In a matchup Saturday afternoon between top 10 state-ranked teams in a District 24-6A contest, the No. 9 Clear Brook Wolverines roared back in the second half to claim a 67-53 road victory over the No. 5 Dickinson Gators.
“We talked about how they were going to make runs because they’re a very good team, and how we’d have to weather the storm — we can’t lose our composure, stay locked in, stay the course, and do what you’re coached to do, and if you do that, you’re going to give yourself a great chance to win,” Clear Brook head boys basketball coach Nathan Janak said.
After Dickinson largely controlled the first half and took a 36-26 lead into the halftime break, Clear Brook immediately went to work on chipping the Gators’ lead all the way down with a 12-2 run to start the third quarter. Kemo Millender and Marcus Millender each scored four points during the key run, including back-to-back fast-layups to energize the scoring surge.
Later in the third period, a 3-pointer from Tristan Lisbony gave the Wolverines their first lead at 41-40 since making the game’s first basket, and the teams exchanged the lead three more times and had three tied scores after that.
With the score knotted 50-50 midway through the fourth quarter, Clear Brook went on a 7-1 run to take control of the game. Ja’Michael Young’s second made 3-pointer of the fourth quarter ignited the run, which was capped by a Christian Bradshaw lay-in.
Broderick Jackson Jr. had a strong basket inside with 57 seconds left to keep the Wolverines’ sizable lead at 59-53, and then the team went 6-for-6 at the free throw line to pad the lead even further.
With the Gators using their size to their advantage in the first half, Dickinson led by as much as 36-23 late in the second quarter before a half-court buzzer-beating 3-pointer knocked down by Marcus Millender perhaps foreshadowed the Wolverines’ second-half resurgence.
“They wanted it more in the second half, and the team that wants it more is going to make enough plays to get it done,” Dickinson head boys basketball coach Jason Wilson said.
Kemo Millender was Clear Brook’s leading scorer with 20 points, while Jackson added 13 points and nine rebounds, and Marcus Millender finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Top performances from Dickinson came from Zyon Little (17 points, seven rebounds), Patrick Williams Jr. (14 points, eight rebounds) and Seth Jones (13 points).
Both teams will have their next games at Clear Springs. Clear Brook (23-3 overall, 3-0 in district) will have a district bye before returning to the court 1 p.m. next Saturday. Dickinson (21-3, 1-1) looks to rebound 7 p.m. Wednesday.