EATON TWP. — Cloverleaf gave defending Bob DiFranco Holiday Tournament champion Midview all it could handle, but ultimately fell 67-66 in double overtime at Ed Kubuski Gym on Friday.
The Middies (5-3) face Columbia tonight in the title game at 7:30. The Raiders beat Amherst in the opener. Midview is vying for its fourth title, tying Amherst for the most wins. The Middies also won in 2005, '06 and '11.
The tournament is devoted to the memory of the late former Lorain County superstar scorer and father of Midview coach Troy DiFranco
With the score tied at 58 after the first overtime, Midview senior guard Devin Dombrowski gave the Middies an early lead with a 3-pointer 24 seconds in the second overtime. Then Kyle Warner scored on a drive and Steven Gott followed with a short jumper to put Midview up 65-58 with 2:28 remaining, and it looked like the hosts were about to seal the deal.
But Cloverleaf’s (1-8) Robbie Buckwald followed with back-to-back 3-pointers and Adam Podolak sank two free throws to tie the score once more at 66 with just 20 seconds left. Then Warner connected on a free throw with 13 seconds remaining to finally end the marathon.
Grant Overy, a 5-foot-9 junior, led the way for Midview with 23 points. He connected on five threes, three of them in the first half. His hot hand gave the Middies a nine-point lead late in the second quarter.
“They left me open a little bit and then I got it in my head I wasn’t going to miss anymore,” Overy said. “But then (the Colts) started playing better defense, not giving me many good looks after that.”
Explaining Cloverleaf’s ability to fight back from two deficits, Overy said, “I think we were getting a little tired. I know I was. But we played with a lot of heart tonight and held on.”
Wes Davic, 6-5 senior, also was a big star for Midview even though he was suffering from a bad cold that made him miss two practices this week. He scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and hit eight crucial free throws.
“They weren’t going to play me tonight,” Davic said. “But I got in and played hard despite still not feeling well. Coach 'D' does a great job of keeping the fire going in us.”
Coach DiFranco wasn’t surprised by Cloverleaf’s strong performance.
“I told the kids to expect a tough game," he said. "They (the Colts) like this tournament. Last year, for example, they won just one game all season and it came in this tournament.”
The Colts beat North Royalton 55-43 and then lost 73-62 against Midview in the 2011 title game.
“They came out and played well,” Cloverleaf coach Marty Ryan said of his team. “They were unselfish all night. I thought Robbie (Buckwald) really stepped up and put some wind in our sails.”
Buckwald, who is committed to Toledo University on a football scholarship, scored 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds against the Middies, who had 18 turnovers, including eight in the first quarter.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 67, Cloverleaf 66
CLOVERLEAF (66): Robbie Buckwald 9-0-22, Clifford Collyer 5-4-14, Adam Podolak 4-4-13, Jason Sykora 3-1-7, Brandon Johnson 2-2-6, Connor Ploucha 1-0-2, Brandt Buckholz 1-0-2, Ryan O’ Callaghan 0-0-0, Brady Kotlarek 0-0-0, Tom Wangler 0-0-0. Totals: 25-11-66.
MIDVIEW (67): Grant Overy 7-4-23, Wes Davic 2-8-12, Kyle Warner 3-3-10, Steven Gott 3-1-7, Jack Duffner 2-0-4, Dylan Eason 2-0-4, Jacob Wells 2-0-4, Devin Dombrowski 1-0-3, Matt Randolph 0-0-0, Mac McCray 0-0-0, Tyler Pasenow 0-0-0. Totals: 22-16-67.
Cloverleaf 10 8 18 18 4 8 — 66
Midview 8 17 14 15 4 9 — 67
Three point goals: Cloverleaf 5-10 (50 percent, Buckwald 4, Podolak), Midview 7-14 (50 percent, Overy 5, Dombrowski, Warner); Field goals: Cloverleaf 25-55 (45 percent), Midview 22-58 (37 percent); Free throws: Cloverleaf 11-14 (78 percent), Midview 16-24 (66 percent); Rebounds: Cloverleaf 37 (Sykora 8, Buckwald 7), Midview 40 (Davic 11, Overy 8); Turnovers: Cloverleaf 23, Midview 18; Total fouls: Cloverleaf 19, Midview 11.
• WHAT: Bob DiFranco Memorial Holiday Tournament
• WHO: Amherst vs. Cloverleaf (6 o’clock); Columbia vs. Midview (7:30)
• WHERE: Midview High School
• RADIO: WOBL 1320-AM