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Clearfield's Dakota Farmery lays the ball in the hoop during the fourth quarter of Thursday's game with Curwensville. Farmery scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead the Lady Bison to a 60-52 win. (Photo by Rich Murawski)

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Farmery and Peters lead Clearfield girls to win over Curwensville
Friday, December 28, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - Dakota Farmery and Breanna Peters combined for 36 points and 30 rebounds Thursday night at Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium to lead the Clearfield girls basketball team to a 60-52 win over rival Curwensville in what Lady Bison head coach Joey Castagnolo coined the ‘Holiday Classic.'
The win was the second straight for Clearfield, which handed the Lady Tide their first loss of the season.
"We talked about winning two in a row and setting the tone for the new year," Castagnolo said. "This isn't as big a rivalry as it used to be, but it's still good for basketball around here. This was (Curwensville head coach) Rusty's (McCracken) and my idea to play this game two days after Christmas ... the Holiday Classic I call it.
"We wanted to come out strong. I said, ‘let's see what it's like to beat an undefeated team.' And it being Curwensville just added more to it."
Clearfield was firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, racing out to a 14-6 lead as Maggie Sopic scored six of her eight points in the run. The Lady Bison led, 19-12, at the end of the first quarter after shooting a red-hot 72.7 percent (8-of-11)from the field.
"We were patient," Castagnolo said of the first quarter. "We passed the ball well, and we ran the floor. It's starting to come together."
The Lady Bison upped the advantage to 30-14 late in the second quarter as Farmery and Peters started to assert themselves in the paint. Farmery netted three buckets, including two on offensive rebounds, in the 11-2 run to start the frame.
"It's tough to play six inches taller than you are," McCracken said. "We struggled. But Katrina Seaburn plays Dakota as hard as anybody. We had them frustrated at first when we were trying to front them and make them throw passes over the top of their heads. They threw a bunch of them away in the first half.
"But they got the technique down and they really started to hurt us."
Ciara Strickland canned a 3-pointer for the Lady Tide, and Tiara Shope added a basket inside to help Curwensville cut its deficit to 31-19 at the break.
Curwensville came out guns blazing in the third and was able to get to within nine of the lead on a couple occasions behind Becca Johnson, who hit a pair of 3s and was 5-of-6 from the field in the frame.
"Becca hit a couple threes that shortened it up a little (in the third)," McCracken said. "And we had a couple steals and scored a few transition baskets."
But while Johnson was doing her damage from the outside, Farmery and Peters continued to produce in the paint for the Lady Bison.
Farmery scored eight points in the third, while Peters netted seven as the Lady Bison led by 11 (49-38) heading into the final stanza.
Farmery scored 21 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and added three blocks and three steals to pace Clearfield. Peters added 15 points and a game-high 16 boards.
Clearfield held a 41-22 advantage on the glass.
"We dominated (inside). We did," Castagnolo said. "I know Curwensville tried their best, but that was just domination. There's nothing else I can say.
"Our posts played smart. They didn't try to force things like sometimes they do. What happened tonight was Bre was missing and Dakota was cleaning up the mess; the Bellefonte game was vice versa."
Kealy Wassil and Shope scored the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to cut Curwensville's deficit to 49-42 before a Farmery layup and a Peters free throw put the Lady Bison back on top by 10.
Shope hit a runner for Curwensville, but Tessa Munshower answered with a short jumper for the Lady Bison to keep it a 10-point game at 54-44. Munshower scored a varsity career-high 11 in the contest.
"I was happy with Tessa," Castagnolo said. "She scored in double figures, and she hasn't scored 11 points all year. Hopefully, now she thinks she's an offensive threat."
Curwensville went on a 6-0 run, keyed by a 3-pointer and a field goal from Johnson to get to within four of the Lady Bison, 54-50, with 2:25 left to play.
Johnson led all players with 23 points, hitting 10 of her 19 shots from the field.
"Becca Johnson was in foul trouble," McCracken said. "She probably missed about 10 minutes of the game, and she still had a pretty darn good game."
"I didn't realize she was that good of a shooter," Castagnolo said. "We'll be ready for her the next time."
Sopic broke the Lady Tide run with a jumper, Peters hit a pair of free throws and Farmery collected an offensive rebound and hit a putback while Curwensville went cold from the field.
Strickland's 10-footer as time expired was the only basket the Lady Tide scored in the final 2:25.
"We had a couple little mental lapses when we were down four and had a few shots at cutting the lead to two or less," McCracken said. "But we short-armed the ball or didn't take good, comfortable shots and came up short."
"I was impressed with them," Castagnolo said of the Lady Tide. "They didn't quit. They could have folded when we were up by 14 or 16 there at one time. But they didn't. They came back and gave us a heck of a game.
"I was a little unhappy with us down the stretch not making our foul shots like we usually do. Maybe it was fatigue."
Strickland scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists for the Lady Tide, who dipped to 4-1 with the loss.
"I give the girls all the credit. They didn't quit. They didn't give up," McCracken said. "You hate to say we had more to lose, but we kind of did. It's a good competitive game.
"We have best friends on both sides. We're more family than anything. But once the ball goes up in the air, they like to play hard against each other. We always seem to play hard against them, but we came up a little short."
Brittany Renaud handed out six assists for Clearfield, which upped its record to 3-5.
"I was happy with her," Castagnolo said of Renaud. "She doesn't have to score a lot of points. She puts the whole team on her shoulders breaking the press and getting the ball up the court. And she can make some nice passes. I was happy with her game. I was happy with our whole team. We played well.
"We're starting to mesh as a team because the injuries are done. And that's nice to put who I want out there in certain situations."
Clearfield won the jayvee contest, 39-26, to up its record to 3-3. Emily Ryan led the Lady Bison with 12, while Wassil's eight points paced Curwensville.
The Lady Bison are back in action Jan. 4 at Punxsutawney. Curwensville travels to Kane on Wednesday.

Thorp 1 0-1 2, Johnson 10 0-0 23, Strickland 5 3-4 14, Seaburn 2 1-2 5, Carter 0 0-0 0, Shope 3 0-2 6, Wassil 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 4-9 52.
Renaud 0 0-0 0, Munshower 5 1-1 11, Farmery 9 3-4 21, Sopic 4 0-1 8, Peters 4 7-14 15, Spencer 1 1-2 3, Ryan 0 0-0 0, Lash 0 0-0 0, Ishman 1 0-0 2, Aveni 0 0-0 0, Aycock 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 12-22 60.
Three-pointers: Johnson 3, Strickland.
Score by Quarters
  12  7 19 14-52
Clearfield      19 12 18 11-60


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