Desiree Ray was consistent force for Clearview Clippers

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clippers forward Desiree Ray shoots a jumper during a game against Fairview this past season for the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division Championship.

Whether it was crashing the boards or driving the paint, Desiree Ray made her presence felt.

There’s a reason why she’s one of the top post players in Lorain County.

The numbers don’t lie: 847, 1,041, 252, 397.

Those are the career points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots Ray accumulated in 84 games for Clearview.

That’s an average of 10.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, three steals and 4.7 blocks per game.

A senior this past season, Ray averaged a double-double with 12.7 points and 13.1 rebounds per game.

She also blocked 107 shots on the season. It’s no wonder she earned First Team All-County, First Team All-Patriot Athletic Conference, PAC Player of the Year, Division II All-Ohio Honorable Mention and Second Team Northeastern Lakes All-District honors.

She also earned this year’s Morning Journal basketball Player of the Year.

“It means a lot for me to get all (those honors) because, since I’m a senior, it’s good to leave with something,” Ray said. “It was a good year for me because I think I improved a lot over the past years.”

She’s been consistent over the years, too.

For her career, Ray racked up 53 double doubles and eight triple doubles. That means she recorded a double-double or better in 73 percent of the games she played in.

“She’d been consistent her whole high school career,” Clearview coach Nick Dimmachia said. “She’s been phenomenal for four years and she’s really developed into a great player.”

Of all the players Dimmachia has coached throughout his career, he said Ray is at the top.

“I’ve been coaching a long time and I’ve coached some phenomenal athletes, but she is most definitely at the very top of my list,” Dimmachia added. “She’s a great kid, she works hard and that’s what you need out of a player.

“She never complained, she always showed up, she always worked hard and she always did what you asked her to do. She’s just a great basketball player and a great person.”

Ray — who’s been playing basketball since she was in sixth grade — helped lead the Clippers to a PAC Stripes title with a 43-40 win over Fairview. It was their first conference title since 2008.

Winning conference was one of the team’s goals this season, and Ray was happy to accomplish that her senior year. It’s a memory Ray said she will remember most from the season.

“Winning conference is something we’ve been trying to do since I started playing varsity,” Ray said. “Getting it my senior year means a lot.”

Unfortunately for Ray and the Clippers, Fairview got the better of them in the D-II Elyria Sectional Final with a 45-38 win.

The loss continued a postseason drought for Clearview, who hasn’t won a postseason game since the 2007-‘08 season when it knocked off Brookside but lost to Holy Name in the sectional final — a year before Dimmachia took over. This season’s sectional final loss to the Warriors was a bittersweet ending to a great season for the Clippers.

“We were happy we won conference but our goal was to get out of the first round of the tournament because in the past we could never get past the first round of the tournament,” Ray said. “It was sad to end our season that way.”

Ray said she plans on attending Lorain County Community College and will play basketball for a year before transferring. What she will miss most about Clearview is playing for Dimmachia.

“I don’t think I will ever have a coach like him,” Ray said. “He was like a father-figure in my life.”

@PaulBarney18

Last Updated: 3/16/2013 11:21:57 PM EST

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