Needing every win they can get and a little outside help down the stretch, the Clear Falls Knights kept their playoff hopes alive with a 44-34 win at Clear Brook on Tuesday.
“We’re just a super-young team, we’re still trying to put it together,” Clear Falls head coach Shannon Osborne said. “They’re trying to figure out their grit, and they showed it tonight. … We’ve got five games left, and we’re still putting pieces together.
“It’s absolutely been a work in progress every single day in practice,” Osborne added. “But, the thing is, they come out and compete, and that’s all I can really ask of them at this point. I’m super proud of them tonight.”
The game was far from a masterpiece for either team, but Clear Falls began to get things clicking in the third quarter.
Leading just 14-10 at halftime, the Knights scored eight unanswered points in the first half of the third quarter, highlighted by 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions from senior guard Kaylee Hernandez (12 points, nine rebounds).
“We started working better out of our press offense,” Osborne said. “They came out a little cold early on, which allowed us to stay in the game to have the run in the third quarter.”
Clear Falls bested its entire first-half scoring output in the third quarter to take a 30-18 lead into the final frame.
The Knights started the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run for their largest lead of the game. The run was highlighted by a nice assist by junior guard Jessica Epting to junior post Anita Parrott (10 points, seven rebounds) for easy points in the paint and a midrange shot by Epting.
Clear Brook — which only had three made field goals through the first three quarters — started to find a rhythm late, but Clear Falls’ lead was too much to overcome.
Clear Brook never led and only tied the game once, on an offensive rebound and put-back bucket by sophomore forward Vevda Lake (nine rebounds) that knotted the score, 6-6, in the first quarter. A midrange basket by Addy Girouard gave Clear Falls an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Clear Brook senior forward Celeste Clement had a game-high 14 points, and senior post NaKavla Bell chipped in seven points and 12 rebounds.
In a game where there were nearly as many rebounds (Clear Falls with 42, Clear Brook with 30) as points, other rebounding leaders included Knights sophomore post Josephine Adegbite (eight) and sophomore guard Lauryn Small (seven).
Up next, the Knights (5-5 in district) will try to keep on winning when they host Friendswood (2-8) at 7 p.m. Friday.