ROCKY RIVER — Lutheran West senior Chris Scott was the unlikeliest of heroes Friday night as the Longhorns pulled off a comeback that was just as unexpected.
Scott’s only two points of the game came on a putback of a missed Greg Kunze jumper with 3.5 seconds remaining in overtime to give Lutheran West a 66-64 win over Clearview in a Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division game.
The 5-foot-11 senior guard’s layup capped a dramatic second-half comeback and preserved Lutheran West’s perfect start to the season.
Lutheran West improved to 7-0 overall, 6-0 in the PAC, while Clearview fell to 6-2 and 5-2.
“I was always taught to never give up on a play,” Scott said. “I saw Greg pull up and shoot so I moved toward the rim, saw the ball in the air, went up and got it and put it in.”
After a quarter it appeared doubtful there would be any late-game heroics at Whitrock Gymnasium as Clearview made 12 of its first 16 field-goal attempts to take a 28-14 lead.
At that point, Lutheran West coach Alan Januzzi switched defenses to man-to-man and the Longhorns’ fortunes started to change. The Clippers (6-2, 5-2) scored a combined 15 points in the second and third quarters as the Longhorns chipped away at the deficit until Andrew O’Hara put Lutheran West in front 45-43 with 17 seconds to play in the third.
The Longhorns extended their lead to four early in the fourth only to see Clippers senior wing Daimon Knowles hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to put Clearview back in front, 49-47. With 57.8 seconds to go, Knowles drove to the basket and was fouled and made the shot. His free throw tied the game at 56.
Knowles led all scorers with 19 points.
In a wild final minute of regulation, Kunze came down and put Lutheran West back in front 58-56 with 33 seconds to play, only to have the Clippers answer with Gerrell Williams driving to basket for a fade-away 6-footer to tie it at 58.
Instead of calling a timeout, Lutheran West quickly drove down the court and O’Hara missed an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
O’Hara led the Longhorns with 18 points. Senior Max Quinn, who missed the last four games with an ankle injury, had 17 and Kunze was also in double figures with 15.
“I felt like we really started to click in the second quarter,” Quinn said. “We were getting up and down the floor well. This is a great win for us. We just played one of the best teams in our conference and we stepped up our game and got the win.”
All of Clearview’s points in overtime came on one play. Sophomore Lance Billings came off the bench and made a fall-away 3-pointer in front of his team’s bench with 1:13 to play. Billings was also fouled on the play and finished off the four-point play to tie the score at 64.
The Clippers had one just chance at the buzzer but Knowles’ 3-pointer rattled harmlessly off the rim.
“I give Lutheran West a lot of credit but I was disappointed in how we played after the first quarter,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “We didn’t continue to do what was working. We showed a lack of execution and discipline and it cost us. You’ve got to protect your lead. It was a hard-fought game but Lutheran West deserved the win. We will just try to keep battling and getting better.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Lutheran West 66, Clearview 64 (OT)
CLEARVIEW (64): Gerrell Williams 7-0-14, Eric Burkey 2-2-8, Davonte Sutton 0-1-1, Jason Young 8-1-18, Daimon Knowles 7-1-19, Lance Billings 1-1-4. Totals 25-6-64.
LUTHERAN WEST (66): Greg Kunze 6-0-15, Peter Koza 4-0-8, Chris Scott 1-0-2, Andrew O’Hara 7-4-18, Max Quinn 7-3-17, Clay Carper 2-0-6. Totals 27-7-66.
Clearview 28 9 6 15 6 — 64
Lutheran West 14 15 16 13 8 — 66
Three-point goals: Clearview (Knowles 4, Burkey 2, Billings, Young), Lutheran West (Koza 3, Carper 2). Field goals: Clearview 25-54 (46 percent), Lutheran West 27-59 (46 percent). Free throws: Clearview 6-10 (60 percent), Lutheran West 7-11 (64 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 33, Lutheran West 33. Turnovers: Clearview 17, Lutheran West 15. Total fouls: Clearview 15, Lutheran West 15. Fouled out: Young.
Junior varsity: Lutheran West, 59-56