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Explosive fourth leads Bison over Eagles


By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – For three quarters, the Bald Eagle boys and Clearfield basketball teams were like two prize-fighters going after the gold. When a punch was thrown their way, the other would counter with a strong retaliation shot. Each had their moments of glory but in the end there would have to be a winner.

After getting in early foul trouble in the third, the game caught up to the Eagles as they weren’t able to continue its aggressiveness into the final stanza where the Bison were just as strong, outscoring the Eagles 31-10 in the end capturing a hard-fought 79-56 victory Tuesday night at Bald Eagle High School.

“We got into foul trouble. We have to stop doing stupid things. We had our big man swatting at shots that he shouldn’t be trying to. When your not deep and you have seven guys and you get two of your players in foul trouble, you can’t run with a team like that. I’m not saying my back ups can’t do it but they are in experienced. You can’t go into the fourth quarter with almost half your team on the bench in foul trouble. I have to get more experience on my bench because I have been only rotating six deep,” Bald Eagle coach Bill Butterworth said.

Leading the way for the home team was Jason Jones. Jones finished the night with a double-double, posting a team-high 20-point effort and 10-rebound finish. Jones also hit two long balls from beyond the three-point line.

Teammate Noah Chambers also hit two from three-point land en-route to a 13-point effort.

Clearfield finished with four of its players picking up double-figure scoring.

Tommy Hazel, who finished with a game-high 26 points, saved his best for last, picking up 13 in final period to help extend the Bison lead and capture the victory.

Erik Sellers and Will Myers were next in the scoring department, posting a 15-point and 14-point effort, rerspectively.

Rounding out the double-digit scorers for was Cody Spaid. Spaid was tough on the boards as well bringing down 10 rebounds to go with 11 points.

In the fourth, the Eagles trailed by just one bucket 48-46.

Clearfield opened the quarter, posting a quick 4-0 run led by Myers and Sellers via two jumpers.

After a quick Bald Eagle time out, the Eagles ended their scoreless streak when Brandon Gettig got fouled going to the basket. Gettig, who finished with nine points, hit one-of-two from the charity stripe, making it 52-47.

However, the dagger was thrown by the Bison on the following two possessions when Hazel drilled two consecutive triples, up its lead to 11.

Bald Eagle came back to cut its deficit to under double digits.

Jones went strong at the hoop, missed, and got his own rebound, making it 58-49 with 5:47 left.

“That in the fourth quarter was just us being in foul trouble, that’s all. When I put them out there they both had four fouls and they weren’t playing aggressive. That’s why it looked like Clearfield had the quicker step.”

Clearfield kept coming right at the heart of the Bald Eagle defense, once again going on a lengthy scoring run that saw the visitors go on a string of 8-1, building up its lead even stronger as the clock ticked down to under five minutes.

Trailing 66-50, Gettig gave his team a little to cheer about, posting up a sending a shot home way past the three-point line.

But with everything the Eagles did to try to comeback, the Bison had an answer.

Clearfield rounded out the contest, going on a 13-3 run en route to the 23-point victory.

Things started out differently for the Eagles, as they held onto to a 15-11 first quarter advantage. Bald Eagle Area was led by the Jones who posted eight field goals. Chambers also had a hot first period, roping two triples, giving the home team fans a lot to cheer about.

The Bison rallied back in the second quarter, taking a one-point lead into the intermission thanks to a 20-15 scoring period, making it 31-30 as the buzzer sounded to end the second quarter.

Leading the charge in the quarter was Clearfield’s Myers, who posted six points in the period. Trey Butterworth led the Eagles in scoring in the quarter with six points as well.

Another close quarter in the third as the Bison barley outscored the Eagles once again to take a 2-point 48-46 lead into the final stanza.

In JV action, the Bison took the contest as well by a 62-25 margin.

Bald Eagle will be back at home today as it hosts a high-tempo Mount Union team at 7:30 p.m.


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