GOSHEN — Clinton-Massie’s defense held the fort Tuesday night until the Falcons’ offense busted loose. When that happened, a league title was secured.
Clinton-Massie exploded for a 14-0 run in the third quarter to finish off Goshen and clinch an outright SBAAC American Division title. The Falcons prevailed 66-45.
That result, coupled with Wilmington’s 67-58 loss at New Richmond, ended the American Division race.
“It feels really good,” CM head coach Todd Cook said. “This group here has the drive. They’re going to come out and get the job done. We face obsticles all the time, and they’re stepping up. Different people are doing different roles on the team. We’re just giving that extra effort.”
Knowing what Goshen was capable of from the outside, Cook and his team focused in practice on taking away the Warriors’ time from long range.
“We worked on the defensive side keeping the ball in front of us so we didn’t have to help much,” Cook said. “As soon as we help, we have to recover back and they have an open three.”
Clinton-Massie (14-3 overall, 7-1 SBC) took the lead midway through the first quarter and steadily pulled away for the remainder of the half. The Falcons led 27-15 at the break.
Goshen (9-9, 4-4) hung around, pulling within 32-23 with 4:11 left in the third quarter. Cook called a timeout, and the Falcons ran off the next 14 points to put the game out of reach.
Griffin Laake paced the Falcon attack with 20 points. He also had eight rebounds, five of them offensive. Zach Chowning added 14 points. Brendan Lamb had six assists while Drew Settlemyre pulled down 12 rebounds.
“Zach stepped up and hit some shots,” Cook said. “Griffin stepped up huge. Griffin has been getting to the basket, but he has unfortunately getting fouls called on him. He was able to get it done.”
Victor Hill led Goshen with 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting. The rest of the Warriors struggled from the floor, especially behind the three-point arc. Goshen made just 6 of 34 shots from the outside. Take away Hill’s 2 of 4 from long range, and the rest of the team was just 4 of 30 (13.4 percent).
“They’re a great set-shooting team,” Cook said. “We wanted to make sure they put the ball on the floor, because they don’t do that too often.”
It was the first league championship for the Falcons since they won the South Central Ohio League title in 2012-2013. Cook is pleased with the accomplishment, but they have other goals in mind.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Cook said. “We’re probably going to be setting records throughout the season. With my 100 wins, with Thomas Myers’ 1,000 points and now a league title, we haven’t had a district title (in a long time). That’s our next goal.
“We want to finish this season strong. We’ve got two more league games and two non-league games. We want to get those four.”
The Falcons played Tuesday’s game without Myers, who according to Cook, was suspended due to a violation of team rules.
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019
@ Goshen High School
Clinton-Massie 66, Goshen 45
(66) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Daulton Wolfe 1-0-0-2, Brendan Lamb 2-0-2-6, Zach Chowning 5-4-0-14, Austin Faucett 2-0-7-11, Tate Olberding 0-0-1-1, Nate Baker 2-0-2-6, Griffin Laake 7-1-5-20, Spencer Voss 1-0-0-2, Drew Settlemyre 1-0-2-4. TOTALS 21-5-19-66.
(45) GOSHEN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Hunter Slusher 1-1-4-7, Christian Kollmorgen 6-1-1-14, Bradley Moore 2-2-0-6, Josh Hice 1-0-0-2, Victor Hill 7-2-0-16. TOTALS 17-6-5-45.
FIELD GOALS: CM 21/48 (Laake 7/11, Chowning 5/10); G 17/58 (Hill 7/9, Kollmorgen 6/13)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: CM 5/12 (Chowning 4/5); G 6/34 (Hill 2/4)
FREE THROWS: CM 19/22 (Faucett 7/8, Laake 5/5); G 5/5 (Slusher 4/4)
REBOUNDS: CM 43 (Settlemyre 12, Laake 8, Wolfe 5, Lamb 4, Chowning 4); G 26 (Slusher 4, Kollmorgen 4)
ASSISTS: CM 12 (Lamb 6); G 4
STEALS: CM 6; G 10
BLOCKED SHOTS: CM 3 (Baker 2); G 2
TURNOVERS: CM 17; G 10
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.