OBERLIN — With a chance to clinch at least a share of the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division title Friday night, the Oberlin Phoenix were plenty amped up.
Perhaps a little too much so, though, as Oberlin was charged with three technical fouls and watched as its starting center was ejected and Clearview kept the game close throughout.
Yet the Phoenix’s 3-2 zone defense stifled the Clippers and helped Oberlin force 22 turnovers — and Clearview into 27 percent shooting — in a 47-36 win.
The victory clinched at least a tie for the PAC Stripes championship, the school’s first in 11 years.
“I’m most proud of the kids for working hard,” said Oberlin coach Kurt Russell, noting that his team was four games out of first place on Jan. 1. “We thought we’d be able to extend our defense a little bit, force them into contested shots and turn those into some easy baskets.”
Oberlin (12-6, 10-5) beat Clearview 60-33 on Jan. 13, and Russell said the Clippers (7-12, 7-8) struggled shooting the ball from the perimeter in that game. Thus, the Phoenix extended its 3-2 zone farther, making it difficult for Clearview to develop an offensive rhythm. And while Clearview leading scorer Anthony Fears scored 18 points to lead all scorers, the Phoenix made him work — and also held Fears’ teammates in check.
Clearview shot just 4-of-22 from the field in the first half and committed 11 turnovers, trailing by 10 at the break. The Clippers also missed six free throws, including three on one series when Oberlin’s Dominic Taylor and Trevon Tucker were assessed technical fouls after a post-whistle skirmish. Tucker was ejected.
The Clippers scored nine of the first 11 points of the third quarter — including free throws after another Oberlin technical, this time on Charles Lewis — and after Oberlin’s Jason Moore hit two free throws, a Fears 3-pointer cut the Phoenix lead to 29-27.
Oberlin’s Marcus Bailey, though, answered with two straight jumpers and the Phoenix’s 10-3 spurt pushed its lead back to nine and sealed Clearview’s fate.
“We’re a different team than we were the first time we played Oberlin, much more competitive,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “But we just had too many unforced turnovers and a lot of missed shots. We get the ball inside their zone, but we don’t have the composure to handle it. We were just inadequate on offense.”
Bailey scored 13 to lead Oberlin.
“We play better when the game is more intense instead if it’s a regular game,” said Bailey, who also had eight rebounds. “We have underestimated teams (in losses to Brooklyn and Horizon Science), but when we play Columbia and Clearview, we know we have to play hard, and we do that.”
Contact Joel Hammond at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oberlin 47, Clearview 36
CLEARVIEW (36): Gerrell Williams 1-4-6, Chad Anderson 0-1-1, Eric Burkey 1-0-3, Clifton Brown 1-0-2, Anthony Fears 6-2-18, 0-2-2, Lorenzo Celestino 0-2-2, Joshua Molina 2-0-4. Totals: 11-9-36.
OBERLIN (47): Charles Lewis 1-2-4, Jason Moore 3-2-8, Trevon Tucker 1-0-2, Marcus Bailey 6-1-13, Noland Isom 3-1-7, Dominic Taylor 2-0-5, DaShaun Horton 2-3-8. Totals 18-9-47.
Clearview 8 7 15 6 — 36
Oberlin 11 14 10 12 — 47
Three-point goals: Clearview 5 (Burkey, Fears 4), Oberlin 2 (Taylor, Horton). Field goals: Clearview 11-41 (27 percent), Oberlin 18-54 (33 percent). Free throws: Clearview 9-15 (60 percent), Oberlin 9-16 (56 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 32 (Fears 8), Oberlin 36 (Bailey 8). Turnovers: Clearview 22, Oberlin 14. Total fouls: Clearview 18, Oberlin 17. Fouled out: Tucker (ejected).