Home » Uncategorized » Punxsy boys win first D9 title since 2005 knocking off Clearfield 54-35 in Class AAA

Punxsy boys win first D9 title since 2005 knocking off Clearfield 54-35 in Class AAA

Photo by Wade Aiken

Photo by Wade Aiken

Watch highlights from WJAC-TV

By Chris Rossetti

CLARION, Pa. – Behind a big second half by Tyler Young, Punxsutawney won its first District 9 title since 2005 with a 54-35 win over Clearfield Friday evening at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.

“It’s just a great feeling,” Punxsutawney head coach Dirk Neal said. “I can’t even describe it. Without a doubt, this is special.”

Young scored a game-high 16 points including 13 in the second half to lift the Chucks (14-9) to the title that has eluded them the past two seasons in losses to Bradford in the D9 title game.

“Tyler who is one of those players who when you tell him to do something he listens to you,” Neal said. “We picked up on some things we needed to make adjustments to.  At halftime, we put him in the post. He is one of those players when he makes a couple of baskets he just feeds off of it. ”

Punxsutawney led by just three, 19-16, at halftime against a Clearfield squad it had beaten 70-38 Jan. 3.

“One things we have to realize is, when we played them the first time their football players had only had a total of four or five practices,” Neal said “Going into to tonight, We said throw out the records, throw out the scores, its a district championship game.”

Up one, 19-18, a minute into the second half, Punxsutawney went on an 11-2 run to take command of the game.

Three-pointers by Brandon Mancuso and Young were key to the spurt with Young scoring five points and Mancuso and Cory Geer three each.

The run helped give the Chucks gain a 32-22 lead going to the fourth quarter.

The lead quickly became 17, 43-26, midway through the third quarter thanks to a 7-0 spurt that featured three more points from Young and two each from Mancuso and Geer.

The commanding lead was more than Clearfield’s offense could handle, as the Bison (6-17) were limited to 30.8 percent (12 of 39) shooting in the game including 2 of 14 from 3-point range.

“I can honestly tell you in the 14 wins we’ve got, its our defense that has gotten us here,” Neal said. “We limit teams, and that’s what got us here tonight.”

In addition to his 16 points, Young added eight rebounds. Geer had 13 points and nine rebounds with Mancuso adding 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals.

Christian Lezzer led Clearfield with 14 points, nine rebounds and two steals.

Punxsutawney moves into the PIAA playoffs next week where it will play the fourth-place team out of the WPIAL either Uniontown or Thomas Jefferson.

PUNXSUTAWNEY 54, CLEARFIELD 35

Score by Quarters

Clearfield……………….. 9 7 6 13 – 35

Punxsutawney……………… 9 10 13 22 – 54

CLEARFIELD – 35
LEZZER, Christian 6-14 1-2 14; WESTEN, Wyatt 3-5 0-0 7; FORD, Seth 1-2 4-9 6; BROWN, Andrew 1-1 0-0 2; JANOCKO, Jonathan 0-3 2-2 2; SPAID, Cody 1-3 0-0 2; HRYN, Derek 0-1 1-2 1; MYERS, Will 0-5 1-2 1; SELLERS, Erik 0-4 0-0 0;
TAYLOR, Kaleb 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-39 9-17 35.

PUNXSUTAWNEY – 54
YOUNG, Tyler 5-11 4-5 16; GEER, Cory 4-6 5-10 13; MANCUSO, Brandon 4-12 3-5 12; KLINGENSMITH, Mike 1-4 4-4 6; SLONIGER, Ryan 1-4 1-2 4; LUNGER, Brycen 1-1 0-0 2; DALE, Clayton 0-0 1-2 1; FEDIGAN, Andy 0-0 0-0 0; CURTIS, Will
0-0 0-0 0; TAYLOR, Rueben 0-1 0-0 0; MATTHEWS, John 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 16-41 18-30 54.

3-point goals–Clearfield 2-14 (LEZZER, Christian 1-8; WESTEN, Wyatt 1-2; SPAID, Cody 0-1; MYERS, Will 0-2; TAYLOR, Kaleb 0-1), Punxsutawney 4-17 (YOUNG, Tyler 2-5; SLONIGER, Ryan 1-4; MANCUSO, Brandon 1-5; TAYLOR, Rueben
0-1; MATTHEWS, John 0-1; KLINGENSMITH, Mike 0-1).

Rebounds–Clearfield 30 (LEZZER, Christian 9), Punxsutawney 33 (GEER, Cory 9).

Assists–Clearfield 3 (SELLERS, Erik 1; WESTEN, Wyatt 1; MYERS, Will 1), Punxsutawney 6 (GEER, Cory 2; MATTHEWS, John 2).

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