CLINTON — On Tuesday, November 30, the Clinton Maroons basketball team played its first home game of the season against the visiting Olympia Spartans, a tough foe.
In shear numbers, the varsity Maroons were outmanned 14-9, and there are no seniors on this year’s squad. But, Olympia’s coach was surprised when the Maroons hung around in the first quarter to be only one point down going into the next quarter.
At halftime, the Maroons were still around, down by only 6 points.
During the third quarter the Spartans were able to stretch their lead to 10 points, which ended up as only 8 points going into the final quarter. By this time the opposing coach was becoming frustrated, and his team was tiring.
The fourth quarter was Maroon-amazing. The home team has been working on a new offense, the same offense the Spartans use, and it finally clicked.
It uses only guards on the perimeter, moving the ball around until a clear shot opens, either on the outside or a drive to the basket. And, the swarming defense had the Spartans reeling.
They were held to one point in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, The Maroons were getting closer and closer. A bucket for 2 points and a pair of 3-point scores put the Maroons down by one with little time left (seconds). After an Olympia missed shot and a Maroon rebound, the home team started down the court.
Somehow players became tangled and the opposition was called for a technical foul. Dawson Graves (#2) took the two shots for the Maroons to put them up by one with several seconds left.
The Maroons set up a maze on the court so the opposition wouldn’t have a straight run to the basket. By the time the player from Olympia made it down the floor, he shot as the buzzer went off and missed, giving the Maroons the one-point 47-46 win.
The Clinton side of the gym erupted in pandemonium as the team was swarmed by their student cheering section, their fans and anyone Maroon related.
The Maroons were led by Graves (#2) with 15 points, Brooks Cluver (#12) with 13 points and Mason Walker with 11 points. Walker and Graves had two 3-pointers each and Cluver had one 3-pointer in the team leading scoring.
In the first game of the evening the junior varsity (JV) faced an equally stubborn opponent. The initial quarter saw the home team falter and end up down 20-2 at the end of this round.
The second quarter, the Maroons battled back for a respectable round at 18-15 but still left them down by 21 points at the halfway mark.
This would prove to be the best of the night for the Maroons JV as they scored single digits in each of the final two quarters while the opposition scored in double digits in the last two quarters.
The final score was Spartans 65, Maroons 25. Westbrooks (#24) was the lone Maroon in double figures with 14 points with only four players scoring. The opposition had 11 players scoring points.