Bison Seeking To Continue D-9 Title Streak Against Owls

HYDE — Success down the stretch guaranteed the Clearfield Area High School boys basketball team a winning record, and the Bison will be striving to continue that momentum Wednesday night when they shoot for a fifth consecutive District 9 championship.

The Bison, seeded No. 1 after a 12-10 regular season, will take on No. 2 Bradford in the Class AAAA title game on the DuBois Area High School hardwood.

Tipoff is set for 7:30 but will depend on the conclusion of the District 9 Class AAAA girls championship game between Punxsutawney and St. Marys that will start at 6 o’clock.

Clearfield’s title streak, which began with Class AAA crowns in 2015 and 2016 before the PIAA switched to six classifications, includes two semifinal wins over Bradford prior to last year’s 42-36 victory in the finals.

Coach Nate Glunt sees a lot of similarities between the Bison, who won six of their last nine outings, and the 11-12 Owls, who halted a five-game skid by defeating St. Marys 58-35 Friday night.

“They are a solid team, very comparable to us,” Glunt said. “It’s going to come down to who can execute and make shots.”

Both teams rely on tough, man-for-man defenses, which turned last year’s match-up into a low-scoring first half that found the Bison down 17-12 before going on an 18-0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters. Then they held off a late surge by the Owls.

If the Bison are to replicate that hard-earned win, they’ll have to keep Tyler Gigliotti in check, much like last year when the junior guard scored 11 points, four under his average.

The junior guard pumped in 26 points to propel Bradford past St. Marys in their semifinal duel.

“Gigliotti is an excellent player,” Glunt said. “He’s their ballhandling guard and has excellent quickness. He’s really skilled.”

“They have two or three other guards who are skilled and can shoot and a couple big guys who play really hard and are good rebounders.”

Donny Pattison, a 6-3 senior, had 11 rebounds against St. Marys and is backed up by 6-6 senior Blake Bryant.

Junior Steve Knowlton and senior Gavin Babcock contributed eight points apiece and junior Evan Schmidt added seven in the Owls’ win over the Flying Dutch.

Glunt will send out Cade Walker (18.9 ppg), Karson Rumsky (16.6 ppg), Andrew Lopez (7.6 ppg), Taye Lynch (5.7 ppg) and Keagan Hess (4.9 ppg) to start.

Coming off the bench will be Matt Pallo, Harrison Peacock, Luke Winters and Barrett Kline.

The Bison and Owls have three common opponents.

Clearfield beat DuBois 51-49 and Punxsutawney 56-50 while losing to Brookville 53-48.

Bradford split with DuBois, winning 60-56 in double overtime and losing 58-28, and Punxsutawney, winning 56-44 and losing 62-58. The Owls were swept by Brookville in two close games, 54-49 and 44-43.

The district champ will play the District 7 runner-up in the first round of the PIAA Tournament.

Wednesday’s WPIAL semifinals pit New Castle (19-4) against Highlands (17-7) and Quaker Valley (19-3) against Ambridge (15-8), with the winners to meet Saturday afternoon.

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 ppd. 11 – 10
02/18 @ Curwensville 61 – 50 12 – 10
02/27 District 9 AAAA Final @ DuBois
02/27 vs. Bradford

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