HYDE — The Clearfield Lady Bisons returned home on Thursday night hoping to get back into the win column. Despite losing to Philipsburg-Osceola on Tuesday, head coach Joey Castagnolo was happy with how his team performed as the game was a back-and-forth contest.
Back on their home court, Clearfield welcomed the Lady Wildcats of Central Mountain in a battle of Mountain League teams.
What the fans in attendance got to see was a very physical, and extremely fast-paced game between the two schools. Ultimately, it was the pressure of the Central Mountain defense that got to Clearfield as the man-to-man press coverage forced key turnovers. The Lady Wildcats capitalized on nearly all of them as they defeated the Lady Bisons, 57-48.
“The press defense doomed us again,” Castagnolo said on the court after the game. “There defense was tough all night. We just didn’t capitalize when we needed to.
“They would make a bucket and then immediately get a turnover and grab another. Then we’d go down and score on the next possession. All night it was them scoring four [points] to our two.”
That was extremely evident as Central Mountain had two scorers in double digits, highlighted by Rimma Heverly, who led with a team-high 22 points, 12 coming in the second quarter.
“Most teams have many different players we need to keep focused on, but Central Mountain doesn’t. She is a great player, we just lost her a lot of times,” Castagnolo said.
Sarah Jensen landed in double-digits as well as she put up 12 points on the board.
For Clearfield, center Dakota Farmery led the team with another double-double, accounting for 17 points and 14 rebounds. Kristen Butler also added 12 points, while Lisa Ambuski was the leader in assists with 11.
In the early going Central Mountain got out by nine points on Clearfield using the full-court press and forcing the turnovers. But, after a quarter of play, what was a double-digit lead was down to five as Clearfield soon found a way to compensate for the pressure. At halftime, Clearfield was only down by seven, something Castagnolo liked to an extent.
“I really felt good at halftime. We needed a few nice steps and we weren’t chasing as much. So, heading into the half I was really confident,” Castagnolo said.
Despite the loss, the final quarter of play was the best played by Clearfield of the entire game. Known more for their zone defense, Castagnolo had his team switch to a half-court press, which caught Central Mountain off guard and had them on a 6-0 run before the Lady Wildcats scored the final bucket of the game.
“I was really proud of our fourth quarter. We have a lot of speed on our team, and it surprised them a little bit,” Castagnolo said.
Clearfield did pick up a victory in the junior varsity game, 40-25.
Despite the 1-6 record, Castagnolo was all smiles at the end of the night.
“We’re all learning as a team. This is a big confidence boost, especially how we finished. You know, this is still the Mountain League, so it’s tough. But, absolutely, this gives us a huge confidence boost into the next one.”
That next game will come Friday night as the Lady Bisons hit the court for the final time this week as they host DuBois. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. for the junior varsity contest, with the varsity to follow.
See photos of the game: http://www.ladybisonsports.org/lbsbball010611.html
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central Mountain 15 15 19 8 57
Clearfield 10 13 14 11 48
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN 57
K. Walker 0 0-0 0, S. Walker 0 0-0 0, Ke. Heckman 0 2-2 2, Lowery 1 1-2 4, Jensen 6 0-1 12, Williams 0 0-0 0, Royer 3 0-0 6, Smith 2 0-2 4, Garbrick 0 0-0 0, Heverly 10 0-0 22, Ka. Heckman 3 0-0 7. TOTALS 25 3-7 57
Ryan 0 0-0 0, Butler 6 0-2 12, Renaud 0 0-0 0, Ambuski 2 0-0 4, Thompson 3 0-0 6, Marsh 0 1-4 1, Peters 3 2-2 8, Sheeder 0 0-0 0, Farmery 8 1-2 17. TOTALS 22 4-10 48
Field Goals Made/Attempted: CM-25/65 CF-22/59
Rebounds: CM-28 CF-26
Team Fouls: CM-10 CF-7
Turnovers: CM-17 CF-24
Three-Point Shots: CM-Lowery, Ka. Heckman, Heverly (3); CF-None