HYDE — Seniors Jeremy O’Dell and Kandyn Hudson gave the Clearfield boys basketball team a spark Thursday evening at Bison Gym, combining to score the first five points against visiting Curwensville.
The duo started alongside regular starting seniors Andrew Lopez and Cade Walker and sixth-man Harrison Peacock as the Bison celebrated Senior Night with an 80-17 win over the Golden Tide.
O’Dell, who has seen limited varsity time this season, delighted the home fans and his teammates by opening the scoring with bucket a minute into the game.
“It’s Jeremy’s first year out for basketball and were so happy to have him on the team,” Clearfield head coach Nate Glunt said. “He brings a positive attitude each day to practice. He encourages his teammates. And he’s going to the army this summer, and he’s going to be fantastic there.”
Hudson drilled a 3-pointer on the next possession, causing Tide head coach Matt Wassil to call a timeout as the Clearfield student section erupted.
“Kandyn works so hard. He’s a great kid,” Glunt said. “He made a couple big shots for us tonight, and I’m really happy with how he played.”
The quick start provided by O’Dell and Hudson carried over after the timeout as Glunt put his regular starting unit on the floor.
The Bison raced to a 15-2 lead after one.
“We had a great crowd. The community supports us so much,” Glunt said. “And it might have been the biggest student section we ever had. For Jeremy to get the first bucket and Kandyn to get the three was just huge.”
Walker, Karson Rumsky and Matt Pallo took over in the second quarter, scoring seven, 10 and nine points, respectively. Pallo was particularly sharp, making big plays on both ends of the floor.
“Matt has been coming on,” Glunt said, “He’s improving every single day. He’s just playing fantastic and peaking at the right time of the year.”
Clearfield hit nine 3-pointers in the first half, including a buzzer-beating trey from Walker, who sent the Bison to the locker room with a commanding 49-5 lead.
“Tonight was a sign in a way of the differences of where we’re at as programs,” Curwenville head coach Matt Wassil said. “It also is maybe a sign of the competition they play on a daily basis versus what we play. We get lulled sometimes into doing things at a slower speed because we’re capable of that against some of the teams we play.
“Clearfield is not a team you can play a slow pace against. Your cuts have to be crisper. Your cuts have to be faster. Your passes have to be crisper ... all those things. They’re playing a little higher competition on a nightly basis and they have to play like that all the time. So they played at a little bit faster speed than we played tonight, and that was a huge difference.”
The Bison got out to an 8-2 start in the third quarter before Glunt pulled his starters, including Lopez, Peacock and Walker, to an appreciative ovation from the crowd.
“They all bring something a little different to the team,” Glunt said. “Andrew with his leadership, both vocally and on off the court. Harry brings size and intensity, especially on defense. He does a great job on the boards and in our short corner offense. And Cade with his character on and off the floor, how hard he’s worked and for him to get 1,000 points and have the success he’s had is just special.”
The Bison didn’t miss a beat with the second team on the court, building the advantage to 66-11 by the end of three.
Curvey Purkett had six points in the quarter to lead the Bison.
Clearfield won the third quarter 13-6 to finalize the scoring.
Pallo led the Bison with 14 points, while Rumsky had 12 and Walker netted 11. Hudson added nine on three 3-pointers. The Bison had 14 different players score in the game.
Trevor Lansberry led the Tide with eight points.
The Tide dropped to 4-17 with the loss. Curwensville finishes its season today at Sheffield.
Clearfield ended the regular season slate with a record of 14-8.
The Bison are back in action Feb. 27 in the District 9 class 4A title game against Bradford. The game will be played at Clarion University at a time to be determined.
McGarry 1 2-2 4, Terry 0 0-0 0, Condon 2 1-2 5, Lansberry 2 4-5 8, Miller 0 0-0 0, Lezzer 0 0-0 0, Rowles 0 0-0 0, Swatsworth 0 0-0 0, Mullaney 0 0-0 0, Spencer 0 0-0 0, Colton 0 0-0 0, Lee 0 0-0 0. Totals: 5 7-9 17.
O’Dell 1 0-0 2, Hudson 3 0-0 9, Peacock 0 0-0 0, Lopez 1 0-0 2, Walker 5 0-0 11, Rumsky 5 0-0 12, Pallo 5 2-2 14, Winters 2 0-0 4, C. Miller 2 0-0 6, Purkett 3 0-0 6, Ryan 0 0-0 0, Gearhart 1 0-0 2, Billotte 1 0-0 2, Thompson 2 0-0 4, Way 2 0-0 4, Greslick 1 0-0 2. Totals: 34 2-2 80.
Three-pointers: Hudson 3, Pallo 2, Rumsky 2, Miller 2, Walker.
Score by Quarters
Curwensville 2 3 6 6—17
Clearfield 15 34 17 13—80