On Tuesday, the Clearfield boys side triumphed in a commanding win over Bald Eagle, while the girls side fell to Punxsutawney.
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Clearfield Boys 61, Bald Eagle Area 27
It was an old-school feeling on Tuesday night for the Clearfield Bison round-ballers. The uniforms looked familiar, the warmups felt familiar, but something was very different. Due to the Monday night postponement, the Bison had little time to figure out when to make up their Mountain League contest against the Bald Eagle Area Eagles. With the Lady Bison already slated to be inside the Bison Gym, the boys made the move up the hall, and returned to the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium for the first time in seven years.
None of the players on either squad had ever played a game on the hardwood in the former Bison Basketball home court, but once the ball was tipped, it all felt familiar. It felt very familiar to Clearfield who got out to an early lead, and never let up on defense as they took home the 61-27 victory at night’s end.
“This was a total team effort tonight,” Bison Head Coach Nate Glunt said afterwards. “I told the team in the locker room this was better than our last practice. We played strong defense, adapted, and made good decisions.”
Early on, those decisions led to quick points as the Bison would roll out to an 11-0 lead before Bald Eagle Head Coach Chris Glunt (no relation) called the first timeout of the game. The Eagles could not find their footing the entire first quarter, as they failed to convert on eight shots from the floor, and their lone point in the first eight minutes came via a free throw by Hayden Vaughn. On the opposite side, Clearfield was converting from deep, in the paint, on the wing, and at the charity stripe to take an 18-1 advantage after one quarter.
The Bison defense kept the pressure up in the second quarter, led by Karson Rumsky, who pulled away three of his four steals in the first half. Rumsky converted those steals to smart play in transition, as he helped his teammates get to the basket, an unselfish act that didn’t go unnoticed by his coach.
“I think Karson’s play defensively really set the tone for us. We wanted to play up-tempo, and Karson got some big steals and pass defenses early,” Glunt said. “On offense, Bald Eagle had a unique defense going as they had three playing zone, but then two were man-to-man against Karson and Cole (Miller). What that did was open up opportunities for guys like Luke (Winters) and he took advantage.
Rumsky would lead all scorers with 18 points on the night, but Winters added in another 11 himself, all coming in the first half, plus four assists and a pair of steals. Nick Ryan would add in another 10 points, making for three Bison starters in double figures for the night.
The Bison held a 39-12 advantage after halftime, and it only took approximately three minutes to see the Bison hit the Mercy Rule gap to put the running clock into effect. A majority of the starters got pulled in the fourth quarter as the Bison bench and junior varsity got valuable minutes. The junior varsity already had a 41-37 victory in the opening contest, and were continuing to show that the future was looking bright for the next season of Bison basketball.
Glunt already knew that the time on the year was coming to a close, but he was solely focused on the current moment, and knew the work wasn’t done.
“We’ve been fortunate this year to just play, and that’s a win. We got one more tomorrow,” he said. “Anytime you go to Punxsutawney, you know it’s going to be a challenge. They are a tough opponent.”
Clearfield takes it’s 16-5 record into its final game of the regular season on Wednesday night against the Chucks, with a tip off for the varsity at 7:30 p.m.
Punxsutawney 54, Clearfield Girls 24
It was a week ago that the Lady Bison had an opportunity to be on the hardwood for competition, as, thanks to winter weather, practices and games have been halted and adjusted. Finally, Clearfield had a chance to step back into the Bison Gymnasium and see if the layoff was helpful. The challenge, however, was the opposition, as the undefeated Lady Chucks of Punxsutawney were looking to continuing that streak.
Early on, Clearfield stayed with the visitors in red, and made it a challenge to get any momentum. But, unfortunately, the Chucks proved why they were ranked in Class 3A, as they overpowered the Lady Bison to take a 54-24 victory, and handing Clearfield its ninth loss on the season.
In the opening stanza, neither side had a definitive advantage. Punxsutawney held the 9-4 advantage after the first quarter, but the Lady Bison kept the visitors honest, and looked to move forward and keep it close in the second quarter.
That proved easier said than done as Punxsutawney forced the Lady Bison to make tough decisions, and forced turnovers, while playing strong defense. Combined, the Chucks put up 20 points in the second quarter, 18 of which came from Sarah Weaver, Riley Presbid and Chloe Presbid, combined. Add in the defense of the visitors holding Clearfield to just nine points, and it made for a decisive second quarter as the Chucks took a double-digit lead, 29-13, into halftime that never waivered.
Weaver would lead all scorers on the night with 17 points, while Chloe Presbid accounted for another 14.
The third quarter was most of the same for the Bison as they were out-muscled 16-7. Clearfield never escaped the single digits in scoring, both in the quarter and as a team. Cayleigh Walker accounted for a team-high nine points, while Paige Rhine chipped in another seven.
The Lady Bison (8-9) have four more games in as many days, as they will be on the road Wednesday night when they travel to face DuBois Central Catholic. The Lady Cardinals just faced the Lady Bison one week earlier, with Clearfield taking the 53-44 triumph. Tip-off is slated for 7:15 p.m.