CLAYSBURG — Facing a team the second time around is never an easy task and on Wednesday Claysburg and Northern Bedford squared off for a second time.
While the game was close through the first half, the Bulldogs exploded offensively in the second half, upending the Black Panthers, 67-42.
“We challenged the guys at halftime,” said Claysburg-Kimmel coach Mike Harris. “We have a big game tomorrow and I told them they needed to take care of business tonight. Northern Bedford is young, but they’re talented. They work hard.”
Holding a mere four-point lead at the half, 29-25, Claysburg-Kimmel used a third quarter run of 14-5 to take a 43-40 lead.
Northern Bedford’s Dalton Smith opened the second half with a lay-up and the hosts scored 14 consecutive points before Smith hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
During the C-K run, Dom Francona scored eight points, Landan Bauman scored on a lay-up, while Alex Kulick added a pair of buckets.
Bauman scored 10 of Claysburg’s opening 14 points of the fourth quarter. He opened with a pair of buckets, which were answered by a basket by Smith. Kyle Glass scored a lay-up for the hosts, while Northern’s Caleb Diehl hit a three.
Bauman’s next two baskets were sandwiched around field goals by Northern Bedford’s Hayden Foor and Haden Reyan, with the Bulldogs leading the Black Panthers, 53-40.
Claysburg finished out the game with a 14-2 run. During the stretch, Bauman opened with a lay-up. R.J. Helsel, Kulick, Riley Carson, and Parker Dibert all had field goals. Ben Weiland had a free throw. Reyan ended the Bulldogs’ stretch with a basket as the Black Panthers fell, 67-42.
“I told the seniors they had to pick it up,” Harris added. “They did just that. We controlled the boards, pushed the ball, and ran the ball really well.
“We played better in this game than the first one. We didn’t give up as many scrappy rebounds as we did the last time. We shot the ball really well. Up there we didn’t get to the foul line as much, but tonight we did.”
While the Bulldogs ran away with the game in the second half, the Black Panthers held with the hosts in the opening half.
Kulick and Glass scored three-points back to back before Smith scored a basket. Following five points by Glass, Northern Bedford chipped away at the deficit with a five-point run comprised of Thad Leidy and Smith, trailing, 11-7.
Claysburg sandwiched free throws around an NBC field goal by Evan Clouse to lead 14-9 after the opening period.
Glass scored once more as the second quarter opened, but the visitors pulled within two points on a five-point rally, 16-14. During the run, Smith had a pair of points, while Foor added three.
Francona and Kulick posted baskets for the hosts, while Diehl scored on a lay-up to keep the visitors within four points of the Bulldogs, 20-16.
Despite trailing 27-18 with less than two minutes to go in the first half, Northern Bedford chipped its way back into the game to trail 29-25 at the half.
Foor was fouled and converted on both free throw attempts, and following a basket by Bauman, he added a lay-up and Diehl hit a three to help keep the visitors in the game.
Claysburg-Kimmel had four players finish in double-digit scoring, with both Bauman and Glass having 16 points. Kulick added 12, while Francona scored 10.
Northern Bedford was paced by Smith’s 13 points.
The Black Panthers scored on just 15 field goals, shooting for 24 percent. While they went 8 for 9 at the line, all of those free throws were in the first half. The hosts on the other hand shot for 44 percent.
“We struggled in the first half to keep it close,” said Northern Bedford coach Shawn Hicks. “The problem in the third quarter was because we couldn’t hit a shot. Defensively we had a letdown. It all snowballed from there. Credit to Claysburg. They switched up their defenses.
“We struggled from the field. The percentage was way down.”
Claysburg-Kimmel visits Glendale on Thursday, while Northern Bedford is at Everett on Friday.
CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL 67, NORTHERN BEDFORD 42
Northern Bedford 9 16 5 12 — 42
Claysburg-Kimmel 14 15 14 24 — 67
Northern Bedford (42) — Caleb Diehl (2) 1 0-0 8; Hayden Foor 3 3-3 9; Thad Leidy 2 1-2 5; Dalton Smith (1) 3 4-4 13; Bentley Zimmerman 0 0-0 0; Cadin Ebersole 0 0-0 0; Evan Clouse 1 0-0 2; Talan Walter 0 0-0 0; Haden Reyan (1) 1 0-0 5; Curtis Clark 0 0-0 0. Totals: (4) 11 8-9 42.
Claysburg-Kimmel (67) — Kyle Glass (2) 3 4-4 16; Alex Kulick (1) 4 1-2 12; Landan Bauman 7 2-2 16; Dom Francona 3 4-5 10; R.J. Helsel (1) 1 0-2 5; Ben Weiland 0 1-2 1; Parker Dibert (1) 0 0-0 3; David Gregg 0 0-0 0; Riley Carson 2 0-0 4; Canaan Burket 0 0-2 0. Totals: (5) 20 12-19 67.
JV — Claysburg-Kimmel, 42-32. High Scorers — NB: Reyan, 10; CK: Dibert, 15.