HYDE– Coming off of a strong victory on the road against P-O, it was finally the moment that the Lady Bison had been waiting for since the start of the season. After a season-opening tournament, and a travel log spanning four days, Clearfield’s new head coach Missy Helsel finally got to bring her girls into the Bison Gymnasium for their first game in front of the Clearfield faithful on Friday night. The opposition, the Lady Golden Tigers from Hollidaysburg.
The night would not go as expected for the squad clad in white, because Hollidaysburg would overpower, overtake, and dominate from opening tip to final buzzer, in a 69-30 rout that left the entire Lady Bison sideline frustrated.
“This was an absolute tough one to open the home slate,” Helsel said afterwards. “Hollidaysburg is very well coached, and you could see they have played a lot of basketball. They just were physical, strong, and we could not match it.”
Clearfield’s opening possession would tie the score up at a bucket each, but at that point the visitors turned on the pressure, forcing 10 turnovers in the opening quarter. At one point, the Lady Golden Tigers would run up a 10-0 stretch in the quarter, but didn’t stop there. At the end of one, Hollidaysburg had a commanding 26-8 lead that saw them only allow 10 shots at the basket, with only two making their way in. Clearfield struggled from the floor not just in shooting percentage, but opportunities, finishing just 8-for-24 on the night.
“They were playing tight inside, and we couldn’t penetrate. They had size and defensively, they played smart,” Helsel said. “I told the girls that is what we need to be doing. We are a young team, and this is a big learning experience.”
Hollidaysburg in the end forced 22 Bison turnovers, including six that came before Clearfield ever crossed half-court, leading to easy buckets.
Clearfield went into halftime trailing 45-16, but it was Hollidaysburg that would put up the key final basket courtesy of Bella Vent, to hit the 35-point threshold and putting the running clock into effect in the second half.
The Lady Golden Tigers saw a quartet post double figures on the night, with Marin Miller leading all scorers with 16 points, followed by Alison Hatejik adding in 14, plus Vent and Sydney Lear each adding in 11.
For Clearfield, Emma Hipps led the Lady Bison with nine points, while Hannah Glunt added in another seven.
In the opener, Clearfield also fell to the Lady Golden Tigers, 44-24, in junior varsity action.
Although frustrated, Helsel knew there were opportunities to improve, which is why she had the team in the locker room for an extra amount of time before coming out to speak. As she said, “It is a tough loss in our own Bison Gym. We knew this would be a tough game coming in, offensively and defensively. We are going to see that pressure all year in the Mountain League, but our girls have a lot of heart.
“We are going to continue working on how to box out, getting to and being in the right position, and have success.”
Clearfield (1-3) has one remaining game before school lets out for Christmas break, that coming on Tuesday, December 21, as the Lady Bison head on the road once more to face the Lady Eagles of Bald Eagle Area. Junior varsity tips off at 6 p.m. with the varsity to follow.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Hollidaysburg 26 19 11 13 – 69
Clearfield 8 8 5 9 – 30
HOLLIDAYSBURG – 69
Camryn Figard 3 0-0 6, Marin Miller 8 0-0 16, Alison Hatajik 4 6-6 14, Sydney Lear 5 0-0 11, Ashden Stitt 1 2-2 4, Hannah DiPangrazio 1 0-0 2, Drew Kordish 1 0-0 2, Sam Shoemaker 0 3-4 3, Isabella Yohn 0 0-0 0, Bella Vent 5 1-2 11, Alissa Hein 0 0-0 0, Emerson Frazier 0 0-0 0, Alexis Peacock 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Lenhart 0 0-2 0, Emma Hayer 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 28 12-16 60.
CLEARFIELD – 30
Emma Hipps 2 5-6 9, Alaina Fedder 0 0-0 0, McKenna Lanager 0 0-0 0, Riley Ryen 2 0-0 4, Taylor Hudson 0 0-0 0, Cayleigh Walker 2 0-0 4, Alayna Winters 1 4-4 6, Hannah Glunt 1 5-6 7. TOTALS 8 13-16 30.
Three-Point Shots: Lear