SHEFFIELD TWP. — No one could remember exactly how many, but it had been years since Brookside won a basketball game on Clearview’s floor.
The Cardinals ended the drought Friday night when they defeated Clearview 59-50 in a Patriot Athletic Conference crossover game. It was the Clippers’ season opener.
Brookside started quickly, built nine-point leads twice before the break and led by seven at halftime. Twice, the Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 PAC) held 13-point leads in the third quarter and went into the final eight minutes on top, 43-30.
But the Clippers made a run. Down 47-34 with under six minutes to go, they put together a 6-1 run, ignited by Seth Trinidad’s 3-point basket. Anthony Fears added a foul shot and Chad Anderson scored in the lane to cut the margin to 48-40 with about three minutes to go.
They kept nibbling away and got the margin down to six points with 1:40 to play. Then, trailing 53-46, Clearview got a huge 3-pointer from Gerrell Williams and it was a four-point game with just over a minute left. But with Hunter Skolnicki scoring two close-range field goals, Brookside finished the game on a 6-1 run of its own.
The Cardinals got a game-high 21 points from Skolnicki and 15 from Alex Robinson. Skolnicki scored 12 points in the second half, eight in the fourth quarter when the going got dicey.
“We worked hard on defense for this one,” said Skolnicki, a 6-1 junior. “We knew they were quick and athletic and we had to box out and not allow penetration. We actually worked on a lot of help-side defense.”
Then the drought came to mind.
“Coach (Brent Schremp) said we probably hadn’t won here in 15 or 20 years, something like that,” Skolnicki said. “We’ve been talking about it all week and we wanted to come out on top tonight.”
Williams’ 13 points were high in the Clippers’ lineup, with Clifton Brown and Anthony Fears each chipping in 10 points.
A full house was treated to two slam dunks by Williams, a 6-foot-1 junior, the first with under two minutes left in the first quarter. He got the second late in the third, but was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim too long. In a four-point turnaround, Skolnicki made the two technical foul shots and the Cardinals got a basket from Robinson on the inbounds play that followed to open a 41-30 lead.
“We talked about competing and I thought we did at the end,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “We gave up some easy baskets, but give Brookside credit. They made the right plays and the right passes. We were pressing early. We had a sophomore point guard (Eric Burkey) out there and I think their pressure bothered us. But we have some natural ability. I think it’s just a matter of getting them to work as a team.”
The Cardinals’ Schremp said he was pleased with the way the team handled the Clippers’ late run.
“The kids responded pretty well and we just finished talking about that,” he said. “You have to close out the game, but they’re (Clippers) young and they’re going to keep coming at you. We made the plays we needed to close it out.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or basketball@ bobdaniels. info.
Brookside 59, Clearview 50
BROOKSIDE (59): Hunter Skolnicki 9-2-21, Tim Crnko 0-0-0, Justin Lopez 1-0-3, Keyonte Francis 4-0-8, Joshua Zenkert 0-0-0, Nathan Keith 2-2-6, Alex Robinson 5-4-15, Kelvin Jones 3-0-6, Mitto Agosto 0-0-0. Totals 24-8-59.
CLEARVIEW (50): Gerrell Williams 6-0-12, Chad Anderson 1-2-4, Eric Burkey 1-0-2, Clifton Brown 5-0-10, Anthony Fears 4-2-10, Seth Trinidad 2-2-7,Ryan Wood 1-0-2, Grady Hitchens 0-0-0, Joshua Molina 1-0-2, Robert Branscum 0-0-0. Totals 21-6-50.
Brookside 14 13 16 16 — 59
Cleariew 8 12 10 20 — 67
Three-point goals: Brookside 3-8 (Robinson, Lopez, Skolnicki); Clearview 2-9 (Trinidad, Williams). Field goals: Brookside 24-56 (42.8 percent); Clearview 21-55 (38.1 percent). Free throws: Brookside 8-15; Clearview 6-12. Rebounds: Brookside 33; Clearview 27. Turnovers: Brookside 18; Clearview 21. Fouled out: Keith. Technical foul: Williams.
Junior varsity: Brookside, 37-36.