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Obama Academy pulls away late from Clearfield despite big game from Myers

By Fred Kavelak

Special to D9Sports.com

CLARION, Pa. – District 8 representative Obama Academy spoiled Clearfield’s first appearance in the PIAA Playoffs since 2009 by pulling away in the final minutes for a 66-52 win in Class AAA sub-regional action at Clarion High School Monday night.

The final score couldn’t have been more deceiving.

The District 9 champion Bison went toe-to-toe with the quick, athletic Eagles most of the game and were down only 52-48 with 3:49 remaining after sophomore Will Myers fired in his sixth three-pointer.

Then, the Eagles reaped the rewards of their pressure defense, forcing six turnovers on the Bison’s next eight possessions.

Super-sub Kenny Robinson fueled a 13-2 run that lasted less than 2½ minutes and gave the Eagles their biggest lead, 65-50, with 1:28 left.

The 6-1 sophomore scored nine points, including a dunk, to finish with 18 points. Senior guard James Taylor-Lane led Obama Academy (15-6) with 24 points, six above his regular-season average, mostly by getting to the rim on drives or fast breaks.

Myers missed only three shots from the floor en route to a game-high 27 points.

Time after time, he kept Bison in the game with tough, clutch shots when the Eagles threatened to break it open.

Junior center Cody Spaid also came through in a big way with a double-double, powering his way to 15 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.

Though playing catch-up throughout, Clearfield did forge ties on eight occasions, including 13-13 after one quarter, and briefly led 38-37 late in the third quarter when Myers sandwiched a Robinson putback with a pair of three-pointers.

Obama Academy responded that time with seven consecutive points, led 44-40 going to the fourth quarter and was able to stave off Clearfield’s last rally to take control.

The Bison more than held their own under the boards, outrebounding the Eagles 28-26 with Myers and Sellers backing Spaid with six boards apiece.

Turnovers were crucial, Clearfield finishing with 21, nine in the fourth period.

The Eagles did not have any in the first half and ended up with only eight.

Clearfield closed its turnaround season with a 20-4 record.

Obama Academy, which finished second among the five Class AAAA teams in the Pittsburgh City League, will play Ambridge, District 7’s third seed, in the opening round of the PIAA Playoffs Friday at a site and time to be announced.

OBAMA ACADEMY 66, CLEARFIELD 52

Score by Quarters

Obama Academy     13   14   17   22   –   66

Clearfield                 13   11   16   12   –   52

OBAMA ACADEMY – 66

James Taylor-Lane 10 3-5 24, Denzel Fields 5 0-1 10, Isaiah Prentice 0 0-0 0, Kenny Robinson 8 2-8 18, Nasir Tatum 0 0-0 0, Erik Taylor 5 0-1 10,, Lenell Pitomy 1 0-0 3, Quinton Kimes 0 0-0 0, Ronald Brown 0 0-0 0, Eronn Hammond 0 1-2 1, Brandon Matthews 0 0-0 0, Julian McGee 0 0-0 0.  TOTALS: 29  6-17  66.

CLEARFIELD – 52

Erik Sellers  3 0-0 6, Will Myers 9 3-5 27, Cody Spaid 5 5-5 15, Tommy Hazel 0 2-2 2, David McKenzie 0 0-2 0, Evan Brown 0 0-0 0, Caleb Strouse 1 0-0 2, Carter Wood 0 0-0 0.  TOTALS: 18  10-14  52.

Three-Point Field Goals: Obama Academy 2 (Taylor-Lane 1, Pitomy 1), Clearfield 6 (Myers 6).

Rebounds: Obama Academy 26 (Robinson 8), Clearfield 28 (Spaid 10).

Turnovers: Obama Academy 8, Clearfield 21.



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