By Ben Murphy
Clare hosted non-league Montabella on Monday, picking up a 54-43 non-league boys’ basketball win over the Mustangs.
“It was nice to see everyone on our team score and contribute,” Clare head coach Rob Wise said. “We were a little flat coming off our big game Friday night. We did enough to win.”
Both teams had 10 points after the first quarter, while Clare pulled ahead 24-20 at the half and 43-34 entering the fourth.
Scott Smith had 11 points, Connor Clickner had nine points and five assists and Mason Packard had eight points and 12 rebounds.
On Friday, Clare hosted defending Jack Pine Conference champion Beaverton, and got a last second three-pointer by Packard to pick up the win.
Beaverton led 11-9 after the first quarter and both teams netted 13 points in the second to keep the Beaver lead at two at 24-22 at the half.
Clare came back to score 17 points in the third quarter, outscoring the Beavers 17-12 in the third, giving the Pioneers a 41-36 lead entering the fourth.
Beaverton held a 56-54 lead in the closing seconds, but Packard drilled home a three with three seconds left to give Clare the win. The win comes after the Pioneers lost to Beaverton earlier in the season, 68-34.
“It was great for the team to avenge a loss,” Wise said. “I’m so proud of the kids for fighting back.”
Packard led Clare with 14 points and five rebounds, Colton Punches had 13 points, Smith had 11 points and Clickner had eight points, nine rebounds and four assists.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29 the Pioneers hosted Harrison in another JPC game, winning 66-55.
Clare led 15-13 after the first quarter but the the Hornets turned the tables to lead 27-24 at the half. The Pioneers rallied to outscore Harrison 15-6 in the third to lead 39-33 entering the fourth, where Clare outscored Harrison by five.
“We played poorly in the first half,” Wise said. “We got off to a slow start. Once we started pressing with about four minutes left in the third quarter, when we were down 31-24 we picked up the tempo and started scoring. We did a nice job making free throws down the stretch, making nine-of-10 in the last couple minutes. Harrison made five three-pointers to keep them close.”
Punches led Clare with 18 points and nine rebounds, Smith had 13 points and five boards, Clickner had nine points and four assists and Packard added nine points.
Clare (10-3 overall, 6-2 JPC) played at Harrison on Wednesday and plays at Roscommon Feb. 14.