CLOPTON – A close match against Wellsville-Middletown and a blow-out against Silex last week should provide a nice starting ramp as they enter next week’s Bowling Green tournament.

Clopton beat Silex 54-23 on courtwarming night. Head Coach Tony Francis said the enthusiasm of supporters, cheerleaders and the pep band contributed.

“That type of environment is huge in developing a home-court advantage,” Francis said.

Zakk Eivins had the best night shooting for the team with 17 points, followed by Shawn Yates (12), Maleek McPike (8) and Daniel Harvey (8).

Eivins had 11 rebounds, followed by five for Yates and four for McPike.

"The biggest takeaway from tonight was watching a couple of our guys take the next step in developing the brotherhood we expect for this family. In ways the general fan cannot see, we showed signs of realizing how the smallest intangibles of being a teammate are so important. In particular, Maleek McPike displayed attributes of what a great teammate does that were far more important than any bucket he scored or rebound he grabbed," Francis said.

Clopton trailed against Wellsville last Tuesday till late in the game before recovering to a six-point, 67-61 victory.

“In the end, this group found a way to win after being down eight points late in the game. That confident fight is something that might not have been here a year ago, so I know we are making strides in the right direction,” Francis said.

Shawn Yates set the pace for the team offensively with 13 points, followed by Maleek McPike with 12 points, Daniel Harvey with 12 points, Zakk Eivins with 11 points and Jared Hoehn 11 points.

Eivins had seven assists, followed by four from Harvey and Yates and three from McPike.

"At the offensive end of the court, I was very proud of how well we shared the ball," Francis said. "To have an assist on 73% of your field goals is very encouraging. In addition, I hope we continue to get the balance scoring we displayed in this game. I think the balanced scoring and the high number of assists go hand in hand."

"Defensively, it is imperative we focus on limiting straight-line drives to the paint. We continue to allow ball-handlers to get downhill on us far too easily," Francis said.

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