LAGRANGE — Jaylen Paschel put on some new shoes and suddenly everything felt right.
The Clearview junior, who was limited to just three first-half points, came out of the locker room with a vengeance, scoring 10 in the third quarter to help ignite the Clippers to a 63-51 over Keystone in Patriot Athletic Conference crossover action Tuesday night.
Clearview stayed undefeated at 8-0, 7-0 in the PAC. It was the third straight loss for Keystone (6-4, 3-3).
“I had to change my shoes and I started playing way better,” Paschel said. “I just kept catching a cramp in the bottom of my foot. My arches aren’t as high.”
He wasn’t the only one who made a change. The Clippers employed a different defense in the second half, going to a man-to-man press after Keystone had success against their traditional zone press.
It’s safe to say it worked — Clearview outscored Keystone 35-26 after leading by three at halftime. The defensive change also forced the Wildcats into 12 second-half turnovers.
“It got them to hurry a little bit,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “They’re a methodical team that likes to control the tempo. You can see in their possessions, a lot of them are 30 or 40 seconds long, so we wanted to get ball pressure a little bit more. I don’t think we got that in the first half. That little adjustment got our kids flowing a little better and got Keystone hurrying a little more.”
The Wildcats matched the Clippers for the first half — with neither team leading by more than five points. Brody Kuhl had another strong game, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds, both team highs for Keystone. He did most of his damage in the fourth quarter, scoring nine.
He came right out in the third with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 28, but that’s when Paschel — who didn’t play as much in the first half because one of his contacts got knocked out — went to work. He countered with a three and then scored seven of the next nine points for the Clippers, punctuated by a 3-pointer that gave Clearview its largest lead of the game at 42-35.
“They got on a couple of runs and we really wanted to use our timeouts to limit them,” Keystone coach Jeff Holzhauer said. “They’re an emotional group of kids and when they get rolling they’re hard to stop. So we tried stopping their momentum, but they got up seven, and when they went up seven, eight, we had a really hard time making plays.”
The Clippers’ other big edge was in the rebounding department, 26-17. They dominated on the offensive end with 16 to Keystone’s two. Sam Daniels did most of the damage with four offensive rebounds.
“Over the course of the game, we couldn’t keep them off the offensive glass,” Kuhl said. “We have to box out — coach stressed it — and we didn’t do it. A lot of these little things win basketball games and they’re a very talented team. They don’t just have one guy crashing, all five of their guys go out and crash the glass.”
Clearview 63, Keystone 51
CLEARVIEW (63): Javon Todd 6-1-15, Sam Daniels 3-1-8, Jaylen Paschel 5-1-14, Gee Newton 0-0-0, Evan Berrios 1-0-2, Josiah Hitchens 6-1-13, Anthony Terry 3-0-6, Jamir Billings 2-0-5. Totals 26-4-63.
KEYSTONE (51): Brody Kuhl 5-2-14, Kevin Mealwitz 0-2-2, Jeremy Gerhardinger 4-1-9, Drake Rodick 2-0-5, Ethan Sokolowski 6-2-16, Matt Mealwitz 2-0-5, Mason Strader 0-0-0. Totals 19-7-51.
Clearview 15 13 17 18 — 63
Keystone 13 12 12 14 — 51
Three-point goals: Clearview 7-18 (Paschel 3, Todd 2, Billings, Daniels), Keystone 6-13 (Kuhl 2, Sokolowski 2, Matt Mealwitz, Rodick). Field goals: Clearview 28-50 (56 percent), Keystone 19-35 (54 percent). Free throws: Clearview 4-11 (36 percent), Keystone 7-8 (88 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 26 (Daniels 6), Keystone 17 (Kuhl 8). Total fouls: Clearview 9, Keystone 15. Fouled out: Kevin Mealwitz. Turnovers: Clearview 10, Keystone 20.
Junior varsity: Clearview, 38-27