Clearview Clippers routs Columbia Raiders to remain undefeated

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview's Desiree Ray drives the lane to score past two Columbia defenders in the second quarter last night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview's Raquel Santana, left, pulls away from Columbia's Emily Viccarone in the second quarter.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Columbia's Kaley Marshall, left, and Shelby Stedronsky, center, battle Clearview's Hayleigh Mendez for a loose ball in the second quarter.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview's Head Coach Nick Dimacchia, right, keeps a close eye on the game last night.

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Clearview didn’t want to take any chances in allowing Columbia to stay close early on.

Using a strong first quarter, the host Clippers outscored the Raiders by 11 points en route to a convincing 58-29 Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division win Wednesday to stay unbeaten.

“It was important to get off to a strong start,” Clearview coach Nick Dimacchia said. “We wanted to set the tempo, which we have been able to do successfully so far this season. I hope we can keep it up.”

The problems for Columbia (5-3, 4-2) came before the tip-off with freshman guard Alison Schafer unable to play due to being involved in an auto accident as a passenger. She was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

It continued with Clearview (7-0, 6-0) starting the game with a 13-2 run. Desiree Ray was a force on the offensive end, scoring eight of her team-high 13 points in the first quarter. She did get some help from her teammates with Angel Blakely and MacKenzie Mielcarek each hitting a 3. By the time the first quarter ended, the Clippers held a 16-5 lead.

“It was good to see more than just one or two people scoring,” Ray said. “Everyone played a big role in getting the win. Getting more people scoring helps take the pressure off.”

While Clearview’s offense was clicking, their defense was stifling. They forced seven Columbia turnovers in the second quarter, while not allowing a field goal. They held the Raiders to 10 first-half points and extended their 11-point lead to 32-10 at the half.

Known for playing zone defense in the past, the Clippers have made it a point to improve their man-to-man defense.

“Defense is the number one thing we have been working on all season,” Dimacchia said. “We have really focused on working on our man-to-man defense. It has been getting better as the season has progressed. I see some things which we can improve on, but overall I’m happy with it.”

The balanced scoring Clearview showed in the first half continued with seven different players scoring. With the big lead, Clearview was able to get some younger players in and get them some varsity experience.

“It’s good when I can get younger players in,” Dimacchia said. “They did a good job of keeping their composure, running the offense and playing solid defense.”

The bench scoring was led by Tahjanae Flowers-Coleman, who scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half. Mielcarek, who runs the point and does the little things to help Clearview, had a more prominent role in scoring 11. Blakely and Raquel Santana scored nine and eight points, respectively.

“We wanted to come out strong,” Mielcarek said. “We worked together as a team which helped us get the lead. It felt good to score and be a bigger part of the offense.”

Columbia was led by senior guard Kaley Marshall, who had six of the team’s seven field goals, with 13 points. Columbia coach Ken Marlette knew what the difference was in the first quarter.

“They came out ready to play,” he said. “We played scared and to their credit; they took advantage. Once it started, we couldn’t get it to stop. It was a lack of effort on our part. We are a better team than what we showed.”

Having 10 days off, he hopes the break will do his team some good.

“The seniors have been through bad games and years,” he said. “They know what they need to do so we will see how they respond.”

Columbia travels to Berea next Friday, while Clearview goes to North Ridgeville next Saturday.

@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 12/19/2012 11:38:46 PM EST

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