COLUMBIA STATION — Like a drag racer struggling with the shifter, Clearview found itself in a pitched battle with a young and rugged Columbia team through the first quarter, and much of the second, Friday night, unable to get into their preferred gear.
But then the Clippers popped the clutch and went on a big run right before halftime.
It was nothing but dust clouds and tail lights the rest of the night.
Final score: Clearview 71, Columbia 48.
“For the first 12 to 13 minutes of the game we had our tempo, we had everything we wanted and then it all went away,” Columbia coach Larry Babics said after his Raiders fell to 2-4, 2-1 in the PAC Stripes Division. “We didn’t want to get into a 100 mile-per-hour game and that’s what it turned into.”
The Raiders went up 21-18 on a Charlie Simon 3-pointer with 4:27 left in the first half.
Then Clearview ripped off a 17-3 run to take a 35-24 lead into halftime.
Clearview (4-0, 3-0) forced seven of Columbia’s 25 turnovers in the second quarter. The agile Clippers piled up 16 steals and their press and traps allowed them to spread their offense around among four double-digit scorers.
“We needed to do that because they came out playing inspired,” Clearview coach John Szalay said of the Raiders. “They were hitting shots, and we stuck with it. Our kids didn’t panic. They stuck with what we practice, and to get that lead at halftime is so important because of the pressure it puts on the other team.”
Columbia never really recovered from that closing first-half punch.
“We felt like, in those last three minutes, that we turned the ball over every time that we touched it,” Babics said. “Like we told them, ‘You can’t play defense if you throw the ball to the other team.’ We were playing good in a our zone … but if you don’t take care of the basketball then you don’t give yourself a chance. Too much panic, too much indecision, too much carelessness with the ball. To their credit, they swarmed us and we didn’t make many good decisions.”
Jaylen Paschel and Sam Daniels led a balanced Clippers attack with 17 and 15 points, respectively, as Clearview turned their pressure into open shots and easy layups. Daniels also led the Clippers with nine rebounds. Point guard Javon Todd contributed 14 points and freshman Jamir Billings went 3-for-5 from behind the arc for 11 points.
“We’ve been very balanced all season,” Szalay said. “Nobody has gone off for a lot and that’s good. The balance is good and we’ve been emphasizing our discipline. I don’t want coaches to say, ‘Well, they’re very athletic’ because we can be both. We stress that to them all the time. Why not be both? That third quarter was important because we’ve struggled in the third period in the past but we’ve been better this year.”
Clearview never fell out of the comfort zone the rest of the way, keeping its lead between 10 and 20 points.
Josh Borlings, the Raiders’ 6-foot-6 center, had a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards. Junior swingman Jared Bycznski added 14 points and Simon 11.
“Josh has been our leading scorer all season,” Babics said. “He’s the biggest kid on the floor and he needs to take advantage of that more. When teams are trapping and pressing, they’re scrambling around, he ought to be able to clean up everything (on the boards). But we just need more, more from our guards, more from everyone on taking care of the ball.”
Szalay is pleased with his team’s play but know there’s a long way to go.
“We’re off to a great start, but it’s early yet,” Szalay said. “We’ve had three tough games on the road and we’ve come out OK. (Columbia) always scares the heck out of me. They shoot well at home, Borling is a real talent and they can get very hot playing here. I’m glad this one is out of the way.”
Contact Fred Steiner at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clearview 71, Columbia 48
CLEARVIEW (71): Jaylen Paschel 7-0-17, Sam Daniels 6-0-15, Javon Todd 6-2-14, Evan Berrios 0-0-0, Gee Newton 1-2-4, Jamir Billings 4-0-11, Anthony Terry 1-0-2, Josiah Hitchens 2-0-4, Daarien Jackson 1-0-2, Dylan Rebman 1-0-2, Owen Bansek 0-0-0, Joseph Norris 0-0-0, Jordan Reed 0-0-0. Totals 29-4-71.
COLUMBIA (48): Jared Bycznski 3-2-14, Adam Ross 0-0-0, Charlie Simon 4-0-11, Josh Borling 6-3-15, Caleb Elsesser 0-1-1, Mitchell Hershey 0-1-1, Jake Kile 1-0-2, Will Wentz 1-0-3, Brian Barta 0-1-1, Ben Alten 0-0-0 . Totals 15-8-48.
Clearview 14 21 14 22 — 71
Columbia 11 13 10 14 — 48
Three-point goals: Clearview 5-17 (Billings 3, Paschel, Daniels), Columbia 6-24 (Simon 3, Brycznski 2, Wentz). Field goals: Clearview 31-57 (54 percent), Columbia 17-50 (34 percent). Free throws: Clearview 4-6 (67 percent), Columbia 8-14 (57 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 23 (Daniels 9), Columbia 36 (Borling 11). Total fouls: Clearview 14, Columbia 5. Turnovers: Clearview 17, Columbia 25.
Junior varsity: Clearview, 61-30