SHEFFIELD TWP. — Clearview looked like its old self Tuesday night, racing up and down the floor, feeding off its defense and posting an 87-63 non-conference win against Amherst in the season opener for both teams.
The Clippers started slow and held a 10-point halftime lead before exploding for 49 points in the second half. The Comets played well, but couldn’t hit from behind the 3-point arc, making just three of 20 (15 percent) shots with Troy Toth hitting all three long-distance shots.
“If you really look at it, we just missed too many shots,” Amherst coach Pat Bray said. “We tried to play catch-up and it’s just not something we can do.”
The Comets had no trouble in the opening minutes, getting four points from Alec Dimacchia, a free throw by Toth and a layup from Ryan Hristko for a 7-2 lead.
In typical Clippers fashion, they used their defensive effort to spark their offense, turning four turnovers into a 14-4 run with Sam Daniels scoring four points, Javon Todd adding three with a pair of steals and Jaylen Paschel draining a three.
“We started off slow and weren’t converting on our offensive plays, taking some bad shots and not running our offense,” said Todd, who finished with a game-high 21 points and six rebounds. “We got down, started playing some defense, we got a couple fast breaks and that’s when things started clicking.”
The Comets didn’t shrink against the Clearview pressure and had the game tied at 26 late in the second quarter before a 14-2 run by the Clippers provided the cushion that never disappeared in the second half.
Jamir Billings fueled the run with five points including a three, Paschel knocked down his second triple and Clearview got two points each from Todd and Josiah Hitchens for a 40-28 advantage early in the third.
“I feel pretty good about what we did, we just have to be defensive right off the tip-off,” said Paschel, who finished with 19 points. “We like to score a lot. We don’t like to let teams think they can stay in the game.”
Amherst put up 25 points in the third quarter, led by 10 from Greg Rhodes, but it didn’t help as Clearview matched the 25 and took a 66-53 lead into the final quarter.
The Clippers finally put the Comets away with a 12-4 run -- highlighted by Pachel’s alley-oop dunk off an inbounds play that ignited the packed gym -- for a 78-57 lead.
“It was a collective effort because we are a little deeper than we have been,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “I think our bench gave us the energy to keep playing the same way our starters played.
“I thought at the end of the first and into the second we made Amherst hurry and they were a little uncomfortable because of our defensive pressure. We have a lot of mistakes that we have to correct, but our effort was there all night.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clearview 87, Amherst 63
AMHERST (63): Kyle Ferguson 2-1-5, Troy Toth 5-1-14, Scott Iliff 0-0-0, Gehrig Gabrie 1-0-2, Ryan Hritsko 5-2-12, Max Strauser 1-0-2, Alec Dimacchia 5-0-10, Greg Rhodes 5-0-10, Austin Vukelic 3-2-8. Totals 27-6-63.
CLEARVIEW (87): Jaylen Paschel 8-1-19, Sam Daniels 6-3-18, Owen Bansek 1-0-2, Darien Jackson 1-0-2, Josiah Hitchens 3-0-6, Javon Todd 8-2-21, Dylan Rebman 1-1-3, Evan Barrios 1-3-5, Jamir Billings 1-2-5, Gee Newton 0-2-2, Anthony Terry 1-2-4. Totals 31-16-87.
Amherst 11 17 25 10 -- 63
Clearview 16 22 25 24 -- 87
Three-point goals: Amherst 3-20 (15 percent, Toth 3); Clearview 9-24 (38 percent, Daniels 3, Todd 3, Paschel 2, Billings). Field goals: Amherst 27-69 (39 percent); Clearview 31-66 (47 percent). Free throws: Amherst 6-9 (67 percent); Clearview 16-26 (64 percent). Rebounds: Amherst 42, Clearview 46. Turnovers: Amherst 17, Clearview 10.
Junior varsity: Amherst, 52-45 (OT).