BAY VILLAGE — R.J. Sunahara was a force that Clearview had no answers for Tuesday evening.
The Bay senior, who before the game was honored for scoring his 1,000th point earlier in the season, dropped 28 points, 12 rebounds and added seven blocks in Bay’s 77-58 non-conference win, snapping the previously unbeaten Clippers’ eight-game winning streak.
Bay improved to 7-4 and Sunahara is just 75 points away from becoming the school’s all-time scoring leader.
“We looked forward to the game and knew what they had,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “They have good basketball players, but we wanted to compete against them and I thought at times we did. But, man, you make a couple of mistakes and they come down and hit a three and obviously we didn’t have anyone to match up with R.J. But collectively, they beat us, it wasn’t just him.”
It didn’t help that the Clippers lost starter Evan Berrios, who injured his left foot less than three minutes into the game and did not return. He was seen in a walking boot after the game.
After the injury, Bay mounted its first major run of the evening, outscoring the Clippers 8-0 to take a 21-13 lead into the second quarter. Sunahara was in rhythm — two dunks and three putbacks en route to 10 points.
Bay looked like it was going to bury Clearview, pushing its lead to 10 with 2:30 to go in the half. But the Clippers mounted a furious rally, ignited by Javon Todd’s 3-pointer, outscoring the Rockets 7-0 to pull within one possession. But Bay pulled away just as fast as Clearview got close within the next 45 seconds, the Rockets pushed their lead back to 10.
“This is just one game,” said Todd, who finished with a team-high 18 points. “We’re just going to move on and go to the next one. We tried our best to beat a team like this, and we know we can win, but the outcome just wasn’t there tonight. We were missing shots, they went out on runs, every time we missed they would run out.”
The Clippers forced Bay into 12 second-half turnovers, including four in the first four minutes of the third, but went ice cold from the field in addition to Bay’s size affecting their ability to score in the post. Clearview got the lead down to five, but Bay closed the quarter on a 14-6 run.
The Rockets made stopping Clearview’s Jaylen Paschel a priority, and the junior had a tough time getting going while primarily drawing Sunahara on defense. He was held to four points through three quarters, but finished with 12 in helping Clearview rally in the fourth. But just as Clearview got within single digits, Bay closed the door with a 13-2 run.
“We try to rebound well, but it didn’t really work out too much because of their size,” Paschel said. “We don’t want to try and feel like this again, we don’t want to feel like this at all, so we’re just going to have to win.”
Bay 77, Clearview 58
CLEARVIEW (58): Javon Todd 8-6-18, Sam Daniels 4-6-14, Jaylen Paschel 5-1-12, Gee Newton 1-0-2, Evan Berrios 0-0-0, Josiah Hitchens 0-0-0, Anthony Terry 3-0-6, Jamir Billings 3-0-6. Totals 24-7-58.
BAY (77): R.J. Sunahara 12-4-28, Max Showalter 3-0-6, Christian Dupps 2-1-5, Erik Painter 6-1-13, Daniel Brajdic 1-1-4, Jack Maxwell 3-0-8, Francis Sherman 0-0-0, Brent Hull 4-0-10, Sean Hideloff 1-0-3. Totals 32-7-77.
Clearview 13 17 10 18 — 58
Bay 21 17 18 21 — 77
Three-point goals: Clearview 3-18 (Todd 2, Paschel), Bay
6-21 (Huff 2, Maxwell 2, Brajdic, Hideloff). Field goals: Clearview 24-60 (40 percent), Bay 37-60 (62 percent). Free throws: Clearview 7-9 (78 percent), Bay 7-15 (47 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 26 (Paschel 7), Bay 37 (Sunahara 12). Total fouls: Clearview 12, Bay 12. Turnovers: Clearview 4, Bay 15.
Junior varsity: Clearview, 62-48