High School Basketball: Lady Eagles lose nail biter to Clearfield, 35-33 at home
By KENNY VARNER
FOR THE EXPRESS
WINGATE – In a fourth quarter showdown, the Bald Eagle Area girls basketball team took Clearfield down to the wire Friday night in a nail biting contest.
Trailing 32-30 with 30 seconds left, Lacee Barnhart stood tall and roped a clutch triple, putting her Eagles ahead, temporarily.
However, Clearfield’s floor leader Alyanna Ryan hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final seconds to lead the Bison to the 35-33 victory Friday night at the Bald Eagle Area gym.
“I think it’s evident to everybody how much better we are getting. Right now we are at the point where we are trying to learn how to win and I think that’s one thing we are trying to learn now,” Bald Eagle Area coach Darin Hazel said. “They have been giving a lot of effort now and I think they have a lot of people rooting for them to get that win and get over the hump. Four of the last six games we had the lead going into the fourth quarter and that’s new to them.”
Bald Eagle was led by the scoring effort Barnhart who netted nine points, six of her points came from three-point range. Barnhart also finished with four rebounds on the night.
Teammate Sarah Holler and Rachel Veneziano tallied a 5-and 4-rebound effort, respectively.
Ryan led the Bison with 17 and was the only player in the game that finished in double figures.
Going into the final stanza, the Eagles and the Bison were knitted at 22.
Clearfield took back the lead when Nicollette Brossard was alone underneath and went up for the easy bucket.
On the following BEA possession, Morgan Chambers cut the lead in half, hitting one-of-two from the free throw line.
Things looked grim early in the period for Bald Eagle as Clearfield went on an early 6-0 run. In that run, Ryan had four of the six points, upping Clearfield’s lead to 30-23.
But the Eagles refused to go away as Holler kept the game in check as she pulled down a clutch rebound and put it back up and was fouled on the scoring attempt. The shot went in and she proceeded to connect on the free throw as well, cutting it to a 30-26 contest.
But Clearfield went up by six on the Bisons’ following possession when Ryan went in traffic and put up a runner in the lane.
Once again, Bald Eagle battled back, Alexis Bucha hit a jumper in with 3:00 to go.
With time hitting the 1:16 mark, the Lady Eagles cut the lead to two thanks to a strong jumper from Barnhart, setting up the final drama of the night.
On the Bisons’ next possession, Bald Eagle forced Ryan to turn the ball over.
The Eagles called a time out to get its players in the right position to score.
Coming out of the timeout, the Lady Eagles got the ball to sharpshooting Barnhart and she hit the triple to take the lead with just 30 ticks on the clock.
But there was too much time left as Ryan went right at the Eagles defense and was fouled on back-to-back possessions. She hit three-of-four to put the Bison ahead for good, 35-33.
In the opening period, the Bison outscored the Eagles 11-7.
The second quarter, both teams went back and forth with Ryan hitting a long two at the buzzer to take a 17-16 lead into the intermission.
The Lady Eagles will try to take that next step today as they will be back in action.
Clearfield 11 6 5 13 – 35
Bald Eagle Area. 7 9 6 11 – 33
Scoring: Clearfield – Alayna Ryan 7 3-6 17, Nicollette Brossard 3 1-3 7, McClain Alt 1 0-0 2, Adrian Rowles 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 4-9 35. Bald Eagle Area – Lacee Barnhart 3 0-0 9, Lexi Skripek 3 0-0 6, Megan Chambers 1 3-5 5, Alexis Bucha 2 0-2 4, Rachel Veneziano 2 0-0 4, Sarah Holler 2 1-1 5. Totals 13 4-8 33.
Played but didn’t score- Clearfield Tesa Miller 0 0-0 0, Megan Durandetta 0 0-0 0, Paige Rhine 0 0-0 0, Karlie Guisewhite 0 0-0 0, Kyle Vantassel 0 0-0 0. Bald Eagle Area – Georgia Cingle 0 0-0 0, Mariah Veneziano 0 0-0 0, Raleigh Cunningham 0 0-0 0.