ADAMS TOWNSHIP — One could imagine Western Brown and Clinton-Massie did not exchange Christmas cards after their meeting on the gridiron this past fall.
It was evident in the hardwood version between the two schools at Brian P. Mudd Court Friday, which ended with a 65-55 victory for Western Brown to stay atop the SBAAC American Division standings.
The often chippy affair with much spirited discussion among the combatants came to a head in the final 43 seconds when Western Brown’s Drew Novak was ejected for a flagrant foul. Carter Euton hit one of the two technical free throws to pull Massie to within two possessions of the Broncos, 61-55.
Western Brown (8-3, 4-0) salted the game away at the free throw line in the final 27 seconds, hitting four-of-four attempts, including a pair for an intentional foul called on Keegan Lamb which took another possession away from the Falcons to try to chip away at the Bronco lead.
Novak led Western Brown with 18 points. Euton led Massie (3-8, 0-4) with 16.
After two blowout wins by the Broncos last season, Clinton-Massie stayed with Western Brown most of the night, and led for the first 5:49 of the game and again later at 18-17 at the 6:26 mark of the second quarter.
The Broncos put some distance between them and the Falcons with an 11-2 run that gave the visitors a 28-20 cushion with 1:42 left in the half. Nine of those points were of the second-chance variety on four consecutive possessions.
“We talk about limiting teams to one shot. There was a stretch there in the second quarter they got a lot of second-chance opportunities and they connected on them. We have to finish defensive possessions; that’s something we stress every day at practice. But that hurt us in the second quarter,” CM head coach Steve Graves said.
Massie got back to within 28-26 in the next 40 seconds on a Jerry Trout three and an Owen Trick stick-back as part of an old-fashioned three-point play. But Western Brown got two buckets from Ty Loudon, including a steal he took the distance to beat the halftime horn, to stake the Broncos to a 32-26 advantage at the break.
Massie stayed within single-digits of Western Brown the first half of the third quarter before trailing 45-32 at the 4:01 mark.
Again, CM chipped away at Western Brown’s cushion, scoring nine of the next 10 points to make it 46-41 early in the fourth quarter.
“Grit, guys who compete. They kept their composure, for the most part, tonight. It got a little wild there toward the end. The atmosphere was great here tonight. The student section was rocking. And just the overall defensive effort,” Graves said when asked what helped keep his team in the game. “Lex Russell did a really good job tonight against two big kids (6-6 Drew Novak and 6-4 Dylan Novak). Owen Trick went in there an banged a little bit. Those guys were called on to do a good job in there and they battled their tails off. Overall the whole group, and I can mention them all.”
Western Brown pushed its lead back to 10 in the next three minutes, 55-45 with 4:16 left in the contest.
Massie managed to cut that lead in half with 1:30 remaining in the game, 57-52. It would not get any closer than five points of Western Brown the rest of the way.
January 15, 2002
Western Brown 65, Clinton-Massie 55
(65) WESTERN BROWN (fg-ft-tp) Entzminger-Chisenhall 4-3-13, Miller 0-6-6, Frye 3-2-11, Dylan Novak 3-1-7, Drew Novak 6-6-18, Campbell 1-0-2, S. Smith 1-0-2, Loudon 3-0-6. Total 21-18-65. 3-point goals: 5 (S. Smith 3, Entzminger-Chisenhall 2). FTM-FTA 18-25, 72 percent.
(55) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-ft-tp) Euton 4-8-16, Zantene 3-0-6, Lamb 0-6-6, Trout 5-2-15, Russell 4-1-9, Jones 0-0-0, Trick 1-1-3, Williams 0-0-0. Total 17-18-55. 3-point goals: 3 (Trout 3). FTM-FTA 18-26, 60 percent.