Redskins’ boys win three in a row at home, travel to Britton, beat Patriots

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T. J. Baker (left) soared over Landon Handy to help Clinton remain undefeated with a 54-40 victory over Britton Deerfield. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Clinton’s varsity boys basketball team opened its season with a 62-39 win over Manchester at home and followed with a pair of wins at home just days later.

The Redskins traveled to Britton to face Britton Deerfield on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and improved their record to 4-0 with a 54-40 Tri-County Conference victory.

Britton Deerfield’s big man Devin Gruber scored four of the Patriot’s eight points in the first quarter and helped keep Clinton off balance to give the Patriots an 8-6 lead after one quarter of play.

Clinton quickly took over the lead in the second quarter with T. J. Baker laying a ball in the net and Cullen Zimmerman tagging the net from the three point line. BD’s Landon Handy hit the bucket from the field but the ‘Skins went to the line and added five more points for a 16-10 lead with 4:15 left in the second quarter.

The Patriots toughened up and cut the gap to just four points by the end of the first half with Zach Bearinger adding two from the free throw line and hitting the net from the field. Clinton finished the quarter with a 23-19 lead after having Ricky Miller add two points on a put-back just before the halftime buzzer sounded.

Clinton pushed its lead to 28-19 early in the third quarter but Handy and Bearinger helped pull the Patriots within one point at 31-30 by combining for eight points with 3:08 remaining in the period.

Baker hit a three pointer for Clinton’s last shot of the third quarter but BD’s Handy answered right back just before the buzzer to send the Patriots into the final quarter down by three points at 38-35.

BD’s Josh Reau was the only player to foul out. He sent Clinton’s Baker to the free throw line with 3:18 left in the game and he connected on the first shot but missed the second for a 47-39 lead. Baker quickly added another basket from the field to make it a 10-point game (49-39). BD was unable to recover from that point on and added just one more point before the end of the game while the Redskins tagged on five more.

Baker led Clinton’s offense with a game-high 19 points while Marco Nunzi added 10 points. Grant Clark hit the net for nine of Clinton’s points while Ricky Miller chipped in seven.

Handy led the Patriots’ offense with 17 points while Gruber and Bearinger added seven points each.

The Redskins put together a big second half comeback to defeat Manchester 62-39 in an opening night home contest on Monday, Dec. 3.

Clinton outscored Manchester 33-13 in the second half and ended with 55-19 rebounding advantage for the game.

“We did a lot of things well tonight but we need to improve in so many areas also,” said Clinton coach Mike Ruhl. “We work hard and have a team full of good kids. We’ll get there!”

Statistically for Clinton, Baker finished with 23 points (10/16 shooting and 4/4 from the line) and 15 rebounds; Grant Clark, 18 points (9/13 shooting), 12 rebounds and three steals; Nunzi, eight points and three assists; Devin Lillis, five points and six rebounds; Miller, four points, three rebounds and two blocked shots; and Ryan Piatt (4 rebounds) and Mike Mistopoulos, two points each.

Clinton defeated visiting Bath 52-45 on Thursday, Dec. 6 and followed with a 47-39 victory over Addison on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Against Bath, the Redskins finished the opening quarter tied 8-8 but finished the first half with a 24-19 lead.

A hot third quarter had the Redskins adding 20 points to Bath’s 13 in the third quarter.

Bath outscored Clinton 13-8 in the final quarter but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Redskins.

Baker and Nunzi each scored 11 points to lead Clinton’s offense.




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