Ryan’s 36 Points Lead Lady Bison Past Lady Tide 59-38

CURWENSVILLE — Senior guard Alyana Ryan dribbled her way to the basket time after time for layups in a 36-point performance that propelled Clearfield past Curwensville 59-38 in spirited high school girls basketball action at Patton Hall Friday evening.

The large crowd on hand for the non-league makeup saw Ryan force the Lady Tide to switch from zone to man defense because of her driving ability and then flash past defenders when they went one-on-one.

She was most impressive during the middle two quarters with 21 of the Lady Bison’s 28 points, including all 10 in the second period, en route to passing Mika Lugue (Class of 1993) for fourth place on Clearfield’s all-time scoring list.

Ryan, whose four-year total has risen to 1,154 points, showcased her all-around talent with four assists, five rebounds, five steals and harassing defense at the top of the Lady Bison zone.

“She’s a very good player, and it showed,” Curwensville coach Bob Desmett said.

He could have said the same about his own standout, Madi Weber.

The Lady Tide senior closed her special career with 18 hard-earned points for a 1,309 total that is second in the history of the Curwensville program only to 2016 graduate Ciara Strickland’s 1,525 points.

In addition, Weber pulled down 15 missed shots and made four steals.

“She’s gonna be missed,” said Desmett, who has been her coach the last two seasons.

Clearfield coach Joey Castagnolo appreciated what he was watching when Ryan and Weber were matched up on both ends of the floor.

“It was nice to see those two go after each other,” he said. “It might be a long time before you see something like that again.”

Turnovers were the most telling statistic for the rematch of the Christmas Classic which had a similar ending, 60-36.

Curwensville wound up with 31, many of which were outright giveaways due to traveling or errant passes, while Clearfield had only 14.

“Too many turnovers and too many missed foul shots,” Desmett said. “And we didn’t play a slow-enough tempo. We didn’t want to get up and down the floor with them.”

Clearfield set the pace with a zone press that led to turnovers in five of Curwensville’s first 10 possessions.

The other five resulted in missed shots while the Lady Bison were jumping out to a 9-0 lead before Weber grabbed a rebound and took it the other way for a lefthanded layup midway through the first period.

Four Lady Bison contributed to an ensuing 9-1 run capped by McLain Alt’s three-pointer.

The visitors carried an 18-5 advantage into the second quarter that began with Ryan making it 24-5 with two driving layups around a basket off a fast-break pass from Emma Hipps.

The Lady Tide didn’t back down, though, and inched their way back by netting nine of 14 free throws to cut their deficit to 12.

“They never quit,” Desmett said. “It’s the one thing I can honestly say I hope the younger girls get from the older girls. Just keep chipping away.”

“We got a little sloppy,” Castagnolo said. “I called a timeout and told the kids, ‘Let’s clean it up.’”

Order was restored, although the Lady Tide kept scrapping and trailed 35-23 three minutes into the second half.

“I had to put the press back on because we seemed to lose our confidence,” Castagnolo said. “And just to get us moving.”

Still, Curwensville closed to within 10 again at 42-32 before Ryan drove for two and Alt drained a shot from the right corner in the final minute of the third quarter.

One minute into the final period, Clearfield had sealed the issue on a jumper and a steal by Ryan and a turnaround by Tesa Miller, who finished with eight points and eight rebounds despite being hampered by foul trouble.

Olivia Bender topped the Lady Bison with nine boards, and Paige Rhine came off the bench to haul in seven.

“I liked how my two posts (Miller and Rhine) kept their composure in the fourth quarter,” Castagnolo said. “Both were playing with four fouls and they still stayed aggressive.”

The Lady Tide made it a real battle for missed shots, though, and emerged with a 45-41 advantage as Bakaysa, a freshman, backed up Weber by snaring 13 rebounds.

“We were getting rebounds, but we just couldn’t get shots back up,” Desmett said. “I wish it would have been a different outcome for the seniors, but there’s not much you can do about that when you play a quality team.”

Starters Kaitlyn McCracken and Brittney Wagner are the other Lady Tide seniors.

“I’m just proud of them,” Desmett said. “I’m proud of all of them. They never quit.”

Curwensville finished 5-17.

Clearfield is 9-13 for the start of the District 9 Class AAAA Playoffs, and the win served as a needed tuneup for Wednesday’s semifinal game at St. Marys.

“I was treating it that way because of the early start, the first game of a doubleheader and the atmosphere,” Castagnolo said. “That’s what we’re gonna face in the playoffs.”

St. Marys (15-6) is the No. 2 seed behind Punxsutawney, which was handed its first loss by Bradford, 44-43, Friday night after winning its previous 21 games.

CLEARFIELD — 59

Megan Durandetta 1 0-2 3, Emma Hipps 1 1-2 3, Olivia Bender 0 0-0 0, Tesa Miller 4 0-0 8, Alayna Ryan 15 5-8 36, Paige Rhine 2 0-0 4, Adrian Rowles 0 0-0 0, McLain Alt 2 0-0 5, Kylie Van Tassel 0 0-0 0.  TOTALS:  25  6-12  59.

CURWENSVILLE — 38

Tarah Jacobson 3 2-2 8, Kaitlyn McCracken 0 3-6 3, Brittney Wagner 0 0-0 0, Madi Weber 6 6-10 18, Briana Swindell 0 0-2 0, Hannah Condon 0 1-2 1, Alyssa Bakaysa 3 1-2 7, Kyra Henry 0 1-2 1.  TOTALS:  12  14-24  38.

Three-Point Field Goals – Clearfield 3 (Durandetta 1, Ryan 1, Alt 1).

Score by Quarters

Clearfield     18  10  18  13  –  59

Curwensville  5  11  16    6  –  38

Officials – Dave Gardner, Andy Sorbera and Scott Way.

Final Lady Tide Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/07 WEST BRANCH 23 – 64 0 – 1
12/10 MO VALLEY 54 – 62 0 – 2
12/13 @ Harmony 47 – 40 1 – 2
12/19 @ Ridgway 38 – 50 1 – 3
12/27 @ Clearfield 36 – 60 1 – 4
01/04 BROCKWAY 32 – 34 1 – 5
01/07 UNION ppd. 1 – 5
01/09 DUBOIS CENTRAL 44 – 66 1 – 6
01/10 HARMONY 62 – 32 2 – 6
01/14 UNION 52 – 47 3 – 6
01/15 @ Elk County Catholic 42 – 61 3 – 7
01/16 @ Glendale 40 – 53 3 – 8
01/18 KANE 34 – 53 3 – 9
01/22 RIDGWAY 44 – 49 3 – 10
01/24 @ Philipsburg-Osceola ppd. 3 – 10
01/25 @ Brockway 45 – 40 4 – 10
01/30 GLENDALE ppd. 4 – 10
02/01 JOHNSONBURG 33 – 58 4 – 11
02/04 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 36 – 64 4 – 12
02/05 @ DuBois Central 43 – 52 4 – 13
02/06 @ West Branch 39 – 55 4 – 14
02/08 @ Sheffield 58 – 22 5 – 14
02/09 GLENDALE 50 – 59 5 – 15
02/11 @ Mo Valley ppd. 5 – 15
02/12 CLEARFIELD ppd. 5 – 15
02/14 @ Mo Valley 51 – 73 5 – 16
02/15 CLEARFIELD 38 – 59 5 – 17

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