Clinton – Tonight’s boys Center State Conference crossover basketball game between the Sauquoit Valley Indians and Clinton Warriors will be remembered as one of those games that you say “it’s too bad one team had to lose”.
After 32 minutes of back and forth action, which saw each team go on a 12-0 run to take a lead in the first half, it was a cool and collected Clinton Warriors club that came away with a 61-56 victory. The game was broadcast live on ESPN Radio 99.1 FM .
Clinton (1-2) finished as strong as they started and the Indians, who fell to (0-2) on the season, gave the home team all they could handle in between. Sauquoit overcame a 6-2 deficit early in the first quarter and went on a 12-0 run in the final 4 minutes of the quarter to take a 14-6 lead after the opening period. Long three pointers by Nick Schloop and Devin Murphy paced the Indians comeback.
The second quarter saw Clinton junior forward Fritz Gale simply place the Warriors on his back in the last 2 minutes of the second quarter, scoring 7 unanswered points by himself during that time, sending Clinton to the intermission with a 24-19 advantage. Gale scored 14 of Clinton’s 18 second quarter points and finished with a game high 27 points.
It was Sauquoit’s turn to answer the bell in the third quarter, as Indians junior guard Tyler Scott poured in 10 of his team high 20 points, leading the visitors back into the lead at 41-39. Extra attention from the Sauquoit defense held Fritz Gale to just 7 points in the 3rd quarter, setting up a dandy of a final period.
With Gale getting the best Sauquoit could offer in the defensive end, the floor opened up nicely for Sophomore point guard Matt Hobika, who shined in the final quarter. Hobika scored 11 of his 13 points in the final eight minutes, going 6 for 6 at the free throw line down the stretch to ice Clinton’s first win of the young season.
Marcus Berkle chipped in 8 points for Clinton, 4 coming at the right time in the final quarter. Kody Taylor added 11 for Sauquoit.
Clinton will look to even up their record when they travel to CVA next Wednesday. Sauquoit Valley returns to action a week from tonight against Westmoreland at home.