WILMINGTON — Sometimes hours and hours of preparation work best. Other times, great performances come off the cuff without much practice at all.
The latter happened to be the case for head coach Dustin Eads’ Clinton-Massie squad as the Falcons withstood a feisty Leesburg Fairfield team, 68-60, in Saturday’s opening game at the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic.
Nick Chowning scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half to help CM pull away. Chowning hit on 3-of-5 from 3-point range after halftime. He was awarded the plaque for MVP of the game.
“I can say that I was thrilled with the outcome,” Clinton-Massie head coach Dustin Eads said. “Friday was literally our first time all together in the gym as a team. Then we had a walk-through this morning and came out here and got after it. It’s just nice to get that first win.”
A handful of contributors for Clinton-Massie are also members of the Falcons gridiron team that made another deep playoff run. That provided Eads with an inexperienced bunch heading into the opener.
“We have a lot of kids who this was their first varsity game,” Eads said. “We had some jitters early, but were able to relax and play well together.”
It was a sluggish start for both sides as Fairfield went nearly four minutes before scoring a point. However, CM’s own cold-shooting allowed the Lions to hang around and Massie held just a 12-9 lead after one quarter.
Fairfield made its best spurt of the game to start the second quarter and after Jensen Daulton converted a steal and a lay-in, the Lions had built a 15-12 lead. Clinton-Massie answered right back and two Hunter Fentress buckets helped the Falcons regain a 27-22 halftime advantage.
“I think the thing I was most proud of was the fact that every kid that stepped on the court contributed in some way,” Eads said. “We lost a lot of kids from last season so there will be a lot of guys that have a chance to step in and play big minutes.”
The Falcons put the game away, for all intents and purposes, with a 9-0 run to start the third quarter. By the time Ethan Putman made the Lions first field goal of the half at the 4:18 mark of the third, the CM lead had grown to 36-24. Chowning then buried a pair of dagger treys and the Falcons had built an insurmountable 45-31 lead heading into the final frame.
“Nick is a very hard worker. I’m proud of the way he played,” Eads said.
Trey Utrecht scored 11 points for CM and grabbed five rebounds, while Chris Demler had a solid afternoon with eight points and six boards.
For Fairfield, Ethan Putnam led a balanced scoring attack with 17 points and six rebounds.
Clinton-Massie is back in action on Tuesday with a matchup against Greenfield.
Nov 28, 2015
Ohio Valley Hoops Classic
@Fred Raizk Arena
(68) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp)
(60) FAIRFIELD (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Walker 1-0-0-2 Putnam 6-4-1-17 Evans 6-0-3-15 Daulton 5-2-4-16 Harris 0-0-1-1 Lamme 0-0-0-0 Lamb 1-1-0-3 Cain 0-0-0-0 Current 2-0-0-4 Fraley 1-0-0-2 Current 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 22-7-9-60
FIELD GOALS: F 22-53 (Evans 6-11, Putnam 6-14, Daulton 5-15) CM 23-61 (Chowning 5-11, Uetrecht 4-10)
3 PT FIELD GOALS: F 7-21 (Putnam 4-8) CM 5-22 (Chowning 3-8)
FREE THROWS: F 9-15 (Daulton 4-4, Evans 3-5) CM 17-25 (Chowning 8-9, Leforge 5-8)
REBOUNDS: F-36 (Evans 8 Current 6 Putnam 6) CM-41 (Dembler 6 Uetrecht 5 Fentress 5 Myers 4 Boyd 3 Weiss 3 Greathouse 3)
ASSISTS: F-4 (Daulton 2) CM-11 (Leforge 3 Uetrecht 3 Greathouse 2)
STEALS: F-8 (Putnam 2 Evans 2) CM-10 (Fentress 3 Chowning 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: F-2 CM-2
TURNOVERS: F-24 CM-18
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