Lady Bison Have Plenty of Inspiration for 9-AAAA Semi

HYDE — A return trip to the District 9 Class AAAA championship game should be motivation enough, but the Clearfield Area High School girls basketball team will have a couple extra incentives for its 7:30 semifinal game at St. Marys Thursday night.

One is revenge for a 52-35 loss in the Dutch Oven Jan. 15 when the Lady Bison turned in one of their worst shooting performances of the season.

The other is making a statement to prove they are better than their 8-14 report card.

“I think we have more talent than that,” professed coach Joey Castagnolo, who had projected his 19th Lady Bison team to end up on the winning side of the ledger.

He pointed out the Lady Bison shot only 26 percent in the regular season meeting, 29 on twos and 21 on threes.

“That’s why I think we have a shot even though they’re on their home court,” he said.

The Lady Dutch earned the No. 2 seed in the three-team tourney with an 11-11 finish, but the teams appear to be more evenly matched than their records.

The only difference as far as results against common opponents is the Lady Dutch’s 43-42 win against DuBois Feb. 2.

Clearfield was beaten 41-36 by the Lady Beavers, 41-24 by top-seeded Punxsutawney and 65-48 by Brookville.

St. Marys fell to DuBois 47-45, Punxsy 47-35 and 49-37 and Brookville 48-33 and 46-28.

The former District 9 League rivals posted victories against two other teams.

The Lady Bison defeated Curwensville 45-15 and 52-21 and Clarion Limestone 60-19, while the Lady Dutch bested Curwensville 37-24 and Clarion-Limestone 83-42.

Their point differentials are similar, too.

Clearfield averages 43.6 points on offense and 46.2 on defense. The St. Marys numbers are 40.4 and 42.7, respectively.

Both teams were 3-3 down the stretch.

The Lady Dutch, who use a nine-player rotation, bank on a trio of guards for most of their scoring with Kaylee Muccio averaging 8.3 points, Megan Quesenberry at 7.4 and Bekka Bauer at 7.1.

Bauer is one of only two seniors on a roster that shows three sophomores, including Muccio and Quesenberry, and four freshmen.

“They’re not very big, but they’re awfully quick,” Castagnolo said. “I scouted them against Smethport, and they drove the ball a lot. They did have about five threes.

“They must have had an off night against us, because they made only one of 11. But they saw openings in our zone to score inside. They shot 45 percent on twos.”

Playmaker Alayna Ryan, a junior, leads the Lady Bison offense with 14.2 points and 134 assists. She also keys the 1-3-1 match-up zone defense with 134 steals.

Senior Brooke Cline has picked up her scoring pace in the last seven games, including three 20-point efforts, to reach double figures at 10.3 ppg.

Next are freshman Megan Durandetta, the main three-point threat with 47 and 7.6 ppg and senior Nikki Brossard at 7.5 ppg.

Sophomore Tesa Miller (2.3 ppg) will be the other starter.

Miller (8.1 rpg) and Brossard (8.0 rpg) give the Lady Bison a size advantage under the boards. They also have 36 and 34 blocks, respectively.

“Our posts have to get more involved,” Castagnolo said. “Last time, Brossard had only two points and Miller had zero.

“And Brooke had only two, but she and Brossard got in foul trouble and didn’t have that many shots.”

Senior Karlie Gisewhite usually is the first player to sub, followed by McLain Alt or Adrian Rowles, both sophomores.

“Rowles has really improved and probably will be the first post off the bench,” Castagnolo said. “Alt is a little injured, so I don’t know how much she can play.”

The Lady Bison, who beat Curwensville for the second time early last week, will be trying to accomplish something they failed to achieve during the regular season, and that’s secure two wins in a row in the game that will follow the District 9 Class AA boys quarterfinal between Curwensville and Coudersport.

The winner will advance to next week’s championship game against three-time champion Punxsutawney (17-5) at a site, date and time to be determined.

Lady Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
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
01/05 @ Tyrone ppd. 3 – 6
01/09 BALD EAGLE AREA 45 – 22 4 – 6
01/12 @ Penns Valley 30 – 53 4 – 7
01/15 @ St. Marys 35 – 53 4 – 8
01/17 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 65 – 58 5 – 8
01/19 CENTRAL 26 – 40 5 – 9
01/20 @ Tyrone 37 – 60 5 – 10
01/23 @ Huntingdon 50 – 55 5 – 11
01/26 @ Bellefonte 62 – 60 6 – 11
01/31 TYRONE 41 – 65 6 – 12
02/02 @ Bald Eagle Area 35 – 33 7 – 12
02/06 PENNS VALLEY 42 – 46 7 – 13
02/09 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 62 – 70 7 – 14
02/13 CURWENSVILLE 52 – 21 8 – 14
02/22 District 9 AAAA Semi-finals
02/22 @ St. Marys

 

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