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It all came down to a textbook sky hook at the buzzer by Connor Atchley to finish off the Texas City Stingrays 57-55. Clear Lake came out strong against Texas City in the first game of the final day of the CCISD Tournament holding the Stingrays to 4 points in the first quarter and 12 points at the half. Cold shooting by the Rays combined with smothering defense by the Falcons led to a half time score of 28-12, probably the Stingrays worst showing of the season. A phenomenal half time talk and a few adjustments by Texas City Coach Darrell Collins sparked the Rays back to life as they jumped back into the game outscoring the Falcons 24 to 15 in the 3rd quarter. The fourth quarter was a heart pounding see-saw battle that went down to the wire. With the game tied 55-55 and only a few seconds left on the clock, Lake called time out to plot their strategy. With the ball in play, Texas bound Atchley raised his long arms and launched a perfectly arched sky hook from 12 feet that was all net. Atchley finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Dan Rieke finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Texas bound Dion Dowell (ranked 5th in the state) of Texas City finished with a game high 16 points.
Falcons fall to Deer Park 71-67 in overtime. In the game to decide 5th place Saturday afternoon, Clear Lake felt the glare of Ryan Bright as the Falcons fell to the Deer Park Deer 71-67. Bright, the leading rebounder and 5th leading scorer in the Houston area, finished with 23 points. Dan Rieke of Lake finished with 14 points. Dennis Cerny had 11. The Falcons face the Deer again Tuesday night.
The oldest tournament in the state of Texas wrapped up with a championship match between the Dickinson Gators and the Arlington Martin Warriors. The game was fitting of a tournament championship contest with each side swapping the lead throughout the game. Martin was up 21-17 at the first quarter break; Dickinson was up 36-28 at the half but Martin regained the lead by 1 at 50-49 after 3. The entire fourth quarter was a game of 3 or 4 points. Neither side was up by more than 4 and it was a 1 point game most of the quarter. The Gators #11 Justin Wilson (25 points) put on a dribbling and quickness exhibition several times in the second half. The Gators pulled ahead by 3 in the closing seconds and an at-the-buzzer 3 pointer lofted by SMU bound Jon Killen from Arlington Martin missed to allow the Dickinson Gators to win 64-61. In other action Clear Creek sneaked by Clear Brook 56-50 to claim third place. Clear Brook newcomer coach David Martinez, formerly from Desoto, and his savvy assistant Jason Pillow, made a formal statement that Clear Brook is for real as they navigated the Wolverines by highly ranked Texas City to the semifinal match with a close loss to Dickinson. Out of the 8 games played today in the final rounds, no games had a final spread of more than 6 points. This could be regarded as an indicator of the quality of the competition in the tournament.
Day 2 To say that Clear Lake had a slow start tonight in the second round of the 71st annual CCISD Varsity Tournament would be inaccurate. A “No” start would be a more accurate description. Clear Lake had their most lackluster performance of the season tonight in the first quarter against the Dickinson Gators as the Gators proceeded to out score, out run, out rebound, and “out quick” the Falcons all over the court. With 2 minutes left in the first quarter, the Gators were up 22-3 over the state ranked Falcons. At the end of the period the score was 26 to 7 in favor of the Dickinson bunch. The foul count was 7-1 in favor of the Gators who were shooting free throws with almost a minute left in the first quarter. When you score only 3 points in 6 minutes in any quarter it is hard to win a basketball game but Lake battled back slowly scoring 26 point in the second quarter. The Gators were up by 14, 47-33 at the half. There just didn’t seem to be any stopping number 11, 5’8” Justin Wilson, their ace point guard (Texas Southern signee) as he scored at will. It seemed like Wilson was draining 3’s and popping in 2’s at will throughout the first half ( 23 points by halftime). Wilson finished the evening with 35 points. Throughout the game the Gators got too many close shots, too many second tries at the basket, and too many free throws ( 26 of 38). Clear Lake was out rebounded 33 to 24. Lake played much better and outscored their opponents in the 2nd, 3rd, and last quarter but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit created at the beginning of the game. Final score was 90-81 in favor of Dickinson. Connor Atchley led the Falcons with 29 points and 5 rebounds. Dan Rieke had 15 points and Aaron Greenwood (6 rebounds) and Nandi Wijay each had 10 points. Scott Oswald had 7 assists. The Falcons face Texas City Saturday at 1:30 p.m. to determine who plays for 5th place.
CCISD Tournament, Day 1 The Livingston Lions found out quickly they were no match for the Clear Lake Falcons. The Falcons came out strong and dominated the game from the tip off. With the score at 30-11 at the end of the first quarter, there was little doubt as to the outcome of the contest. Lake turned the Lions into cubs during the second quarter by holding them to 4 points for the quarter with Lake's stifling defense against a noticeably weaker team. Score at the half was 46-15. The Falcons throttled back during the 3rd period and were outscored 18 to 14 but no real jeopardy existed. With the rotation of the reserves at the expected intervals, Lake still dominated with ease. At the final buzzer, Lake was up by 34. Connor Atchley led all scorers with 20 points, 3 blocked shots,and 3 rebounds. Dan Rieke appeared to be back at full speed. He did not let the 8 stitches above his left eye deter him as he came off the bench to score 14. Nandi Wijay had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 steals. Almost all players scored. Lake's next game is Friday at 7:30 at the Carlisle Field House at Clear Creek against Dickinson.