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Last Wednesday evening in the Fort Worth WhataBurger Tournament Clear Lake defeated one of the better teams in the country when they defeated Harvard Westlake 95-79. Today in the Baytown Lee gym, Clear Lake almost got beat by one of the weakest 5A teams in the region. Sure Lake was firing on all cylinders when they outshone the California team. Sure Lake was probably confident of a win over the Lee Ganders. Sure Lake probably underestimated the Baytown Lee squad who wanted to defeat Clear Lake so badly they could taste it. Sure Clear Lake was suffering from the "Post Tournament Blues". Sure one of the three refs made 85% of the calls, many of which were questionable. Despite all this, Clear Lake was able to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat in the Baytown Lee gym where bad things have been known to happen. The game was about what one would expect in the early stages. Lake scored at will on the Ganders but could not seem to pull away. Baytown Lee's #44 6' 2" Michael Reed kept bringing them back time after time. Lake scored 27 points in the first quarter, then 8 in the second. At the half it was Lake 35, Baytown 28. After 3 quarters it was Lake 50, Baytown 42. Lake pulled ahead by as much as 10 in the 3rd, then Lee closed the gap. Early in the 4th quarter after two dunks by Chris Mitchell, a layup by Aaron Greenwood, and steals by Ross, Gordon, and Dennis, the Ganders pulled to a 4 point margin 54-58 with 5:04 remaining. Lee narrowed the gap to 1 at 2:58 remaining and then tied the match with 2:12 showing on the clock. A few seconds later Lee's Michael Reed sank both free throws to put Lee ahead 66-64 for the first time since the first minute of the game. At 1:34 remaining the ref made a phantom traveling call on Dan Rieke but Lee's Reed missed the front end of a 1 and 1 after being fouled. Rieke then put in a bank shot to tie the game at 66. With 46 seconds remaining, that same ref, yes the one we all grew to know so well, called a mysterious offensive charge on Rieke. (There were 12 such similar violations called on Lake in the game along with some pretty noticeable no-calls as well!). Then with 35 seconds showing on the clock, Lee's Michael Reed was also called for charging and fouled out. At 27.35 seconds, Aaron Greenwood missed a layup but got fouled while shooting after regaining control of the rebound. He made the second free throw to put Lake up by 1, 67-66. After a Lee timeout, with 7.22 seconds remaining, Lee shot and missed and Dan Rieke got the rebound and smothered the ball to watch the time expire. Lake was lucky to pull out the win. Scoring for the Falcons: Aaron Greenwood 14 (6 rebounds), Dennis Cerny 12, Connor Atchley 11 (10 rebounds), Dan Rieke 10 (8 rebounds), Gordon Abner 6, Chris Mitchell 6, Scott Oswald 4, Ross Mahler 2, Micah Walker 2.
Connor Atchley was selected as an all tournament player in the 2003 Fort Worth WhataBurger Tournament.
Talk about a BIG Win! The Clear Lake Falcons came on strong in a well orchestrated team effort to defeat the Harvard Westlake Wolverines from North Hollywood, California 95-79 to claim the Third Place trophy in the Fort Worth WhataBurger Tournament on New Year’s eve 2003. (See the last paragraph for some facts on the top-grade California team). Dennis Cerny, in his best game so far this year, stepped up to lead his team and demonstated what a floor general he can be. (see stats below). Excellent team play, strong defense (14 steals) a reduced turnover count, balanced scoring and solid free throw shooting all combined to produce the win and the highest score for the Falcons this season. The crowd, which grew to approximately 2800, did not bother the Falcons as they played relaxed and confident. Numerous fouls were a problem however (foul count was 12-6 in the first half). Dan Rieke got in early foul trouble due to the tightly called game and a couple of flakey calls. Excellent long range shooting from Scott Oswald ( 5 of 5 from 2 point range), strong inside play from Connor Atchley ( 9 of 11 from 2 point range), consistent attacking of the basket by Dennis Cerny, and timely, dependable scoring from the reserves (throughout the game) led the Falcons to a 43-37 halftime lead. In a tightly called second half, the Falcons were up 57-51 at 2:09 remaining in the 3rd quarter. There were at least 4 instances of Lake players taking charges which should have been called in the game but the refs refused to call any of them. Both Atchley and Rieke got in foul trouble and were forced to sit out some in the second half. As usual, Nandi Wijay and Micah Walker made their presence known with key critical plays. With 1:32 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Gordon Abner hit 2 free throws. Then a full court pass from Aaron Greenwood to Chris Mitchell resulted in Chris hitting a 2 at the buzzer to put Lake up 65-54 at the end of 3. At this point you could feel the momentum shifting in Lake’s favor. Hardly a minute into the 4th quarter, Chris Mitchell hit the front end of 2 free throws, missed the second but got his own rebound and put it back in. Then you could really feel the momentum shift strongly in Lake’s favor and there was no looking back. With everyone contributing, Lake scored 30 points in the fourth quarter to claim 3rd place. The final score was 95-79. Scoring was as follows: Dennis Cerny had 21 points, 8 assists, 6 steals and was 11 of 14 on free throws. Wow! All Tournament selection Connor Atchley had 21 pts., Scott Oswald had 12, Chris Mitchell 9, Aaron Greenwood 8, Dan Rieke 7, Nandi Wijay 7, Micah Walker 4, Ross Mahler 3, and Gordon Abner 2. Armie Lewis did not play due to a death in the family. FYI: the Harvard Westlake team had 6’5” guard Oregon-bound Bryce Taylor (ave 28.5 ppg.) selected to the all tournament team. 6’9” all state player and Division I prospect Evan Harris anchored the middle along with 6’8” sophomore Alex Stepheson. The team has 2 Division I signees as well as one commitment to Princeton and one to Harvard.
The Clear Lake Falcons faced a gamey squad on day 2 when they squared off against the Bruins in the first game of the second round of the Fort Worth WhataBurger Tournament. The Falcons took an early lead and led 25-15 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams were in the 1 and 1 free throw shooting with 2 minutes remaining in the first quarter. With Connor Atchley leading the way, there was good balanced scoring from the Falcons. Dan Rieke got in early foul trouble and was forced to sit out. The game was close at the half with Clear Lake ahead 39-34. Two minutes into the 3rd quarter the Bruins tied it at 42. From there it remained close. Both Atchley and Rieke got in foul trouble with 3 each and were forced to sit out for awhile. The game was tied several times as Lake would score and the Phoenix bunch would come back to even it up. At the end of 3, the Falcons were up 54-47. In the fourth quarter the Bruins came back to tie it at 56 and again at 60 with 3:39 remaining. Then Dennis Cerny hits a 2 and followed it with a free throw as did Connor Atchley. With 2:51 remaining Dan Rieke hits 2 to bring it to 66-62. Then Gordon Abner hit a clutch jumper, Scott Oswald stole the ball and Dan Rieke scored a layup. Then Scott hit two free throws to put Lake up 72-64. Solid free throw shooting enabled Lake to remain in control. The final score of 80-67 does not indicate how close the game was. Connor Atchley led all scorers with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Atchley went 7 of 12 from the field and 11 for 11 from the charity stripe. Dan Rieke contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds. Nandi Wijay had 11 points. Every Falcon player scored.
Despite superlative play from Connor Atchley, the Falcons fell to the Dunbar Flying Wildcats 75-60 in game 2 of day 2 in the WhataBurger Tournament. The combination of poor outside shooting and Georgia Tech bound 6'6" Jeremis Smith and 6'6" junior Chris Evans proved too much for the Falcons. At the end of the first quarter it was 19-13 Dunbar. The Falcons hung tough and were only down by 5, 35-30, at halftime. An 11-0 run in the 3rd quarter by 4A #1 ranked Dunbar enabled them to pull away from the determined Falcons. The Falcons were down 50-36 with 3:17 remaining in the third. Good solid play from the entire Falcon bench was not enough as they were never able to pull within 10 from that point. The Falcons were 4 of 19 from 3 point range and, excluding Connor Atchley's inside shooting, the Falcons only attempted 12 field goals from 2 point range in the game. Connor Atchley really stepped up in this game and led the Falcons with 24 points and 9 rebounds, Dan Rieke 10, Scott Oswald 7, Gordon Abner 6, Chris Mitchell 4, Micah Walker 4 (6 rebounds), Aaron Greenwood 4, Armie Louis 2. The win was #1299 for Dunbar legendary coach Robert Hughes. Despite the loss, this game was very beneficial for the Falcons. The intensity with which they played demonstrated the quality of their resolve and their ability to really step up against the most highly skilled teams. They are better prepared to face their remaining opponents and their fan base in attendance at the game was very favorably impressed. (Spotted in the crowd were former players including legendary Falcon big man 6'11" Glen Puddy (class of 84, SMU signee), Scott Siddons, and Larry Goin. Also spotted at most of the Lake games was Don Peterson, class of 76 (baseball)). It was also good to see Dr. Siddons in the crowd. After many years and many games in the Lake gym, he and his wife moved to Dallas in February to be nearer their grandchildren. Lake's last game in the tournament will be for third place Wednesday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m. against the brain trust Harvard Westlake Wolverines from North Hollywood, California.