ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Blake Ireland’s five three-pointers in the fourth quarter were not enough as Goshen held off Clinton-Massie 71-68 Friday night in SBAAC American Division boys basketball action at Brian P. Mudd Court.
It was Senior night for the Falcons, as Brendan Lamb, Austin Faucett, Tate Olberding and Nate Baker were honored.
It has been a year marked by near misses for the Falcons, including a three-point defeat earlier in the season to the Warriors. Unfortunately for the Falcons, it was yet another tough loss despite a furious fourth quarter rally.
“We had one of our best offensive games of the season, but we didn’t do near as good a job defensively as we would like,” CM coach Todd Cook said. “We continue to keep fighting and playing hard.”
Down 6-3, Massie was ignited by Baker, who had a free throw, a blocked shot and an assist to Olberding to tie the score. Olberding scored later with an assist to Jordan Redman but Massie turnovers allowed the Warriors to lead 16-10 after one.
Baker’s assist to Ireland for three started quarter number two on a positive note for the Falcons. Another beautiful Falcon pass, this time from Olberding to Faucett, got CM to within one at the 5:00 mark. The Massie run continued with a bucket from Olberding. Two Ireland free throws squared things at 21. Both teams began to heat up but the last two minutes proved costlyfor Massie as some defensive and rebounding lapses led to a 10-1 Goshen run. The Warriors led 34-25 at halftime.
“We gave up three offensive rebounds that led to three pointers that cost us,” said Cook.
Lamb came out hot for the Falcons in the second half, with a couple long field goals, but Massie was unable to get any stops on the defensive end. When the Falcons were able to get a defensive stop, it seemed that Goshen would grab an offensive rebound, and take advantage with second chance points. Two straight assists from Ireland to Baker kept Massie in it, but the deficit remained around 10 points through most of the period.
A three pointer from Ireland, who then proceeded to make a steal, and drive the length of the floor for two, got it back to single digits for the Falcons early in the final period.
Cook was quick to acknowledge Ireland’s performance. “He had a fabulous game tonight. He came in a gave us a big lift.”
Ireland was not finished. Another three made it 58-52 with still 5:00 to play. The momentum continued as Lamb hit Baker for two, and the lead was down to four, prompting a Goshen timeout. The timeout seemed to settle down the Warriors as they came out with five straight points.
Just when the Falcons appeared to be going down, Ireland struck again with a long ball to keep hope alive for CM. A Faucett free throw at the 2:00 mark made it a one possession game, 63-60. The teams traded field goals and as the clock ticked under one minute Goshen clung to a 65-62 lead. Despite two more long threes from Ireland, who nailed five from long range in the quarter, Goshen was finally able to but the game away with some clutch free throw shooting in the final seconds.
Ireland’s huge fourth quarter propelled him to a game high 23 points. He was joined in double figures by Lamb (13), Olberding (12), and Baker (10). Josh Hice paced Goshen with 18, including a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line late to ice it for his team.
Clinton Massie is back home Saturday night, closing out the home schedule, as they host Anna.
Goshen came out on top in the JV game, 37-25. Dawson Conley led the Falcons with nine points.
Feb 7, 2020
@Brian P. Mudd Court
Goshen 71 Clinton-Massie 68
(71) GOSHEN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ashcraft 4-1-0-9 Slusher 5-1-2-13 Jones 3-2-0-8 Hice 2-2-12-18 Webster 0-0-0-0 Bradley 0-0-0-0 Moore 1-1-0-3 Harris 2-1-0-5 Adams 7-0-1-15 TOTALS 24-8-15/17-71
(68) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Redman 0-0-0-0 Euton 1-1-0-3 Lamb 5-3-0-13 Faucett 2-0-3-7 Ireland 7-6-4-23 Olberding 6-0-0-12 Baker 4-0-2-10 Meyers 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 25-10-9/14-68
Brian Georges cover high school sports for the News Journal.