Foul Shooting Stops Tyrone Comeback in Lady Bison Home Finale

HYDE — Senior Night for the Lady Bison was on Tuesday, as that had been the plan all season long.  But, it was not the home finale.  Thanks to Mother Nature, one final home contest was left on the schedule.  The opposition, a strong Tyrone squad that outright embarrassed Clearfield earlier in the season, winning by nearly 60 points, 73-17, back on Dec. 21.

Something happened between then and now, and even between Tuesday and Wednesday.  Clearfield was firing like a perfectly performing engine.  That engine ran so well that the Lady Bison was nearly perfect when given free opportunities for points, and rode it to a thrilling 59-51 triumph over the Lady Golden Eagles.

How good was the Lady Bison at the charity stripe?  Clearfield was at the line on 22 occasions.  Of those opportunities, only one shot missed the mark.

The amazing fact about those shots…not one came in the first half.  For head coach Joey Castagnolo, it was in his eyes one of the biggest wins of his entire career.

“The game was so similar (to last night).  We were leading at halftime, and I said ‘Let’s not have another let down in the second half,’ but we nearly did,” he said.  “This time, the girls wouldn’t let it continue.”

Tyrone got the opening basket on a deep three by Stephanie Ramsey, but Clearfield would not let that first shot effect their night as Alayna Ryan answered right back with a basket.  Clearfield then went to work forcing some unforeseen shots on the perimeter, as Tyrone attempted 13 shots in the first quarter, but only two went in the net.  After one, Clearfield held a 12-5 advantage, but they were beating Tyrone on more than just the scoreboard.

Throughout the entire game, Clearfield was aggressive getting to the basketball, gaining offensive and defensive rebounds.  Clearfield won the boards, 37-25, thanks particularly in part by Tesa Miller, who finished the night with a double-double thanks to 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Clearfield saw their lead evaporate a bit in the second quarter, but held the advantage 27-19 heading into halftime.  After the break, however, things got interesting.

Tyrone began chipping into the lead and eventually used an 8-0 run to tie the game thanks to another three-point shot by Shannon Shaw.  Tyrone made 12 shots from behind the arc on the night, and seemed to be finding stride.  But, immediately after, Megan Durandetta hit probably the shot of the night to keep momentum on the side of the home squad.

“She’s an opportunist.  Megan has made those type of buckets all year,” Castagnolo said.  “We had many big shots tonight.  Just an excellent team effort.”

The entire Lady Bison squad had reason to smile in their home finale.

Clearfield was trading blows back-and-forth all night long, but no matter what Tyrone threw at them on offense or defense, the Golden Eagles had no answer for the lone senior on the squad, Alayna Ryan.  Every opportunity she had to take charge and be the leader, she took it.  Ryan would not just head to the basket for her own buckets, but also was dishing to her teammates.

When she wasn’t making shots, she kept being aggressive in getting to the basket, and on this night, putting her at the foul line was a guarantee.

Ryan finished the night with a game-high 31 points, her second-best effort on the season, including being a perfect 10-for-10 at the foul line.

“They just couldn’t cover her.  That is total, all-out effort by Alayna,” Castagnolo said of his star point guard.

Clearfield was perfect in the third quarter at the foul line, but found themselves ahead by only a basket 38-36 heading into the fourth quarter.  The Lady Bison had to start on defense in the final quarter, but even with Tyrone for a brief few moments, the team was not wanting a second let down in front of their home crowd in just as many nights.  That was when Ryan took charge, but also saw the emergence of an emerging player who has improved as the season progressed.

Olivia Bender got the opportunity to become a starter as the year went on, and on this night she contributed her best game with eight rebounds, four of which came in the second half including a strong pull down on defense following a missed basket.

“Olivia is getting quicker, and is beginning to understand the game a lot better.  Honestly, she made a big difference under the basket,” he said of Bender.

Tyrone had a pair of players in double figures as Ramsey finished with 21 points, all of which came from deep range, and Sydney Shaw added in another 17.

Clearfield fell in the opening jayvee game, 29-12.

Afterwards, when he heard the final statistics on the foul shooting, Castagnolo told the team and was giving high-fives to every player.  But when he heard the fact that his team did not take one of those shots in the first half, his eyes seemed to pop right out of their sockets.  As he stood back, watching his team pose for one final home photo, it dawned on him what this night meant to him, his team, and the entire Lady Bison program.

“That is simply unbelievable.  “We beat a great team tonight,” Castagnolo said with a smile.  “I have never beaten Tyrone, ever.  Since they have been in the Mountain League, I have never beaten them.  Aside from the District IX championship, this is the best win of my career.”

Clearfield (8-12) has two games to close out the year, each on the road, beginning on Friday when they travel to face Bellefonte.  The Lady Bison fell to the Lady Red Raiders back on January 16, 54-48.  Tip off is at 6 p.m. for junior varsity.


Tyrone   5   14   17   15  –  51
Clearfield   12   15   11   21  –  59

Tyrone – 51

Ramsey 7 0-0 21, Fusco 0 0-0 0, Sh. Shaw 1 0-0 3, Ronan 0 0-0 0, Getz 1 0-4 2, Parker 2 4-7 8, Sy. Shaw 5 3-4 17, Brodzina 0 0-0 0, Welsh 0 0-0 0.  TOTALS 16 7-15 51.

Clearfield – 59

Durandetta 1 0-0 3, Hipps 1 2-2 4, Ryan 10 10-10 31, Van Tassel 0 0-0 0, Rowles 0 0-0 0, Alt 0 0-0 0, Rhine 0 0-0 0, Bender 4 0-0 8, Miller 2 9-10 13.  TOTALS 18 21-22 59.


Shooting:  16-59/18-56

Rebounds:  25/37

Fouls:  14/14

Turnovers:  20/15

Three-Point Shots:  Ramsey (7), Sh. Shaw, Sy. Shaw (4)/Durandetta, Ryan

Fouled Out:  Getz/Bender

Lady Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/07 & 08 @ Brookville Tip-off Tourney
12/07 vs. Brookville 30 – 54 0 – 1
12/08 vs. Clarion-Limestone 58 – 30 1 – 1
12/11 @ Bald Eagle Area 27 – 31 1 – 2
12/14 @ Huntingdon 42 – 72 1 – 3
12/17 BROOKVILLE 57 – 53 2 – 3
12/19 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 59 – 50 3 – 3
12/21 @ Tyrone 17 – 73 3 – 4
12/27 CURWENSVILLE 60 – 36 4 – 4
01/04 @ Punxsutawney 27 – 50 4 – 5
01/08 PENNS VALLEY 32 – 71 4 – 6
01/11 @ Central 54 – 37 5 – 6
01/14 DUBOIS 42 – 40 ot 6 – 6
01/16 BELLEFONTE 54 – 48 6 – 7
01/18 BALD EAGLE AREA 43 – 38 7 – 7
01/22 HUNTINGDON 52 – 54 7 – 8
01/23 ST. MARYS 31 – 43 7 – 9
01/25 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 45 – 56 7 – 10
01/30 TYRONE ppd. 7 – 10
02/01 @ Penns Valley 24 – 55 7 – 11
02/05 CENTRAL 32 – 43 7 – 12
02/06 TYRONE 59 – 51 8 – 12
02/08 @ Bellefonte
02/12 @ Curwensville


11th Annual Clearfield Bison Duals On Saturday
Scarlet Dragons Defeat Bison 44-34

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