COLUMBIANA, OH- The Columbiana Clippers drove to the basket early and often as they cruised past rival East Palestine 64-42 to open sectional play.
Junior Sean Whitehead started strong in place of injured senior Seth Ross scoring six points in the first two minutes as the Clippers raced out to a 12-2 lead midway through the first quarter. The Bulldogs could find no rhythm on offense and trailed 13-5 at the end of the first quarter.
Back to back threes by Dominic Posey and Abel Figley tightened things up early in the second, but the Clippers quickly responded. A 13-2 run opened things up and they never looked back. “Our boys were really pumped up tonight hosting a playoff game,” said coach Todd Johnson. And the Clips were clicking on all cylinders as seven players scored in the second quarter en route to a 40-19 lead at intermission.
With the Bulldogs unable to muster any semblance of a comeback, the Clippers simply maintained control throughout the second half. Coach Johnson lauded his bench and the balanced attack. Nine players scored at least three points led by Carter Pasco and Whitehead who had 10 apiece. Senior Erik Hopfenziz had 9 points and 8 rebounds. Posey led the Bulldogs with 13 points.
The Clippers travel to Canfield to face a strong South Range team on Friday night.
**STORY COURTESY OF YSN’S MARK FRANKEN**