Bison Make Senior Night Special By Upending Red Raiders

Taye Lynch, with parents Phyllis and Dan Lynch

Keagan Hess with parents Brandy and Pete Hess

Barrett Kline with parents Lisa and Barry Kline

HYDE — What was a late-season game between two Mountain League boys basketball teams with nothing at stake as far as the standings turned into a playoff-type donnybrook which ended with the Clearfield cagers keeping Bellefonte at bay in the thrilling second half for a very-satisfying 58-50 revenge win to delight the hometown fans in the large Bison Gym crowd Friday night.

The Bison fed off the extra incentives of atoning for a 78-56 road loss on Jan. 15, having their seniors honored prior to tip-off and playing in front of the coaches and most of the players who were part of the 1989 District 9 Class AAAA championship team.

“It was a playoff atmosphere, absolutely,” Clearfield coach Nate Glunt said. “A packed gym. The 1989 team coming back, which was awesome. That was so cool. Just so thankful to be part of this.

“Then, just our team stepping up. The kids played fantastic. For us to come out and play as well as we did against a well-coached team with a lot of talent, I’m so happy for them.”

Cade Walker and Karson Rumsky scored 17 points and Taye Lynch chimed in with 12 as the Bison climbed back over the .500 plateau at 11-10.

Andrew Lopez just missed joining them in double-figures, scoring nine points to go with seven boards that tied Walker for rebounding laurels and doling out five assists.

The Bison and Red Raiders (12-7) were separated by only a few points much of the time, though the only tie scores were at five in the early going and 31 and 33 in the third quarter.

“Both teams really wanted to win,” Glunt said. “We’re fighting for a winning season. We’ve still got a lot to play for. We’re trying to improve so that we’re playing our best at the end of the year.

“And I have a lot of respect for (Bellefonte coach) Chris (Glunt) and how they run their program.”

The Bison came out of the gate slowly, and the Red Raiders held their only lead at 5-2 after two minutes.

Senior Barrett Kline, getting a start after being introduced along with classmates Lynch and Keagan Hess during pre-game ceremonies that also included senior cheerleaders and statisticians, drew a rousing cheer from the student section when he canned a three-pointer from the right corner to knot the score.

“How about Barrett on Senior Night?” Glunt said. “That was a huge three. It was a pressure shot when it really meant a lot. And he played really good defense in the second half.”

Rumsky, a smooth-shooting sophomore, then stepped into the limelight, rippling the nets for 13 that had Clearfield ahead 18-11 with two minutes gone in the second period.

Back-to-back treys and a difficult, hanging putback at the first-period buzzer had the Bison on top 13-8, and he followed up with two free throws and a deep three-pointer from the right wing. He had outscored the Red Raiders 13-11 at that point.

“He was playing really well,” Glunt said. “He had great rhythm on his threes. He shot that one that I said, ‘No! Yes!’ It was an NBA three.”

Bellefonte, getting five points from Caleb Rockey inside, cut the margin to 22-21 with 2:45 left in the half before two free throws by Walker and one by Lopez put Clearfield up by four at the break.

Walker took his turn fronting the Bison offense in the third period with nine of the 13 points that had the Red Raiders facing a 38-33 deficit.

Glunt pointed out that the paint opened up for the junior forward because the Red Raiders were running Rumsky off the three-point line.

“They weren’t letting him get good shots,” he said. “They were closing out hard, and that creates space inside.”

Walker made them pay by whirling to his left after the Bison were finding him open in the paint, two of his four baskets coming on Lopez feeds.

“In the second half, we just challenged the kids and told them we don’t want to shoot the threes, we’ve gotta get the ball inside. Once we did, we just kept getting inside.”

Lopez added buckets on a pretty floater in the lane and a layup on a press-break pass from Walker in addition to playing a key role in breaking the Bellefonte press.

“He’s just a tough kid,” Glunt said. “He does a great job getting those 50-50 loose balls. He has no fear. He just throws his body around trying to make a play and help the team.”

It became Taye Time in the fourth quarter.

Lynch used his quickness and leaping ability to net all five of his shots, two off outstanding passes from Hess, two on drives and one on a short jumper.

“That’s what Taye does,” Glunt said. “He just keeps playing, getting offensive rebounds, attacking the basket, being active on defense. He has positive energy all the time, and we feed off that.

“And he’s our guy taking the ball out of bounds on the press. He gets us into our offense. That first pass is hard against a press. Get that in, now we’re in business and we’re able to score. We attack. Don’t let them attack us.”

Bellefonte’s chances took a hit when Rockey, a bulky 6-3 senior, fouled out with six minutes left when Lynch stepped in to take a charge.

“He’s a big boy and it’s hard to stop him,” Glunt said. “Just a great play by Taye.”

The Raiders switched from a zone to a man defense in the fourth quarter, which proved fortunate for the Bison as they missed only one of seven shots by penetrating to score at point-blank range or draw fouls.

“Once they went man, now we’re in our comfort zone,” Glunt said. “We were able to drive a little bit and Keagan had a couple nice dishes to Taye. Taye had a couple big buckets.

“They were just able to execute at a really high level against a good team.”

Along with Lynch, Rumsky and Lopez kept Clearfield ahead by sinking four free throws apiece.

Rumsky’s two sets of two came with the lead down to two for the fourth and fifth times at the 2:36 and 1:31 marks.

Lopez sealed it with 35 seconds on the clock.

“They played as a team, they really did,” Glunt said. “The kids have been very resilient through the whole season. They’ve done a great job stepping up in tough games against good competition and well-coached teams.

“I couldn’t be prouder of how they played tonight.”

And he closed praising their defensive effort.

“We gave up almost 80 points the first time,” he noted. “And we gave up 50 this time. It’s just fantastic.”

The Bison, who finished 6-8 in the Mountain League, will bring down the curtain on the regular season with a trip to Curwensville Wednesday.

Head coach Pat Gahr, assistants Jerry McCracken, Scott McCracken and Forrest Campman and 10 players from the 1988-89 team who traveled from near and far were introduced during a well-received halftime ceremony.

The Clearfield junior varsity, led by Matt Pallo’s 16 points, set the stage for a sweep with a 42-27 win in the prelim.

BELLEFONTE — 50

Joey Maggs 0 0-0 0, Nae Tice 2 0-0 6, Ben McCartney 5 1-1 13, Noah Badger 3 0-0 6, Caleb Rockey 2 5-6 9, Nick Fisher 1 3-4 6, Isaiah Nadolsky 1 2-2 4, Bailey Decker 2 0-0 6.  TOTALS:  16  11-13  50.

CLEARFIELD — 58

Taye Lynch 6 0-2 12, Cade Walker 7 3-5 17, Karson Rumsky 4 6-6 17, Keagan Hess 0 0-0 0, Barrett Kline 1 0-0 3, Andrew Lopez 2 5-9 9, Harrison Peacock 0 0-0 0, Matt Pallo 0 0-0 0.  TOTALS:  20  14-22  58.

Three-Point Field Goals – Bellefonte 7 (Tice 2, McCartney 2, Decker 2, Fisher 1); Clearfield 4 (Rumsky 3, Kline 1).

Score by Quarters

Bellefonte   8  13  12  17  –  50

Clearfield  13  12  13  20  –  58

Officials – Emory Faith, Scott Sullivan and Chuck Pasternak.

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 83 – 56 5 – 3
01/04 @ Brookville 48 – 53 5 – 4
01/07 PUNXSUTAWNEY 56 – 50 6 – 4
01/09 @ Penns Valley 47 – 59 6 – 5
01/11 CENTRAL 44 – 53 6 – 6
01/15 @ Bellefonte 56 – 78 6 – 7
01/18 @ Bald Eagle Area 57 – 55 7 – 7
01/21 @ DuBois 51 – 49 8 – 7
01/23 @ Huntingdon 48 – 87 8 – 8
01/25 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 59 – 50 9 – 8
01/29 @ Tyrone 34 – 52 9 – 9
02/01 PENNS VALLEY 56 – 38 10 – 9
02/06 @ Central 34 – 44 10 – 10
02/08 BELLEFONTE 58 – 50 11 – 10
02/13 @ Curwensville

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