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Lorain Titans defeat Clearview Clippers, use late run in 4th in front of sold-out crowd
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Lorain's Louis Cheers leaps to the basket for a dunk during the fourth quarter against Clearview on Saturday night at Lorain High.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clearview's Clifton Brown drives along the baseline during the first quarter against Lorain on Saturday night at Lorain High.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clearview’s Gerrell Williams leaps to the basket during the second quarter against Lorain on Saturday night at Lorain High.
MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Lorain’s Andre Phillips goes up for a layup during the third quarter against Clearview on Saturday night at Lorain High.
In front of a raucous sold-out crowd, the Titans finally got the pace of the game to their liking and pulled away for 62-43 non-conference win on Saturday.
“To Clearview’s credit, it took a lot to wear them down and much later than I was expecting,” Lorain head coach Andy Bastock said. “Their zone defense really slowed us down. Once we got running and got some highlight dunks, we established the pace we wanted.”
The 2-3 zone defense employed by Clearview (8-10) in the first half was quite effective in slowing down the Titans’ (8-10) offense. A 7-2 run which included an off-balanced jumper by Daimon Knowles helped the Clippers slice the deficit down to 20-16.
The third quarter was a treat with the pace of the game increasing with every possession. Clifton Brown (team-high 16 points) hit a put back and a free throw gave Clearview a 28-25 lead.
Each team had fantastic individual performances in the quarter. Brown sliced through the lane and either continued to the hoop or stopped for a short jumper in the lane. Lorain senior Louis Cheers, who had a game-high 21 points, added a lay up and a jumper of his own. The quarter was capped with sophomore Rashod Berry rocking the house with a one-handed dunk and give Lorain a 40-36 lead.
“Though Clearview was hitting shots, I was comfortable with the pace for the rest of the game.” Bastock said.
While the third quarter was a fans’ delight, the slowed-down tempo of the first half is what Clearview Coach John Szalay was hoping to see.
The game got too fast,” Szalay said. “We liked the fact we were attacking offensively, but we wanted to force them to make five or six passes like they had to do in the first half.
“We got tired and we aren’t deep team. The effort was there, especially against a very athletic team like Lorain. Once we lost the tempo of the game, we couldn’t get it back.”
Helping speed up the tempo was the full-court press Lorain put on. Forcing three Clearview turnovers early in the fourth quarter, the Titans scored on all three of them to extend their lead to 44-36. Berry made it a 10-point game with a thunderous two-handed slam which actually knocked the rim out of place. Cheers had to push it back up before play resumed.
“We started to get some fast breaks which led to easy baskets,” Cheers said. “When you can get dunks like that, it gets the crowd going, the team going. It also gives us a lot of energy.”
Cheers, a six-foot-five forward, had a two-handed slam; then added a steal and a layup to push the lead to 52-38. While the offense was clicking, the energy on defense was evident limiting Clearview to one field goal in a span of three minutes to take control.
With it being Lorain’s senior night, Cheers capped off his final home game with a pair of free throws before coming out to a nice ovation. Besides leading the Titans in scoring, he also lead them with 13 rebounds.
“This (win) means a lot to me, being a senior and our last game on our home court.” Cheers said.
Clearview scored the opening basket of the game, but was held scoreless the rest of the quarter and trailed 9-2. Though the offense wasn’t, the pace Clearview wanted was. Their offense came to life in the second quarter with Gerrell Williams scoring six of his 15 points in the second quarter. Williams led Clearview with 10 rebounds.
The Clippers trailed 16-9 before slicing Lorain’s lead down to four at the half.
Clearview hosts Oberlin next Friday, while Lorain travels to Oberlin the same day.
Lorain 62, Clearview 43
CLEARVIEW — Gerrell Williams 7-1 15, Clifton Brown 7-2 16, Eric Burkey 2-0 4, Daimon Knowles 2-1 6, Jason Young 1-0 2. TOTALS 19-4 43.
LORAIN — Louis Cheers 9-3 21, Rashod Berry 6-2 14, Devon Andrews 4-2 10, Andre Phillips 2-2 6, Andrew Ralston 3-0 7, Brandon Rodriguez 1-0 2, Gerald Howard 1-0 2. TOTALS 26-9 62.
3-POINT GOALS — C: Knowles; L: Ralston.
Score By Quarters
Clearview (1-0) 10 16 11 22 — 59
Lorain (0-1) 15 16 13 10 — 54
Field Goals — Clearview 19 of 48 (40 percent), Lorain 26 of 59 (44 percent).
Free Throws — C 4 of 12 (33 percent), L 9 of 11 (82 percent).
B — C 26 (Williams 10), L 43 (Cheers 13).
Turnovers — C 15, L 11.
J.V. — Lorain 43-32.
Last Updated: 2/9/2013 11:21:45 PM EST