SHEFFIELD TWP. — Clearview turned up the heat in the second half and came away with a huge 66-63 win over Wellington on Tuesday night in Patriot Athletic Conference crossover action.
The Clippers forced the Dukes into 11 third-quarter turnovers and 19 for the second half in a battle of unbeaten teams. Clearview improved to 5-0, 4-0 in the PAC, while Wellington fell to 5-1, 3-1.
“In the second half, we did play better,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “We made some turnovers and we still made so many mistakes offensively — turnovers late in the game. Our hustle was the difference.”
Junior guard Javon Todd was a key component for the Clippers on both ends of the floor.
He scored 19 points, hitting 3 of 4 free throws at crunch time and led the full-court press.
Clearview’s 20-of-27 performance from the line was the big difference. The Clippers made 11 of 15 in the fourth quarter.
“We started out real slow,” Todd said. “We weren’t moving that much on offense, but the second half, we started to click. We were getting steals using our speed.”
Wellington led 31-27 at the half and handled Clearview’s traps and full-court press pretty well. The Dukes had only six first-half turnovers but Clearview scored the first eight points of the second half and never trailed again. Wellington missed its first two shots and turned it over three times to help the Clippers get going.
“The first half, I thought we handled the pressure well,” Wellington coach Dan Gundert said. “The pressure’s relentless. Coach Szalay does a great job with that over here. We knew that coming in. There was about six minutes in this game where we just completely lost our focus. Against a good basketball team, you can’t do that.”
Another huge factor was the Dukes’ Maxwell Joppeck picking up his fifth foul with 4:28 still to play in the game. Joppeck was called for an offensive foul as he tried to drive the lane. Earlier, he picked up a technical foul on a skirmish under the basket.
“Tough losing Max,” Gundert said. “He’s obviously our (best) player in what we do and he does so many little things for us. Once he went out — he beats the pressure, he rebounds for us — when you’re losing both of those, it definitely hurt us.”
When he left, so did his 17 points and 15 rebounds. He had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. In addition, he was able to handle the ball in the backcourt.
“Joppeck was just unbelievable in the first half,” Szalay said. “We had to take him out of his comfort zone. We put Javon on him up until they got in their half-court offense. Just something to make him adjust a little bit.”
The fact the Dukes scratched and clawed their way back into the game in the final moments with Joppeck and Ryan Whitaker on the bench after fouling out is a testament to their resiliency. The Dukes battled back from a 55-41 deficit early in the fourth quarter to pull within 64-61 with 34 seconds left but two huge free throws by Sam Daniels iced the game with 16.5 seconds left.
Colon Schmidt, who led Wellington with 18 points, hit a rebound basket as time expired for the final score.
Daniels finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Gee Newton scored 12 points. Evan Berrios (eight) and freshman Jamir Billings (six) helped Clearview to a 34-34 standoff in rebounding.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clearview 66, Wellington 63
WELLINGTON (63): Ryan Whitaker 2-0-4, Noah Diermyer 1-1-4, Mason McClellan 3-0-8, Colton Schmidt 8-1-18, Maxwell Joppeck 7-3-17, Nathaniel Shelton 3-1-7, Brandon Orozco 2-1-5, Ben Bliss 0-0-0. Totals 26-7-63.
CLEARVIEW (66): Jaylen Paschel 1-2-4, Sam Daniels 2-6-11, Javon Todd 5-7-19, Evan Berrios 2-4-8, Gee Newton 4-1-12, Jamir Billings 2-0-6, Josiah Hitchens 2-0-4, Anthony Terry 1-0-2. Totals 19-20-66.
Wellington 18 11 10 22 — 63
Clearview 16 11 21 18 — 66
Three-point goals: Wellington 4-10 (McClellan 2, Diermyer, Schmidt), Clearview 8-17 (Newton 3, Todd 2, Billings 2, Daniels). Field goals: Wellington 26-51 (51 percent), Clearview 19-55 (34.5 percent). Free throws: Wellington 7-13 (54 percent), Clearview 20-27 (74 percent). Rebounds: Wellington 34 (Joppeck 15), Clearview 34 (Berrios 8). Turnovers: Wellington 25, Clearview 15. Fouls: Wellington 24, Clearview 17. Technical fouls: Newton, Joppeck. Fouled out: Whitacre, Joppeck.
Junior varsity: Clearview, 62-40