WINGATE — Every game this season for the Clearfield Lady Bison tells a story, with some chapters representing tough moments, but countered with a lot of positive moments as well. On Friday, the team had a setback on their season with their third loss, but as the new week approached a new opportunity arrived as head coach Joey Castagnolo and his staff made the trip to Wingate for another Mountain League contest, this time against the Lady Eagles of Bald Eagle Area.
Early on, the visiting squad found itself in a hole, much like they did just days earlier. But, this night, they channeled some energy from their most recent victory. The team didn’t panic, nor make mental miscues, and made their shots count. Clearfield finished the night stunning Bald Eagle, 42-38, earning their fifth win in eight games.
Castagnolo was ecstatic after the game, stating, “The girls never got rattled when we were down double digits in the first half. We played really tough defense in the fourth quarter, hit some crucial baskets, and made our foul shots.”
The opening quarter did not look promising to the Lady Bison, who quickly found themselves in a hole after an 8-0 run to start the contest. The first eight minutes did not get any better as the Lady Eagles dropped 21 points on Clearfield, while holding the Lady Bison to just eight points on the board. But, the second quarter started to see a turnaround, as Bald Eagle again held Clearfield to just eight points in the quarter. But, defensively, Clearfield started contesting shots, and managed to hold Bald Eagle as well to eight points in the quarter. At the half the game was 29-16, but things took a dramatic turn once the teams returned from the locker room.
Bald Eagle suddenly found itself struggling, as Clearfield held them off the scoreboard until the 3:28 mark in the third quarter, winning the third stanza at an 11-5 rate.
Clearfield methodically worked its way back into the game, taking its first lead with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, 37-36, following a Lady Eagle turnover that led to a Megan Durandetta three-pointer at the wing. That ultimately would be the final lead change in the game.
All the while, the Lady Eagles were struggling to put the ball in the net on their end. The home squad only could manage nine points in the second 16 minutes of the game, as anything from jump shots to layups, and even free throws, were not leading to baskets. This led Bald Eagle to force Clearfield to the free throw line, but when the pressure was on, the shots would find their mark, and in the end would be enough to solidify the Lady Bison comeback in what could be one of their best games this early in the season.
Emma Hipps paced the Lady Bison with a game-high 15 points, while Paige Rhine nailed down her second double-double in as many games, racking up 11 points with 15 rebounds. But it was the foul shooting that made the biggest difference, as Castagnolo mentioned. Clearfield would finish just over 50 percent from the charity stripe, 13-for-24, but in the final quarter the Lady Bison would go 6-for-8, a 75 percent accuracy rate in eight minutes. On the opposite side, Bald Eagle would only go 4-for-13 at the line all game long, just a hair over 30 percent.
The Lady Eagles only saw Maddie Perry finish in double figures on the night with 12 points.
After the long stretch of games to start the season, finally the Lady Bison get a break between contests as they are not back in action until Thursday when they host Tyrone. Varsity tip off is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Clearfield 8 8 11 15 – 42
Bald Eagle 21 8 5 4 – 38
CLEARFIELD – 42
Riley Ryen 2 3-4 8, Cayleigh Walker 2 0-2 4, Emma Hipps 4 7-10 15, Paige Rhine 4 3-6 11, Megan Durandetta 1 0-0 3, Alaina Fedder 0 1-2 1, Lauryn Kitchen 0 0-0 0, Alayna Winters 0 0-0 0, Ally Gaines 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 13-24 42.
BALD EAGLE – 38
Kristen Onder 1 0-0 2, Georgia Lingle 2 4-6 9, Maddie Perry 6 0-2 12, Sarah Holler 3 0-0 6, Kierra Serb 2 0-0 4, Abby Hoover 2 0-4 5, Katie Snyder 0 0-1 0, Hailey Bucha 0 0-0 0, Charlotte Lingle 0 0-0 0, Angelina Grieb 0 0-0 0, Ember Herr 0 0-0 0, Olivia Boone 0 0-0 0, Maddie Smith 0 0-0 0, Khloe Cunningham 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 16 4-13 38.