SHEFFIELD TWP. — Leading by 17 points heading into the fourth quarter Saturday, Clearview appeared to be a solid bet to claim the Division II sectional title and move on to face Holy Name in the Westlake District semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Clippers got the job done, but Brookside’s 6-foot-5 senior center Kelvin Jones made things a little dicey for the home crowd.
Jones scored 13 points and pulled down seven of his game-high 20 rebounds in the final period. His midcourt 3-point attempt that would have won the game was too long, and Clearview held on for a 61-59 victory.
Early in the game it looked like the Cardinals (13-11) were going to run away from the Clippers.
A Christian Gray 3-pointer gave the Cardinals a 17-6 lead with 34 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
That’s when Clearview (18-5) came alive. Over the next 14:34 the Clippers outscored Brookside 44-13. An Eric Burkey basket with 2:00 left in the third quarter gave Clearview a 50-30 lead, and the Clippers took a 52-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We were down early, but I thought if we could get to running our stuff we would be OK,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “We fought back and played great in the middle quarters. When you’re up 17 going into the fourth, no matter what the other team does you have to do a good job of being smart with the ball and defending.”
Antonio Bennett scored on a short jumper in the lane to open the fourth quarter and give the Clippers a 54-35 lead, but that’s when the wheels fell off the wagon.
Jones scored 12 points in a 19-2 Brookside run that didn’t end until a Gerrell Williams left-handed layup with 1:30 remaining in the game gave Clearview a 58-54 lead.
Jones hit a free throw to cut the lead to 58-55, and the, after a Clippers turnover, the biggest play of the game unfolded.
Brookside guard Cameron Drew shot a 3-pointer from the right wing that would have tied the game. It came off the back of the rim and bounced right back to Drew, who was following his shot. He grabbed it, dribbled once and laid the ball in off the glass.
One problem … Clearview center Jason Young slid in between him and the basket. The officials called an offensive foul to wipe the two points off the board with 57.5 seconds left in the game.
Drew thought he was going to get the call.
“When I heard the whistle I thought it was a defensive foul,” he said. “When I heard the whistle I thought I was going to the free throw line. Then I saw the referee giving the signal for the offensive foul and my mind went out the window. I had no words for it.”
Young saw things differently.
“I had to put my body in the way for the team,” he said. “You do anything to get the team the win. He had his head down, driving into the lane and it was wide open. I moved in and was able to take the charge.”
Brookside coach Brent Schremp thought the call was a game-changer.
“In a game of basketball, with emotions as high as they were, it was something that changed the tide of the game,” he said. “We teach our kids to go hard no matter what happens, and you have to handle adversity. Our kids did that.”
Daimon Knowles led Clearview with 18 points while Williams fell one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 10 points, nine assists and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Jones added 18 points and seven blocked shots. Drew finished with 17 points and four steals.
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Clearview 61, Brookside 59
BROOKSIDE (59): Cameron Drew 6-2-17, David Rangel 0-0-0, Christian Gray 1-0-3, Kelvin Jones 6-6-18, Mitto Agosto 3-2-8, Tyree Jones 2-0-4, Dudley Taw 3-3-9. Totals 22-13-59.
CLEARVIEW (61): Gerrell Williams 5-0-10, Iben Huff 0-0-0, Eric Burkey 3-4-11, Jason Young 5-0-10, Daimon Knowles 7-3-18, Antonio Bennett 2-3-8, Caleb Branscum 2-0-4. Totals 24-10-61.
Brookside 17 9 9 24 — 59
Clearview 8 28 16 9 — 61
Three-point goals: Brookside 4-12 (Drew 3, Gray), Clearview 3-12 (Burkey, Knowles, Bennett). Field goals: Brookside 22-47 (46.8 percent), Clearview 24-57 (42.1 percent). Free throws: Brookside 13-20 (65 percent), Clearview 10-13 (76.9 percent). Rebounds: Brookside 40 (Jones 20), Clearview 30 (Williams 11). Turnovers: Brookside 14, Clearview 6. Total fouls: Brookside 13, Clearview 14. Fouled out: Gray, Jones.