Clinton wins, gains piece of TCC title

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Clinton’s biggest offensive threat, Marco Nunzi (left), drives around Madison’s Collin Slates during a key TCC contest. Photo by Tom Culler.

Clinton’s varsity boys basketball team won twice last week to catch up with league-leading Madison and earn a share of the Tri-County Conference (TCC) title.

The Redskins defeated Sand Creek 42-31 on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and acquired a piece of the TCC championship at home on Friday, Feb. 22 with a 51-46 win over the Trojans in front of a packed house. Clinton (17-2 overall, 12-2 TCC) won its third TCC title since joining the conference six years ago, and has won it three out of the last four years.

“What a season,” said Clinton head coach Mike Ruhl. “We took a couple of losses to lower teams, but were able to beat Madison twice. There was a lot of pressure Friday night. The kids handled it well and came through when it mattered most.

At Sand Creek, Marco Nunzi led Clinton with 17 points, five steals and three assists while Ricky Miller added eight points and six rebounds. Clinton’s TJ Baker finished with six points, five rebounds and three steals.

Against Madison, the Redskins gained a 21-12 lead by the end of the first half.
Madison made a furious third quarter run and took the lead twice early in the fourth quarter.

Clinton put together an 8-0 run and managed the clock the rest of the game to secure the win.

Nunzi led Clinton to the win with 15 points, 11 assists and four steals. Baker added 12 points; Luke Schaffner, 11 points; Miller six points and eight rebounds; Grant Clark with five points and four rebounds; Mike Mistopoulos, two points; and Cullen Zimmerman, three rebounds.

“We had the flu bug and injuries to key players heading into Friday night, which makes it all the sweeter to get the job done,” said Ruhl. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Clinton travels to Dundee on Thursday (JV’s start at 5:30 p.m.) and begins District play at Whitmore Lake on Monday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. against Manchester.

If Clinton wins it would face Willow Run on Wednesday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. The District finals will take place on Friday, March 8 at 7pm.

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