A quick transition offense nabbed Clearview first place Friday in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division as the Clippers defeated the Phoenix 80-64 in boys varsity basketball action.
The Lorain gymnasium was packed with spectators standing along the walls and in the hallways to watch the game that would determine who was first in the division.
Clearview set the tone early in the game with a 13-point run before Oberlin could finish a single shot. The Phoenix trailed 20-5 at the end of the first quarter.
“They jumped on us early,” said Oberlin head coach Kurt Russell. “I thought we were nervous. We missed some shots we usually make and missed our assignments we are usually mentally focused on.”
Oberlin’s offense took over in the second period, going on six-, five-, and five-point runs as six Phoenix players made baskets.
The team was led by Mark Robinson Jr., who hit two three-pointers to cut the Clippers’ lead to 36-26 by halftime.
Junior Zion Hicks sank a three-pointer early in the second half to cut the Clearview lead down by six points, making it 37-31.
Russell said Hicks and Robinson Jr. made some key shots for the team to stay in the game. Justin Smith and Hicks constantly attacked the paint and combined for 18 of Oberlin’s 22 points in the third period.
Smith led the team with nine rebounds and Hicks was Oberlin’s leading scorer with 16 points.
The Phoenix trailed by 10 going into the final quarter but their offensive hot streak was ceased by the Clippers as they scored 22 points to Oberlin’s 16.
The majority of Clearview’s points in the fourth period came from quick transitions.
“It’s one of those things we slipped up tonight but it’s a long season,” Russell said.
The coach said his boys were excited to play but thought Clearview wanted the divisional title more. “That’s our competition and we have to get there and I think we will,” Russell said.
“We told the kids this was not for a championship, it was just two teams that were 5-1 in the conference,” the nine-year head coach said. “I think the kids will bounce back. I have total confidence in them.”
The Phoenix fell to 5-2 in the PAC and 8-3 overall on the season, just one loss behind the first place team.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
Senior David Carter attacks the basket as two Clearview defenders attempt to block his shot.