Clawson guard Ramone Boothe looks to make a pass in his team's game against Madison Heights Madison Friday night. The Trojans started slow, but poured it on in a 60-39 win over the Eagles. (For the Daily Tribune/Liz Carnegie)
Basketball - Boys
BOYS BASKETBALL: Clawson gets the upper-hand against Madison
CLAWSON - They don’t like each other.
When the Madison Heights Eagles (0-2) and Clawson Trojans (2-0) gather together for any athletic contest, spirits are high.
Friday night was no different, as the two teams squared off on Clawson’s home court. The senior laden Trojans prevailed 60-39 over the mostly junior squad from Madison. That level of maturity proved to be the needed edge.
The first half was a tightly played game as neither team could get its offense in sync.
Two minutes in, Jared Ocampo hit a jumper to take an early 2-0 lead but tough defense, key turnovers and high spirits led to a low scoring first half. The first quarter ended with Clawson clinging to a 9-7 lead. Clawson senior Marquian Johnson had three blocked shots in the first quarter alone. The Eagles tied the game at 2-2 but never led in the first period.
The second period began with Clawson’s Doug Vincent converting two free throws to push the lead to four at 11-7. But the Eagles went on an eight point run with Anthony Love and Jaylin Golson hitting short shots to take a 15-11 lead with 3:19 left. The last score coming on a Marquian Johnson goal tending call. Ocampo hit a jumper to cut the lead to 15-13 for the Eagles with 2:08 left, but then Madison’s Davon Payne hit a jumper followed by converting two foul shots to push their lead to six at 19-13. Clawson’s Chris Oles and Ramone Boothe both hit shots to cut the lead to 19-17 at halftime for the Eagles.
“We’re not trying to control a low scoring game. We’re just going to play them,” Madison Heights head coach Matt Ferguson said. “We didn’t make many shots in the first four minutes. It’s early in the year. I was expecting them to come but I think our quickness and speed surprised them.”
Trojans head coach Rob Fulgenzi saw a fired up Eagles team.
“You’ve got to give Madison credit. They played very aggressively on both ends of the court,” Fulgenzi said. “The were attacking on offense and hitting the glass and we got into foul trouble (Kavon Thompson and Ramone Boothe with three each). And they were forcing us to take some quick shots. But then again we had some good shots that we missed, too.”
Each coach knew that the first few minutes of the third quarter would be crucial as to who would eventually win the rivalry game.
“I told them we had to win the first four minutes,” Ferguson said. “Those seniors in the other locker room were going to challenge themselves and they’re not wanting to lose to you guys. If we come out soft, they’re going to get us. You got them right where you want them. You’re in their heads and they’re seeing seven of you guys out there.”
Ocampo hit a jump shot to tie the score at 19-19 with 6:20 left in the third, and then Marquian Johnson missed a dunk. The Trojans then put together an eight-point run over the next three minutes. Ocampo was fouled and converted the free throws to take a 21-19 lead. Johnson got a rebound and put it back in then Ocampo hit a short jumper in the lane, Johnson had another follow up to push the lead to 27-19 with 3:22 left in the third.
Alondre Williams hit a layup to get the Eagles back on the board and the lead down to six at 27-21. After trading buckets on multiple possessions, Ocampo hit a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left to push the Trojans lead to 10, 35-25. But the chippiness was getting more evident and Ocampo was called for a technical when he responded to some chatter from the Eagles. The Eagles converted the shots and Clawson ended the third period with a 35-27 lead.
In the fourth, Clawson kept working on the Eagles and with the help of Chuck Tarver hitting two 3-pointers, a technical on the Eagles and a dunk by Johnson, the Trojans extended their lead and control of the game to a 19 point lead at the 4:22 mark, 52-33. The Trojans kept pouring on the defense and hit key shots to eventually take the game, 60-39.
Jaylin Golson led the Eagles with 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Davon Payne added eight points and three rebounds while Anthony Love added seven points, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. The Eagles were 9-12 from the line for 75 percent.
Clawson was 15-of-19 from the free throw line for 79 percent. They also shot 54 percent from the field on 15 of 28 shooting. From the 3-point line they hit 5 of 18 for 28 percent. Johnson had 10 points, 11 rebounds, five steals, three assists and five blocks. Ocampo was the high scorer with 25 points. Tarver added eight including two 3-pointers. Ramone Boothe had five assists and four points.
“We’re young. We’ve got to play 32 minutes of that ball not just a half,” Ferguson said of his team’s entire performance.
Of the chippiness on the court, Ferguson knows his team has to get it under control on the court.
“It comes down to experience. It comes down to emotion out there and we need to be poised. And you get that with experience,” he said.
Fulgenzi knows his team will improve its play.
“In the second half we finally got in rhythm on both halves of the court. We played great defense and forced some turnovers. Then we hit some shots and got out on the fast break. Guys got comfortable and loose and that’s what I expected to see all four quarters,” he said. “We’ve still got to get better. This was a dogfight. We’ve got work better and play four quarters. We can’t afford to play a first half like that in league play.”
Clawson travels to Royal Oak on Friday December 20th for its next game, while Madison Heights hosts Macomb Christian on December 19.