HYDE — Having to adapt to an ever-changing schedule meant the Clearfield Bison cagers had to wait all through December and into January to finally hit the hardwood. To make it more challenging, the team couldn’t even hit the court to practice because of surges in cases within the school. With the DuBois Beavers coming in on Wednesday night, the Bison Gymnasium was the first time in almost a week that the team would be together.
But, with a solid foundation, the teams hit the court and competed hard, as expected. Unfortunately, the Beavers were dealing heavy on the outside, and Clearfield simply could not keep up, dropping the season-opener to the Beavers, 76-62.
“Those kids work really hard at shooting the ball,” Clearfield Head Coach Nate Glunt said afterwards. “They were open, and when DuBois is open, they are going to make those shots. If we can keep teams out of the paint, like that performance tonight, we have a chance.”
The Beavers finished the night 12-for-21 from three-point range, with four players hitting baskets from either the baseline, top of the key, or the post. Jordin Sommers hit four, while Nick Felix and Nick Farrell each had three, and Lennon Lindholm added a pair. Lindholm finished with a team-high 16 points, while Somers and Felix added in 15 each. Michael Orzechowski also hit double-figures with 11 points.
Clearfield ended the first quarter up by one, but as the game wore on, the fact that the team could not practice together made it hard to keep up. DuBois entered the night already with a pair of games under their belt. The Bison, meanwhile, had to abide by some school regulations as a surge in cases meant having to stay home, and that meant no time on the court. Conditioning became a factor, and Glunt could tell his team was getting tired.
“Our guys, they battled. I was so proud. We got down 16 points, and we could’ve easily gotten a little careless or sloppy, but they didn’t,” he said of his team. “They finished the game strong.
“The kids came out ready to play; they were excited.”
Despite the uphill circumstances the Bison were facing, the team came out and showed they had a lot of potential. Three starters were able to get into double figures, with Karson Rumsky leading all scorers with 21 points, while both Matt Pallo and Cole Miller finished with 13 a piece. Clearfield also started the season solid at the foul line, finishing the night 20-for-24 from the charity stripe.
Clearfield dropped the opening junior varsity contest as well, 44-25.
Despite starting the season with a loss, Glunt felt proud to see his team back on the court, despite all the outside factors that were out of his control, and knew that there would be little time to put the loss behind them. Clearfield is once again back on the home court on Thursday night, as they will open up Mountain League play by hosting Penns Valley. The Bison and Rams split their two games a season ago, with Clearfield taking a 50-38 win on their home court in the first contest, then Penns Valley getting their revenge on their hardwood, 38-29.
Opening tip for the junior varsity is at 6 p.m. with varsity to follow.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Dubois 16 23 14 23 – 76
Clearfield 17 14 13 18 – 62
DUBOIS – 76
Sommers 5 1-1 15, Felix 5 2-2 15, Farrell 3 0-0 9, Lindholm 6 2-2 16, Woodward 3 0-0 6, Jaramillo 0 0-0 0, Kovalyak 0 0-0 0, Foradora 0 0-0 0, Husted 1 0-0 2, Pasternak 1 0-1 2, Orzechowski 4 3-4 11. TOTALS 28 8-10 76.
CLEARFIELD – 62
Pallo 3 7-8 13, Ryan 1 2-2 4, Winters 2 1-2 5, Rumsky 6 8-8 21, Miller 5 2-2 13, Gearhart 2 0-0 6, Lezzer 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 19 20-24 62.
Three-Point Shooting: Sommers (4), Felix (3), Farrell (3), Lindholm (2)/Rumsky, Miller, Gearhart (2)