – 5|
|01/16||@ Philipsburg-Osceola||49 – 42||7 – 5|
|01/19||@ Central||46 – 50||7 – 6|
|01/22||DUBOIS||69 – 60 ot||8 – 6|
|01/24||HUNTINGDON||70 – 53||9 – 6|
|01/26||BELLEFONTE||42 – 35 ot||10 – 6|
|01/30||@ Tyrone||43 – 75||10 – 7|
|02/01||BROOKVILLE||38 – 40||10 – 8|
|02/02||BALD EAGLE AREA||64 – 46||11 – 8|
|02/07||@ Penns Valley|