Clear Lake defeats Clear Creek 61-55
Posted by Donald Wilkerson on Jan 27 2004 at 04:00PM PST
The George Carlisle Field House at Clear Creek High School is an excellent gym for a high school basketball game. Tuesday night arch rivals Clear Lake (ranked 6th in the greater Houston area) and Clear Creek (ranked 13th in the GHA) met at Creek for their first of two showdowns in District 24-5A action and the fans got their money’s worth and then some (Can you name a better bargain for $2?). Clear Lake has a more talented basketball team this season but that often does not matter when the Falcons and the Wildcats get together so the outcome prior to tipoff is usually a mystery. After missing their first five shots in the game, the Falcons got on track. Clear Lake broke out an early lead and it appeared they might take control of the game quickly. As usual, the Falcon reserves were a very significant factor throughout this game. In the first quarter 12 of the Falcons 21 points were scored by the reserves. In a superb first quarter performance Micah Walker came off the bench to score 7 quick points. With time running out in the quarter Ross Mahler launched his only three point attempt of the game from half way between the midcourt line and the 3 point arc and put it in as the buzzer sounded. At the end of the first quarter it was Lake 21, Creek 12 In the second quarter, the Falcons took control of the game and pumped in another 19 (7 points coming from Nandi Wijay and 7 from Connor Atchley in the quarter). Impressive at times, the tenacious Falcon defense held Clear Creek to 10 points for a score of 40-22 at the half. With an 18 point advantage at the half, it appeared the Falcons might dominate the remainder of the game but anyone who knows the Clear Creek teams knows that is not likely due to the adjustments clever Coach Buddy Carlisle and his squad will make at halftime. Those adjustments worked and the stubborn Wildcats were not to be denied as they held the Falcons to 7 points while scoring 16 in the third quarter to close it out at Lake 47, Creek 38. You could almost feel them chipping away at the lead. The foul count was imbalanced in Creek’s favor so Lake had to go to a slowdown game mid way through the quarter to try to even it out. With cooperation from the refs and savvy ball handling by the Falcons, it got more even. As in many games this season, and in all but one of the last seven or eight games, Turbo Wijay, in a scramble to gain possesion of the ball from his opponents, engaged the after-burners and was again able to get the ball and call timeout in mid-air as he was flying out of bounds. Several veteran fans have decided that there should be one time out in each game designated as "Nandi's Timeout" (this past July in Las Vegas at the Adidas Big Time Classic tournament, the biggest AAU tourney in the country, Nandi's speed and incredible quickness were noticed not only by this writer, but by some major school scouts as well). Back to the game. The fourth quarter was a very close ball game. Lake never fell behind but the Wildcats pulled to within 5 several times. Then with 1:58 remaining in the game, the score was 53-49, the narrowest gap since the start of the game. At 1:02 remaining the score was 55-51, still anyone’s game. The Falcons missed 8 free throws in the fourth quarter and could not seem to make the front end of a 1 and 1 or of 2 shot free throws. This worked in Clear Creek’s favor once the seconds ticked away and they had to start fouling to get the ball. Aaron Greenwood was the exception to this. He had some key rebounds and some very timely, successful free throws to keep the Wildcats at bay. The game’s outcome was not evident until the last 30 seconds of the game. Scoring for the Falcons: Atchley 13, Cerny 11, Oswald, Walker, and Greenwood each had 8, Wijay 7, Mahler and Rieke each had 3. FYI: Under the category of who really cares, The stands were mostly full but the designated seating arrangement splintered the fans into groups. Some followed the signs and sat where they were designated to sit; some ignored the signs and sat where they have always sat. The intent was to place the student fans of the two respective schools away from each other and not facing each other. For the most part, this worked okay but the adult fans were scattered on both sides of the floor. Before the game ended, four of Clear Creek's student fans were individually ejected from the gym due to a little too much youthful exuberance.
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