It's still early in the season and young teams are attempting to establish their identities. Clearwater and Circle are no different and with both boys teams only recently losing their first games of the season, this match up in Towanda was a chance to find that identity and measure where they stand.
Both teams came out strong like they had something to prove. They were able to score off the fast breaks Jake Smith capitalized to take the lead for Circle 14-12 headed into the second.
The Indians posted an unanswered 9 points to start the second quarter and took the lead at halftime by only a single point 25-24.
A defensive battle that came to a front only late in the fourth quarter. Through last minute shots and free throws the Thunderbirds separate themselves and take hold of the victory 57-48.
Circle's head boys basketball coach, Bo Horyna, said the defense made the difference.
"I think the zone," he said. "We switched to a 2-3 zone and we got lucky that they didn't hit some outside shots on us. The kids played hard and did a good job but that was the difference I think."
The same can be said about the girls teams.
The Thunderbirds came out with a powerful offensive push . Hailey Reibenspies was able to break the press and found Bryna Vogel at the top of the key as she sinks the three-bomb. She led the way with 23 points on the night.
Clearwater found itself with a 19-point lead in the second quarter but at halftime it was chiseled down to a ten 29-19. The Thunderbirds brought themselves right back into this game with 10 unanswered points to start the second half and tie it up at 29.
Three player technicals allowed Clearwater to create a little distance but it wasn't far enough. Circle came back within two with 50 seconds left.
Thanks to resilience and rebounding the Clearwater girls were able to hold on to the lead and win 46-43. Head coach Chuck Reitberger said they were able to overcome the T-Birds comeback with patience.
"We just got a lot more patient," he said. "On the offensive end Circle is really aggressive and we just tried to be patient offensively. And they fouled and we were able to pull away there at the free throw line."