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Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – As a coach, when you’ve been stuck on two wins for nearly a month and are mired in a four-game losing skid you will take a win any way you can get it.
Brandon Clubb believes his Clear Creek Amana team got exactly the type of win it needed on Tuesday.
Clear Creek Amana (3-9) stormed back from a disastrous start and then was clutch down the stretch in a 73-69 win over Benton Community in a WAMAC West Division tilt in Tiffin.
“For us to be down and fight back, continue to fight and then at the end do what we needed to that was exactly the type of game we needed,” Clubb said. “I would have still felt good with a loss because of how we played but to be able to do that and win is awesome for us.”
Clear Creek Amana trailed by as many 16 points in the first quarter and didn’t lead until Tyler Schrepfer hit a 15-foot baseline jumper with 5:14 left.
Schrepfer scored 11 of his 20 team-points in the fourth quarter, including a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final minute as the Clippers won for the first time since December 19.
“We were just sick and tired of being close, close, close and choking it out at the end,” Schrepfer said. “This game we were determined to get that win so when we got the lead we weren’t going to lose it.”
Darius Moore matched Schrepfer with 20 points as five Clippers scored at least eight points.
Nolan Schwarting had 11 while Jordan Wolfe had nine and Nick O’Connor added eight off the bench.
“We had some key players hit major shots,” Moore said. “We had a bunch of players step up, Nick, Nolan. Nolan is just full of energy so when he gets going we all get going and we feed off that energy.”
Benton Community (7-5) made its first 11 field goal attempts and went 12-of-14 from the floor in the first quarter while taking a 26-11 lead.
The Bobcats scored 14 unanswered points in a span of two minutes in the opening quarter to turn a 6-5 lead into a 20-5 advantage and had their biggest lead at 24-8 on a Luke Wiebel layup with 1:23 left.
Trailing by 15 the Clippers never blinked.
Clear Creek Amana opened the second quarter with a 10-2 run fueled by 3-pointers by Schwarting and O’Connor.
O’Connor, a sophomore guard, had all eight of his points in the second quarter as the Clippers got within striking distance at 38-33 at the half.
“We had to trust the fact that we could make shots in the offense and then we had to find them because we weren’t even looking for them,” Clubb said. “We had some guys step up and make shots and then a couple went in and we started rolling a little bit.”
Clear Creek Amana pulled even three times in the third quarter but Benton Community rattled off a late 7-2 run to take a 58-54 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Benton Community led 60-54 after a Spencer Touro layup with 6:55 left but the Clippers scored the next 12 points to take a 66-60 lead they would never give up.
“There is always that little bit of doubt there but kept fighting,” Schrepfer said. “We knew we had nothing to lose going into this game, we played them close the last time we played them and we kept fighting, we kept clawing back and eventually got there.”
Moore started the run with a layup and Schwarting following with a 3-pointer that cut the lead to one.
Schrepfer gave the Clippers their first lead at 61-60 and buried his fourth 3-pointer of the game on the next possession to make it 64-60.
“Every shot that goes in it’s contagious,” Schrepfer said. “Every shot that goes in is a confidence builder for the next guy that is all that we really needed. Before this game we hadn’t really strung together that many shots so it was good to do it this game.”
Moore capped the run he started with a pull up jumper that made it 66-60 Clippers with 3:19 left.
Schrepfer did the rest, hitting six consecutive free throws in the final 58 seconds.
“Every game we have been close,” Moore said. “We have been right there, right there, right there, we just couldn’t get over that hump and that’s what we did today.”
While Schrepfer and Moore led the Clippers on offense they also spearheaded a spirited second-half defensive effort
Moore limited Benton Community junior Nathan Michels to four second-half points after a 20-point first half while Schrepfer dogged Bobcat standout Spencer Touro for the final two quarters.
Touro finished with 18 points but was just 2-of-7 from 3-point range.
“We knew we had to stop Touro at the beginning of the game we did that and Michels stepped up and scored 20 in the first half so we had to make some adjustments,” Moore said. “Schrepfer just played outstanding defense. When you have a guy playing defense like that it just spreads like wildfire to the whole team.”
After shooting 72 percent for the first three quarters Benton Community went 5-of-15 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Clear Creek Amana 11 22 21 19 – 73
Benton Community 26 12 20 11 – 69
Clear Creek Amana (73) – Dylan Sheely 1-2 0-0 2, Jordan Wolfe 3-6 1-2 9, Darius Moore 7-15 4-4 20, Quentin Gisleson 0-1 0-0 0, Nick O’Connor 3-5 0-0 8, Tyler Schrepfer 5-7 6-6 20, Nolan Schwarting 4-7 0-0 11, TJ Bollers 1-7 1-4 3, Team 24-50 12-16 73.
Benton Community (69) – Spencer Touro 8-14 0-0 18, Koal Marshall 1-3 0-0 2, Tyler Rodman 2-4 0-0 4, Parker Nolan 4-5 0-2 8, Riley Nolan 1-2 0-0 2, Nathan Michels 10-15 1-1 24, Dylan Spina 5-8 0-0 11, Team 31-51 1-3 69.
3-point field goals – CCA 13-25 (Wolfe 2-5, Moore 2-5, O’Connor 2-4, Schrepfer 4-6, Schwarting 3-5); BC 6-15 (Touro 2-7, P. Nolan 0-1, R. Nolan 0-1, Michels 3-4, Spina 1-2). Rebounds – CCA 24 (Moore, Bollers 6); BC 21 (Touro 4). Total fouls – CCA 5; BC 11. Turnovers – CCA 15; BC 14. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – BC Bench.