Bison Hang Tough To Turn Back Chucks 56-50

Andrew Lopez iced the game when he canned his free throws late in the fourth (Photo by Jay Siegel)

HYDE — Coming off three tough losses in the last four games and facing a likely District 9 Class AAAA playoff opponent, the Clearfield Area High School boys basketball team had to really scrap once more to hold off Punxsutawney 56-50 in the Bison Gym Monday night.

“It was a win against a well-coached team that shoots the ball well, that plays hard, that plays aggressively,” Clearfield coach Nate Glunt stated. “I knew it was gonna be a battle.”

Sophomore Karson Rumsky scored 17 points, including a trio of three-pointers, to front a four-pronged attack that accounted for all but four of the Bison’s points.

Junior Harrison Peacock, who had to pick up the slack after Taye Lynch went down with an ankle injury one minute after the tip-off, responded with a career-best 13 points, and classmates Cade Walker and Andrew Lopez chipped in with 11 apiece.

Walker wound up with a double-double by dominating under the boards for 15 rebounds that were instrumental in the Bison’s 35-29 advantage.

“I challenged him after the Ligonier Valley game,” Glunt said. “I said, ‘Cade, you’ve gotta get 10 rebounds a game.’

And he has. I thought he played fantastic, boxing out. He did a good job.”

While the Bison had the upper hand most of the way, they could never put the Chucks away as the visitors were able to answer every mini-run.

Clearfield didn’t secure its sixth win in 10 games until Lopez swished four consecutive foul shots in the final 28 seconds.

He had put the Bison ahead for keeps early in the fourth quarter with two free throws that broke a 43-43 tie.

Then, Keagan Hess dished to Walker for an easy deuce and followed up with a layup off a Lopez pass.

Punxsy (4-5) refused to go away, though, and closed to 51-50 with a minute remaining before Walker and Lopez sealed it at the line, capping Clearfield’s 9-for-11 showing in the final period.

“At one point, we were two-for-seven, but then the kids stepped up during crunch time,” Glunt said. “They’ve done a much better job in practice on concentrating on their form, on their footwork, and it paid off when it really mattered.”

Trifectas by Rumsky and Lopez keyed the Bison’s 10-5 start, but the Chucks overtook them, 15-14, at the first rest stop thanks to a zone press that caused many of Clearfield’s 15 turnovers in the first half.

“We haven’t been pressed for a while, and I thought we were okay,” Glunt said. “We’ve just been focusing on defense in practice, because I thought our defense hasn’t been as strong as it needs to be.

“And we decided to dribble through the press against a well-coached team. We needed to pass the ball. We’ve got to work on our passing, because sometimes we didn’t break and we threw bad passes.”

Punxsy’s third and last lead was 23-21 midway through the second quarter, but the only points in the final four minutes were Walker’s short jumper and Peacock’s pair of free throws as Clearfield tightened up its switching man defense.

“We had a big defensive practice (Sunday), and it paid off,” Glunt said. “I thought our defense was really good.”

Rumsky’s two free throws and a three-pointer from the right corner expanded the Bison’s lead to 30-23 at the outset of the third quarter, but the Chucks rallied to draw even once again.

Then, Peacock stepped up to spark a 9-1 run that gave the Bison their biggest lead, 39-31, with 3:22 left in the period by draining a three from the right side, converting a Hess pass and driving the lane for a scoop basket.

“Harry hasn’t played since ninth grade, but he was absolutely fantastic,” Glunt said. “He’s been playing, but tonight he was in for the majority of the game.”

But again, Punxsy made the Clearfield fans a little nervous by cutting the margin to 43-40 going to the fourth quarter, which began with Ethan Blose canning a three-pointer to tie it up for the seventh time.

The Bison dug deep to pull it out, though.

Glunt is hoping the victory proves pivotal as the Bison prepare to resume their Mountain League schedule with a trip to Spring Mills to play Penns Valley Wednesday.

“We’ve got a lot of inexperience, these guys are going through growing pains,” he noted. “We’re learning to play together, learning what we’re supposed to in situations where we haven’t practiced. Things come up in a game, and you can’t practice for everything.

You’ve just gotta go through the process, and they’re doing a good job of that.”

Micah Kriebel and Blose paced the Chucks with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Punxsy’s junior varsity won the prelim 51-38.

PUNXSUTAWNEY — 50

Carter Newcome 1 0-0 2, Daren Myers 3 0-0 8, Evan Humble 2 0-0 4, Micah Kriebel 4 3-4 13, Ethan Blose 4 2-2 12, Andrew Wehrle 0 0-0 0, Ethan Presloid 1 0-0 2, Cam Smith 2 0-0 5, Damon Dyson 0 0-0 0, Nick Humble 3 0-0 8.  TOTALS:  18  7-10  50.

CLEARFIELD — 56

Taye Lynch 0 0-0 0, Cade Walker 5 1-3 11, Karson Rumsky 5 4-4 17, Keagan Hess 2 0-2 4, Andrew Lopez 2 6-7 11, Harrison Peacock 5 2-3 13, Matt Pallo 0 0-1 0, Barrett Kline 0 0-0 0, Luke Winters 0 0-0 0.  TOTALS:  19  13-20  56.

Three-Point Field Goals – Punxsutawney 7 (Kriebel 2, Blose 2, Smith 1, N. Humble 2); Clearfield 5 (Rumsky 3, Lopez 1, Peacock 1).

Score by Quarters

Punxsutawney   15    8  17  10  –  50

Clearfield           14  11  18  13 –  56

Officials – Chris Sherkel, Al Price and Rich Dickinson.

Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/07 CURWENSVILLE 77 – 32 1 – 0
12/10 WEST BRANCH 57 – 33 2 – 0
12/12 BALD EAGLE AREA 73 – 48 3 – 0
12/14 HUNTINGDON 53 – 63 3 – 1
12/17 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 64 – 47 4 – 1
12/21 TYRONE 42 – 50 4 – 2
12/27 @ Purchase Line Tourney
12/27 vs. Ligonier Valley 78 – 80 4 – 3
12/28 vs. Harmony 56 – 83 5 – 3
01/04 @ Brookville 48 – 53 5 – 4
01/07 PUNXSUTAWNEY 56 – 50 6 – 4
01/09 @ Penns Valley
01/11 CENTRAL
01/15 @ Bellefonte
01/18 @ Bald Eagle Area
01/21 @ DuBois
01/23 @ Huntingdon
01/25 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA
01/29 @ Tyrone
02/01 PENNS VALLEY
02/06 @ Central
02/08 BELLEFONTE
02/13 @ Curwensville

Penns Valley Runs Away From Lady Bison 71-32
Monday's Lady Tide Game Postponed

Leave a Reply