OBERLIN — Early judgments about the Clearview Clippers were apparently premature.
Have you looked at the Clippers lately? Especially in the last two weeks?
After starting 0-2, the Clippers have won three of their last four, the last a 72-65 Patriot Athletic Conference victory over Oberlin on Friday night.
“The last four games we’ve been very competitive,” said Clearview coach John Szalay. “I think we’re coming together. I’m pleased with our progress. Not satisfied, but pleased.”
The Clippers finished the third quarter with a 19-2 run over the last four minutes to take a 54-43 lead, but had to rally again in the last four minutes of the game.
“We had that nice stretch at the end of the third quarter, but here comes Oberlin,” Szalay said. “Our kids showed some maturity and we made some free throws. That made the difference tonight.”
Clearview closed the game on a 13-5 run to erase a 60-59 Oberlin lead. The visitors sank 19 of 27 from the foul line, 10 of 15 in the fourth quarter.”
“A lot of them were silly fouls,” said Oberlin coach Kurt Russell. “We’re reaching and not moving our feet. Once we correct our defense, we’ll be OK, but our defense has been porous — porous since the beginning.”
Whenever openings were presented to Clearview, the Clippers capitalized. After Oberlin had its last lead with a shade over four minutes left, all the big plays the rest of the way were made by Clearview.
James Washington’s basket, assisted by Kyle Baughman, put Clearview up. Then Anthony Hitchens hit a big shot from the wing after a Baughman steal and a Hitchens steal resulted in a Washington free throw and a 64-60 lead.
Two more baskets by Hitchens and four free throws closed out the game.
“I give Clearview all the credit,” Russell said. “I’m impressed with them. Hopefully our program will get to where they’re at. Right now we’re not a very good basketball team. We’re not clicking defensively and unless we turn it around it’s going to be a long year.”
Clearview (3-3, 2-1) apparently has turned it around. Washington scored 21 and grabbed 11 rebounds, Jordan Celestino added 19 and Tony Williams 10, but the Clippers had good contributions from a number of players. They also shot 48 percent from the floor in addition to being sharp from the foul line.
“Oberlin’s pressure is as good if not better than Avon’s,” Szalay said. “And we handled it better.”
Morgan Jones led Oberlin (2-4, 1-2) with 21, followed by Steve Kilgore and Kris Robinson with 16 apiece.
CLEARVIEW 72, OBERLIN 65
CLEARVIEW (72) Tony Williams 3-3-10, Anthony Henson 0-0-0, James Washington 7-7-21, Jordan Celestino 7-3-19, Ricki Perkins 2-0-4, Kyle Baughman 2-4-8, Anthony Hitchens 3-0-8, Lucas Wright 0-0-0, Michael Mealing 0-0-0. Totals 25-19-72.
OBERLIN (65): Morgan Jones 10-1-21, Kris Robinson 7-1-16, Shwaun Stevenson 1-2-4, Tehran Roundtree 3-0-6, Steve Kilgore 6-4-16, Dominique Stamper 0-0-0, David Gaines 0-0-0, Austin Pinkston 1-0-2. Totals 28-8-65.
Clearview 18 15 21 18 — 72
Oberlin 14 19 10 22 — 65
Three-point goals: Clearview (3-8) Celestino 2, Williams, Oberlin (1-10) Robinson; Rebounding: Clearview 34 (Williams 11), Oberlin 34 (Roundtree 8); Turnovers: Clearview 22, Oberlin 24; Fouls: Clearview14, Oberlin 21; Fouled Out: None; Field Goal Shooting: Clearview25 of 52 (48 percent), Oberlin 28 of 62 (45 percent); Free Throw Shooing: Clearview 19 of 27 (70 percent), Oberlin 8 of 13 (62 percent).
JV: Clearview, 54-31