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Johnson Motors - 877-816-0659
Philipsburg-Osceola boys hold off Clearfield, 49-47
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
HYDE - For the second straight day, the Philipsburg-Osceola boys basketball team found itself with a double-digit lead in the second half. After gutting it out against Forest Hills on Monday night, the Mounties found themselves in a similar situation on Tuesday evening against Clearfield.
After the Bison took their first lead of the game with 2:20 left, P-O finished the game on a 6-3 run with Clearfield's three points coming on a 3-pointer in the last second of the game.
Alex Gray scored four of the Mounties' points down the stretch on a lay-in and a pair of clutch free throws to help hold off the Bison, 49-47 at the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium.
"We've been lucky these last couple of games to come out on top," said P-O head coach Dave McKnight. "Give credit to Clearfield. They fought their butts off. They just never gave up. There were times where we were up 10 or 12 points and they kept scrapping back into it. There are no easy wins in the Mountain League. It's all hard work and heart."
"I'm pleased with the win. That's a major win for us. It's a chance for us to gain some momentum heading into the second half."
"You can always say would've or could've," said Bison head coach Forrest Campman. "We've probably lost four or five games now where we had every opportunity to win the game. Most of them have been us coming out and sleepwalking through the first half and playing well in the second half.
"When we score 15 points in the first half, you can't win with that."
The Mounties opened the contest with a 9-4 lead, but Clearfield pulled itself to within a point to end the first quarter.
Christian Lezzer hit his first of six treys on the night, while Wyatt Westen's jumper before the buzzer put the game at 10-9 after the first quarter.
P-O forward Taylor Golemboski played sound defensive throughout the night, including in the first quarter where he grabbed six rebounds. The 6-foot-3 senior finished the night with 16 rebounds to his credit and scored six points.
Andrew Reifer also played well down low for the Mounties, scoring 12 points and picking up four rebounds.
"Taylor Golemboski did a heck of a job tonight," said McKnight. "He just stepped up his game tonight. He was all over the place getting rebounds. He really played hard tonight. Our inside game came through for us. Reifer is getting a little more aggressive. He's looking to shoot a little bit more. He came away with 12 points.
"That's what we need. We need different guys to step up and make plays."
The Mounties outscored Clearfield, 13-6, in the second quarter.
Lezzer scored all six points for the Bison on two 3-pointers. Matt Carpin had five points for P-O in the stanza, while Reifer had four.
"We can't stand around like we did in the first half," said Campman. "I thought we lost the game in the first half. I don't care what team we play. You can't have two guys score almost every point. You'll never win that way."
Clearfield cut the deficit to five points late in the third quarter, but Carpin drained the last of his three treys on the night to end the third quarter with the Mounties leading, 37-29.
Carpin ended his night with 19 points and six rebounds to lead P-O.
"I thought for the most part our kids played four quarters today, which is something we haven't done," said McKnight. "We got a little shaky at the end of the third quarter. Then we pulled it back together and played pretty well in the fourth quarter."
"We wanted to hold Carpin and (Eric) Nartatez to 12 points or under," said Campman.
"If the other guys hurt us, they hurt us. Their height helped them, and I think Nartatez made some nice passes for them and set them up for some decent shots."
With P-O up nine with 4:07 to play, Lezzer provided a spark for Clearfield.
The Bison junior connected on two 3-pointers in consecutive possessions and also had a pair of baskets later in the quarter to put his team ahead by one.
Gray's lay-in with 1:36 to go put the Mounties back in the lead by one. After trading possessions, Gray was sent to the line for a pair of free throws and drained both to put P-O up by three with 27 seconds to go.
The Mountie defense forced a turnover, and a baseball pass to Reifer on the other end for a layup sealed the deal for P-O.
"Eventually they were going to have to start fouling us, and we had to make foul shots," said McKnight. "I thought Alex Gray really stepped up and made those two free throws at the end. Those were critical foul shots.
"He just stepped up there as cool as a cucumber and knocked them both down. That's a senior coming out and doing what he has to do to help the team win."
"We played smarter tonight. At times, I thought we played more aggressively. It was just one of those games. I wouldn't have been surprised if we would've lost by 10. If we played them 10 times, we'd probably each have five wins. We're both really good programs with a lot of the same type of kids."
"Anytime you get a win in the Mountain League, I'll count my blessings."
In junior varsity action, the Mounties beat Clearfield, 37-32. Lewis Jones scored 15 points for P-O, while Erik Sellers and Derek Hryn each had eight points for the Bison.
P-O improved to 4-8 overall and 2-5 in the Mountain League and travels to Penn Cambria on Monday. Clearfield (3-9, 1-6) travels to St. Marys on Friday.

Nartatez 3 0-0 6, Carpin 7 2-3 19, Golemboski 1 4-12 6, Gray 2 2-2 6, Reifer 6 0-0 12, Maurer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 8-17 49.
Lezzer 10 0-0 26, Jordan 7 1-3 16, Janocko 1 1-2 3, Beardsley 0 0-0 0, Westen 1 0-0 2, Ford 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Sellers 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 2-5 47.
Three-pointers: Carpin 3; Lezzer 6, Jordan.
Score by Quarters
Philipsburg-Osceola 10 13 14 12-49
Clearfield                 9  6 14 18-47

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