ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Missing both their head coach and their starting point guard, Clinton-Massie’s boys basketball team pushed Dayton City League foe Ponitz right to the brink Saturday night.
In the end, Ponitz used an 11-0 run during the final 3:30 to rally to defeat the Falcons 63-58 at Brian P. Mudd court.
It’s been a theme for the snake-bitten Falcons throughout the course of the season. Close enough to hang with the best teams on their schedule, but unable to get the bounces to go their way late.
In addition to missing Brendan Lamb, who is recovering from an ankle injury, the Falcons were also without head coach Todd Cook, who missed the game due to illness. Steven Gerber coached the game in his absence.
“The kids played their butts off,” Gerber said. “They played as hard as we’ve played all year. Most 1-11 teams won’t play hard. These kids put themselves in position against a very good team.”
The first half saw the Falcons (1-12) smother Ponitz (7-9) with their half-court defense. Ponitz made just 8 of 26 shots and scored just 19 points in the half. Clinton-Massie took a 30-19 lead to the break.
Clinton-Massie had a chance to extend the lead early in the third, but came up empty on three straight possessions following defensive stops.
“There was that three-minute stretch of the third quarter when we got stops, but missed easy shots,” Gerber said. “We put ourselves in position, we just couldn’t finish.”
Ponitz ramped up the pressure in the third, forcing nine Clinton-Massie turnovers. The Golden Panthers outscored the Falcons 23-12 in the third to tie the game at 42 after three.
Trailing by three with 3:28 left, Ponitz got its two biggest baskets of the game from Devon Perdue. Perdue scored to pull the Golden Panthers within one. With 1:36 left, he buried a three to give Ponitz its first lead since the first quarter, 56-54.
After making 9 of 12 from the line over the first three quarters, Clinton-Massie made just 8 of 14 in the fourth. That combined with a 4 of 13 shooting quarter from the floor allowed Ponitz to pull away late for the win.
“We missed some free throws and they hit a couple big shots when they needed to,” Gerber said.
Tate Olberding led the Falcons with 18 points and 15 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds. Austin Faucett had 14 points and six rebounds. In Lamb’s absence, Faucett and Carter Euton took turns running the Falcon offense.
“I thought Austin and Carter did a very good job handling that pressure,” Gerber said. “That’s as much pressure as they’ve seen all year and they stepped up. I was proud of all our kids.”
Perdue led Ponitz with 22 points. Peyton Lyons added 16 points.
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020
@Brian P. Mudd Court, Clinton-Massie High School
Ponitz 63, Clinton-Massie 58
(63) PONITZ (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Malik Simmons 3-0-2-8, Devon Perdue 8-4-2-22, Peyton Lyons 8-0-0-16, Sherman Moncrief 2-0-1-5, David Jordan 1-0-0-2, Dayjuan Anderson 0-0-6-6, Delvonte Adams 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 24-4-11-63.
(58) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jordan Redman 1-0-1-3, Carter Euton 3-2-1-9, Austin Faucett 4-1-5-14, Tate Olberding 7-0-4-18, Nate Baker 1-0-6-8, Logan Meyers 3-0-0-6. TOTALS 19-3-17-58.
FIELD GOALS: P 24/61 (Lyons 8/16, Perdue 8/19); CM 19/49 (Olberding 7/18, Faucett 4/9)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: P 4/18 (Perdue 4/10); CM 3/12 (Euton 2/6)
FREE THROWS: P 11/23 (Anderson 6/11); CM 17/26 (Baker 6/7, Faucett 5/6)
REBOUNDS: P 37 (Jordan 8, Anderson 5, Perdue 4); CM 41 (Olberding 15, Faucett 6, Euton 5, Baker 5)
ASSISTS: P 7; CM 5
STEALS: P 21 (Perdue 4, Lyons 4, Simmons 3, Anderson 3); CM 7 (Faucett 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: P 1; CM 2
TURNOVERS: P 18; CM 25
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.