SHEFFIELD TWP — For everyone in a Clearview uniform the theme of Wednesday’s Patriot Athletic Conference game against Columbia was, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Meanwhile for the Raiders, it was “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
The Clippers dominated from the opening tip, building a 22-point halftime lead on their way to a 58-29 victory that kept their perfect record intact at 7-0.
Clearview, which is 6-0 in the PAC, had three players in double figures, led by Desiree Ray’s 13 points. Ray also pulled down 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double in a row — even though she sat out the entire fourth quarter.
“We decided to come out strong because we knew (Columbia) was a good team and we didn’t want to underestimate them,” Ray said. “Defense mostly wins game. That’s all we work on in practice, so we were especially happy the way we came out and played defense.”
In the first half, the Clippers held Columbia to 10 points, two field goals and 11-percent shooting, which was good enough to bring a smile to the face of Clearview coach Nick Dimacchia.
“Defense is the No. 1 thing we work on and I thought we did that well from start to finish tonight,” he said. “In the past, we’ve been an all zone team, but this year we’ve really hit on our man-to-man defense. Now there are still some things we need to work on but every day we keep getting better.”
Columbia (5-3, 4-2) got off to a bad start before it even took the floor when coach Ken Marlette found out he would be without injured freshman Alison Schafer. In the second quarter, the Raiders also lost junior guard Sam Goode, who received an inadvertent elbow to the mouth and did not return.
With four seniors in the starting five, Marlette was hoping his veterans would be able to overcome the injuries.
“They came out ready to play and for whatever reason we played scared,” Marlette said. “Tonight, it seemed like there was a lack of effort from our team. No matter what our coaching staff does on the bench it won’t matter if the effort’s not there. If we put forth a solid effort and get beat like that, then God bless them, but I know we are a better team than we showed tonight.”
With just 11 healthy players in the program, Columbia gets a needed nine-day rest before its next game at Berea.
The Raiders were led by Kaley Marshall, who scored 13 points. Jenna Guth added 10 points, which included an 8-of-10 performance from the free throw line.
Senior MacKenzie Mielcarek scored 11 points for Clearview, nine of which came in the first half. Freshman Tahjanae Flowers-Coleman picked up the slack in the second half, scoring 10 of her 12 points.
“We try to come out strong every game and work as a team and start the game out the right way,” Mielcarek said. “We normally have a better inside game, so when we can get the outside game going and get more people involved in the scoring, it makes it better for everybody.”
Clearview 58, Columbia 29
COLUMBIA ( 29): Jenna Guth 1-8-10, Emily Vaccarone 0-2-2, Sam Hirsch 0-1-1, Alexis Bycznski 0-2-2, Kaley Marshall 6-1-13, Taylor Napoli 0-1-1. Totals 7-15-29.
CLEARVIEW (58): Hayleigh Mendez 1-0-2, MacKenzie Mielcarek 4-2-11, Sydney Wright 1-0-2, Jaira Starkey 0-1-1, Desiree Ray 5-3-13, Tahjanae Flowers-Coleman 5-2-12, Raquel Santana 3-2-8, Angel Blakely 4-0-9 . Totals 23-10-58.
Columbia 5 5 15 4 — 29
Clearview 16 16 19 7 — 58
Three-point field goals: Clearview (Blakely, Mielcarek). Field goals: Columbia 7-of-40 (19 percent); Clearview 23-of-58 (40 percent). Free throws: Columbia 15-of-23 (65 percent); Clearview 10-of-17 (59 percent). Rebounds: Columbia 28; Clearview 42. Turnovers: Columbia 17; Clearview 13.
Junior varsity: Clearview, 32-29.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.