Clearview senior Deuce Martin couldnât have picked a better time to have quite a game.
Martin, who had a game-high 33 points, helped Clearview rally from a five-point deficit late in regulation to force overtime. In the overtime, the host Clippers took over as they scored 19 points in the extra session to clinch their second straight Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division championship with a 75-63 win over Oberlin in front of a near-capacity crowd Feb. 17.
âWe wanted to come out, do it for the city of Lorain and get this win for Clearview,â Martin said. âWe came out with way more energy. We knew we had to (give it all) for our city.
âI knew that we had the championship on the line. I did not want to come out here and lose. I wanted to make sure me and the seniors … wanted to come out and do it (win) for us.â
Oberlin (15-4, 12-3) held a 54-49 lead late in the fourth quarter before Martin scored on a three-point play. After Devan Yarber made it a four-point lead, the Clippers (17-3, 14-1) got a layup from Javon Todd and a steal by Sam Daniels, who tied the game with 26 seconds left in regulation.
Clearviewâs defense held to force the overtime and carried all the momentum with them.
With the game tied at 60, the Clippersâ defense took over. Forcing four turnovers in six possessions which led to easy baskets, Clearview took control. After a steal and layup by Jamel Billings (12 points), Clearview held a 69-62 lead.
Martin, who scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, had a layup and a pair of free throws to seal the win. Martin was also incredible from the line, going a perfect 12-for-12.
âI thought in the third quarter we went away from him (Martin) too much,â Clearview coach John Szalay said. âHe doesnât force anything. He just flows with the game. He just made some difficult shots. He stepped up big for us when we needed.â
Daniels, who came off the bench, scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter and overtime. His steal and doing the little things proved to be pivotal in helping Clearview secure the championship. But it was a team belief that helped them overcome the late fourth-quarter deficit.
âMy coaches believed in me,â Daniels said. âThey told me to go out there and get the job done. We had to get stops, make the right plays and the right decision at the right time. We believed in ourselves the whole time.â
The ending was a lot better than the start Clearview had as they fell behind 12-0 in the first quarter. But they settled down and made a move in the second quarter defensively to get them back into the game.
Going to a zone defense, the Clippers slowed down the Phoenix and held a 33-30 lead at the half.
The extended it to 39-34 before Oberlin rallied to take a 42-41 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Donald Johnson scored a game-high 18 points, while Yarber was saddled with foul trouble the entire game before fouling out with 12 points.
âClearview had a little more energy in the fourth quarter (during) the comeback,â Oberlin Coach Kurt Russell said. âIt seemed that we were on our heels a little bit.â
By Scott Sommers, For The Morning Journal