OBERLIN - Saturday night`s Patriot Athletic conference Stripes division showdown between defending champion Clearview and upstart Oberlin went down to the final second. And when the buzzer sounded, the Clippers had eked out a 60-58 victory over the host Phoenix.
The win ups the Clippers` record to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the PAC.
And while Clippers standout Ariel Calhoun was involved in the buzzer beating basket, it was teammate Cybrenna Kimbrough who made the game-winner.
With the scored tied at 58 with 3.7 seconds to play, the Clippers came out of the timeout and took the ball on the sideline across from their bench. Clearview inbounded to Calhoun, who dribbled down to the baseline before dishing the ball to a wide open Kimbrough under the basket. Kimbrough, a 5-foot-10 junior, took the pass and popped in a lay up for the win.
"When Ariel saw me, I was like, â€˜This is my chance," said Kimbrough, who finished with seven points. "It was the longest three seconds of my life. I didn`t even think I was going to make it at first because I was so surprised that the ball was coming my way.
"I just put it off the backboard and let it fall in."
According to Clippers coach Don Collier, the play wasn`t designed to go to Kimbrough.
"For the most part, the play went as planned," said Collier. "We wanted to get the ball back to Kristin on the inbounds, but they (Oberlin) cut Ariel off. So we were able to get the baseline look and we had Cybrenna there on the opposite block.
"They collapsed on Ariel and she was able to get it to Cybrenna for the bucket."
Prior to Kimbrough`s heroics, it appeared that Clearview had taken control of the game in the third quarter and was going to put away the Phoenix.
With Clearview leading 34-32, a Mercedes Thompson basket started an 8-0 run that upped the Clippers lead to 42-32 with 3:13 to play in the quarter. But, like their name implies, the Phoenix rose to the challenge with a run of its own.
A three-point play by Alex Zimmerman began a 10-2 stretch which saw five different Oberlin players score to cut the deficit to 44-42 entering the final period.
"We talked at halftime about being ready for them to charge at us," said Collier. "Oberlin is that good, so 10 points isn`t any reason to breathe easy. We knew it was coming and we withstood it."
The fourth quarter swung back and forth before Clearview took a 58-53 lead with 44 seconds to go. A pair of free throws by Oberlin`s Angela Daugherty cut the Clearview lead to 58-55 and a 3-pointer by teammate Amari Foster tied the score at 58 to set up Clearview`s last second shot.
Oberlin, which fell to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the PAC, put forth a tremendous defensive effort as they held Calhoun to just three field goals on the night. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, Calhoun managed to get to the line 18 times and converted on 17 of them.
"That`s a first for me, to miss just one," said Calhoun, who finished with a game-high 23 points and a team-high eight boards. "It`s just amazing. Normally, I don`t shoot that well from the line."
Calhoun`s performance at the line left a bad taste in Oberlin coach Brian Ruggles` mouth.
"What do you want to say?" said Ruggles. "I don`t understand how one player can go to the line almost as much as we did (21). I don`t want to take anything away from Ariel. She`s a great player and she gets a ton of calls. But, she went to the line 12 times in the second quarter. Twelve times. That`s crazy.
"Aside from that, I like how we played. Last year if we would have been down 10 or in a tight game in the last two minutes, we would have quit. This year we keep fighting and as a coach you like to see that."
Rachel Daniels led with 17 points while Daugherty and Shawqa Lawson chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Clearview 60, Oberlin 58
CLEARVIEW (60): Ariel Calhoun 3-17-23, Kristen Marcucci 5-0-12, Alexandria Wright 4-0-8, Cybrenna Kimbrough 3-1-7, Mercedes Thompson 2-0-4, Sarah Scheithauer 1-1-3, Shayla Evans 0-2-2, Adriene Ward 0-1-1. Totals: 18-22-60.
OBERLIN (58): Rachel Daniels 8-1-17, Angela Daugherty 4-5-13, Shaqwe Lawson 4-2-10, Amari Foster 3-1-9, Alex Zimmerman 1-4-6, Adrianna Young 1-1-3. Totals: 21-13-58.
Clearview Â 9Â 22Â 13Â 16Â - Â 60
Oberlin Â 13Â 13Â 16Â 16Â - Â 58
Three-point goals: Clearview 2 (Marcucci 2), Oberlin 3 (Foster 2, Daniels). Field goals: Clearview 18 of 44 (41 percent), Oberlin 21 of 66 (32 percent). Free throws: Clearview 22 of 26 (85 percent), Oberlin 13 of 21 (62 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 23 (Calhoun 8), Oberlin 39 (Zimmerman 11), Turnovers: Clearview 32, Oberlin 29. Total fouls: Clearview 16, Oberlin 19.
Fouled out: Clearview 1 (Wright), Oberlin 1 (Daniels).
Junior varsity: No JV game.
Contact Hans Schneider at 329-7137 or email@example.com.