HYDE — A cold morning was in the air outside the Bison Gymnasium, and it was a cold and tough night for the Clearfield Bison after a heartbreaking loss the night prior against Tyrone. But, they had to quickly turn around and get refocused because they had a tough day in store on the hardwood. At the same time, the visiting Curwensville Golden Tide had a near-comeback on Friday night against Brockway fall short, so each team had something to prove with an early tip-off.
There was no question who rebounded better as the hosting Bison led at every outset of the contest, leading to an 85-22 rout of the visiting Tide that ended under the running clock.
“It was a good bounce back. We seem to play better after games rather than after practice,” Bison coach Nate Glunt said afterwards. “The kids did a really good job. We ran the floor well, played unselfish, and did a great job competing.”
“After we practice, we come out for a game and for some reason we don’t execute as well rather than after playing games. So, we were ready to go (after yesterday).”
At the same time, Curwensville head coach Matt Wassil didn’t attribute the quick turnaround as to a reason why his team struggled.
“They (Clearfield) played last night at Tyrone, and I just give Nate credit, they are really good,” Wassil said. “They put us in bad situations, and changed defenses on us to confuse our guys, and that led to turnovers and some bad decisions.”
Things went south quickly as Clearfield opened up the game with a 12-2 run that forced Wassil to call a pair of timeouts within the first four minutes of the opening quarter. Curwensville struggled from the floor, committing 11 turnovers in the first eight minutes, which led to fast breaks for Clearfield and opened up a 23-7 advantage after one. The Tide struggled from the floor, finishing just 8-for-30 shooting, and committed 27 turnovers.
Clearfield’s full-court press to start the game made it hard to penetrate for Curwensville, and Clearfield took advantage when they did manage to get across midcourt, forcing contested shots and preventing second opportunities with rebounds.
After the second quarter, Clearfield held a 55-15 advantage, setting the Mercy Rule clock in motion once teams emerged from the locker room.
Clearfield played well against the Tide’s top two scorers, Ty Terry and Trevor Lansberry. Terry would finish with a team-high 13 points, but Lansberry struggled with finding opportunities to shoot, finishing with one basket on the afternoon. Wassil acknowledged that his team has struggled this year, not necessarily scoring, but finding ways to take the pressure off Lansberry and Terry.
“That’s been our problem, honestly, all year. Regardless of Trevor’s struggles today, he and Ty have carried our scoring, but we’ve lacked that third scorer or that conglomerate of guys who can score,” he said. “I think if we can start getting more offensive production from some of our other guys, from some of our previous games, we could have switched some of those scores.
“I think going forward, it’s going to be about not having to rely on Trevor and Ty for everything. They are going to give us great production most nights, but we need production from our third, fourth, and fifth guys in order to start winning games.”
Clearfield, meanwhile, played more full-court press than they have at any point in the season, and Glunt mentioned that it wasn’t something he wanted to do right away to start the year.
“At the beginning of the season, I was hesitant to go to a full-court press, but we have nine guys that we are playing, so we have to start getting them (opposing teams) to push it down the floor more,” Glunt said. “I was hesitant with us playing games back-to-back-to-back to use it, but the guys have proved to me they like playing like that, so we’re just going to start running the floor.”
“When we give our guys space, we give them opportunities to score.”
The running clock in the second half gave the Clearfield starters a chance to rest as the bench took over midway through the third quarter, and still managed to put up 30 points in the second half. Overall, the entire Bison team would put points on the board, with Karson Rumsky topping everyone with 22 points plus five rebounds, while Cole Miller contributed another 12. Nasheed Thompson played well off the bench with eight points, while Isakk Way added in five rebounds.
Curwensville (1-5) has a bit of a break before they return to the court, but will do so on Monday when they host Harmony at Patton Hall. Wassil joked about how they hadn’t hosted a game in nearly a year, then will be hosting three in the next five.
“It felt pretty good (to be home on Friday), and the kids played really good for not practicing for four days because the high school had a short quarantine,” Wassil said, “But it’s going to be fun to play in front of the parents.”
Clearfield (7-3), meanwhile, had to get refocused rather quickly since their next game was in just a few hours against Central.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Curwensville 7 8 6 1 – 22
Clearfield 23 32 19 11 – 85
CURWENSVILLE – 22
Trevor Lansberry 1 0-0 2, Ty Terry 5 0-0 13, Scott Condon 1 0-0 2, Mike Lezzer 0 0-0 0, Jason Roles 0 0-0 0, Dan McGarry 0 0-0 0, Carson Spencer 0 1-2 1, Landon Swatsworth 1 2-4 4, Tyler Lee 0 0-0 0, Ayden Sutika 0 0-0 0, Ty Colton 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 8 3-6 22.
CLEARFIELD – 85
Matt Pallo 3 1-3 7, Nick Ryan 2 0-0 4, Luke Winters 2 0-0 4, Karson Rumsky 9 2-2 22, Cole Miller 5 0-0 14, Ryan Gearhart 2 0-0 6, Jake Lezzer 1 1-2 3, Morgan Billotte 3 0-0 6, Isakk Way 1 0-0 2, Andon Greslick 1 0-0 3, Nasheed Thompson 4 0-1 8, Curvy Purkett 1 0-0 2, Luke Pallo 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 36 4-8 85.
Three-Point Shots: Terry-3/Rumsky-2, Miller-4, Gearhart-2, Greslick