Clear Lake edges Clear Creek 59-57

Posted by Donald Wilkerson on Feb 13 2004 at 04:00PM PST
The Clear Lake, Clear Creek basketball rivalry dates back 30 years to when Clear Lake stole Clear Creek's basketball coach when the school was opened. This rivalry, like many, has come to mean intense, close games where, no matter what each school’s record before the contest, the outcome is usually not decided until late in the game. This game was no exception. Everyone got his money’s worth. Playing to a near-capacity crowd in the Lake gym, the Clear Creek Wildcats came into the Friday night game with upset on their mind. The Falcons, currently ranked 17th in the state in 5A and tied for first place in the district with Clear Brook, considered this a must win game to keep their hopes alive for a shootout for the championship with Clear Brook next Tuesday. Clear Lake previously defeated Creek in the first round by a score of 61-55 so everyone expected a close game despite Creek’s poor showing in district play(2-5) (Creek previously defeated Kingwood and Cinco Ranch, both highly ranked teams in Region III, in pre-district play however). The Lake/Creek game had all the indicators of a “barn burner” and it was. The first quarter was close throughout. After a tie at 6, Creek pulled ahead by 1 or 2 points and maintained the lead until the last few seconds of the quarter when Micah Walker scored to make it Lake 15 - Creek 14 at the end of the quarter. Dan Rieke scored 7 of the 15 points for Lake in the quarter. In the second quarter Lake jumped out ahead and pulled to a 7 point lead 26-19 before Creek chiseled away at the lead to reduce it to 4. Then Lake pulled away again when Scott Oswald scored a layup at the buzzer to make it 33-26. The foul count was 8 to 3 against Lake at one point in the half. In the third quarter Lake pulled out to a 10 point lead before Creek reduced it to 5, 46-41. Then Gordon Abner sank two free throws to end the quarter 48-41. Still too close for comfort. In the first four minutes of the final period, Creek outscored Lake 8 to 4. Then Creek’s #44 6’3” junior Ray Kraemer stuffed it in for 2 and then scored again to bring the score to 52-51 with 2:40 remaining in the game. Lake scored only 4 points in 5 minutes and 20 seconds of the 4th quarter but the benevolent Wildcats decided to quit making free throws. At the 1:27 mark Creek had missed 6 free throws in a row. With the foul count again at 8 to 3, the lopsided foul count which favored the Wildcats worked against them when they had to start fouling but could not get to 1 and 1 soon enough. With 42 seconds remaining, a basket by Connor Atchley finally broke the ice and a free throw by Scott Oswald put it at 55-52. With 17 seconds remaining, freshman Armie Lewis, only the third freshman to ever play varsity ball at Clear Lake, calmly stepped to the free throw line and sank both shots to make the score 59-54. Then Creek scored a questionable three pointer with 7 seconds showing on the clock to make it 59-57. Scott Oswald missed a free throw and the Wildcats advanced the ball down the court, passed it to their #44, Kraemer, who launched a shot from 15 feet away. You could feel the crowd stop breathing as the ball advanced to the hoop in what appeared to be right on target. But the shot was off and time expired. Wow! Lake narrowly escaped an overtime period and the potential for a loss at the hands of their archrivals Clear Creek. Scoring for the Falcons: Dan Rieke 14, Connor Atchley 10, Scott Oswald 9, Nandi Wijay 5, Armie Lewis 4, Gordon Abner 4, Aaron Greenwood 4, Dennis Cerny 3, Ross Mahler 2, Chris Mitchell 2, Micah Walker 2. In other district action Alvin defeated Clear Brook at Brook by a score of 62-47. Thank you Alvin. Galveston Ball outpaced Brazoswood 62-49. With the Clear Brook loss to Alvin, Lake is in first place in the district but a win Tuesday night over Brook is still imperative to clinch the title (assuming a win over Galveston Ball next Friday). If Ball should defeat Clear Lake on Ball's home court, the score in the Brook-Lake games could become crucial (Brook won by 7 in the first round, 60-53).


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