HYDE — The Clearfield boys basketball team bucked an early-season trend Friday evening, outscoring visiting Penns Valley 21-7 in the third quarter on the way to a 40-28 victory at Bison Gym.
The Bison, who have had fits in the third quarter much of the season, trailed 10-4 at the half after a defensively-charged first two quarters.
“We really needed that,” Clearfield head coach Nate Glunt said of the third quarter. “You only score four points in the first half and then have a bad third quarter, you’re looking at something like 22-6 at the end of the it.
“But our kids came out with so much energy. I challenged them at halftime, and they stepped up.”
After hitting just 2 of their 17 shots in the first half, the Bison came out on fire in the third quarter, going on a quick 8-0 run to take the lead. Clearfield ended the frame hitting eight of its 13 shots and turned a 6-point halftime deficit into an 8-point advantage heading to the fourth.
Reese Wilson scored a pair of 3-pointers and totaled eight points in the quarter, while Ryan Chew netted four points on two circus shots that energized Bison Gymnasium.
The Bison also crashed the boards in the frame, outrebounding the Rams 7-2 in the frame on the way to a 31-15 advantage on the night.
“Reese hit a couple big threes, Chew had a couple unbelievable finishes and Cade and Taye were just unbelievable on the boards,” Glunt said. “It was just a great team effort in the third quarter.”
The momentum carried over into the early part of the fourth as Clearfield opened on a 10-0 run to extend its lead to 35-17 by the midway point of the quarter.
Penns Valley was able to come up with a 6-0 run of its own to cut the deficit to 12 at 35-23, but that’s as close as the Rams got.
“We came out well in the fourth, but we have to do a better job of finishing and I’ll take responsibility for that,” Glunt said. “But we’ll get better at that. I’m just proud of the kids.
“And the community supported us. We’re supposed to get bad roads and this place was packed. The community came out to support our kids and we are so thankful for that. It gives the kids energy. It really does and we are so thankful.”
Penns Valley led 8-2 after one quarter, led by Logan Snyder’s 6 points on two treys.
Neither team could find a bucket in the second quarter, which was scoreless until Wilson hit a short jumper with less than four minutes reamining.
Penns Valley scored its one and only bucket of the quarter in the waning seconds on a Cameron Shaffer layup.
The Rams were 4-of-15 from the field in the half.
“We had maybe three layups that we missed inside (in the first half), but they’re so patient on offense,” Glunt said. “You can play solid defense, and they’ll just keep passing the ball, not really looking to score. So the score is going to be low unless you turn them over, and we were able to do that in the third quarter.
“And I have to give our defense credit. If you hold a well-coached team to 10 points in the first half, I’ll take that.”
Wilson led the Bison with 17 points and added eight rebounds. Walker scored seven points and pulled down nine boards, while Chew had eight points, five rebounds and three steals.
Shaffer paced the Rams with 10 points and five rebounds.
Clearfield improved to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain League, while the Rams slipped to 3-7 overall and 1-5 in league play.
The Bison are back in action Monday at Clarion-Limestone.
Breon 0 0-0 0, A. Tobias 1 1-2 3, Snyder 2 1-1 7, Shaffer 3 4-6 10, Romig 0 0-0 0, Kines 1 2-2 4, Narber 0 0-0
0, G. Ripka 0 0-0 0, S. Ripka 0 2-2 2, Martin 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0. Totals: 8 10-14 28.
Walker 2 3-4 7, Chew 4 0-0 8, Lynch 2 0-0 4, Porter 0 1-2 1, Wilson 5 5-7 17, Lopez 0 0-0 0, Gates 1 0-0 3, Hess 0 0-0 0, Rumsky 0 0-0 0, Kline 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 9-13 40.
Three-pointers: Snyder 2. Wilson 2, Gates.
Score by Quarters
Penns Valley 8 2 7 11—28
Clearfield 2 2 21 15—40