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Clymer pulls out 73-70 OT boys basketball thriller over Sherman

February 16, 2017
By Matt Spielman - editorial@westfieldrepublican.com , Westfield Republican

SHERMAN - Like a champion boxer, Clymer kept taking punches Monday night only to get back up off the mat.

In the end, the Pirates put themselves in position to win the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 2 West title outright with a 73-70 overtime win in front of a raucous bipartisan crowd in Sherman.

The Pirates withstood a school-record and career-high 49 points from Wildcats senior Chris Robson that included a buzzer-beating half-court shot at the end of regulation to tie the game at 63.

Article Photos

Photos by Mark L. Anderson
At left, Clymer’s Dustin Neckers (21) lays in two of his 35 points during Monday’s CCAA Division 2 West basketball game at Sherman. At right, Sherman’s Chris Robson drives past Clymer’s Josh VanEarden during Monday’s CCAA Division 2 West basketball game. Photo by Mark L. Anderson.

Clymer junior Dustin Neckers answered with a career-high 35 points to put the Pirates (14-5, 10-1) in position to clinch the league title at home Wednesday against Westfield (8-10, 6-5). Should Clymer lose that game, it would share the crown with Frewsburg.

"Our mantra this year is don't quit keep on doing the little things and big things will happen," Clymer coach Dan White said. "There is no superstar on our team. We talked about (Neckers) stepping up, taking control and being that guy on our team that we can look at to score. He did that tonight."

Sherman's Chris Robson drives past Clymer's Josh VanEarden during Monday's CCAA Division 2 West basketball game. P-J photo by Mark L. Anderson

Sherman's Chris Robson drives past Clymer's Josh VanEarden during Monday's CCAA Division 2 West basketball game. P-J photo by Mark L. Anderson

Both teams traded big shot after big shot down the stretch to send the game into the extra session.

Robson hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Doug Overton tied the game for Clymer with 1:11 remaining and Josh VanEarden's 3-pointer gave the Pirates a 58-55 lead with 49 seconds remaining.

"We just did not slide our feet in our zone to cause him to pass the ball," White said of Robson's career night. "If we face them again we'll try to work on that to not give him those looks again."

Robson then made a basket with 29.5 seconds left to bring his team within a point before Clymer pushed the lead back to two with a free throw. After a Sherman (15-4, 8-3) turnover, VanEarden hit a pair of free throws for a 61-57 lead with 11.6 seconds remaining, but Robson converted a three-point play with 5.7 seconds left.

"Sometimes I think he's too passive. It doesn't mean he has to shoot every time, but he has to be the focal point and distribute," Sherman coach Cory Emory said. "We got a bunch of great looks, we just didn't knock some shots down. If a couple of easy layups fall in and a couple of our open 3s fall in that's the difference."

VanEarden then hit another two free throws with 4.8 seconds left before Robson took the inbounds pass, dribbled to the left of center court and pulled up for a banked 3-pointer that sent his teammates and the crowd into a frenzy, and the game into an extra period.

"I was just hoping to get the best shot I could and it went in," Robson said.

"When they came over they looked bewildered," White said. "We sat down, we got focused and said what we had to do. We had to keep on doing what was working in the second half."

Clymer opened overtime on an 9-2 run to take a 72-65 lead before Robson's last 3-pointer of the game made it 72-68. Sherman's Caleb Burick added a free throw to make it a one-possession game before a pair of missed free throws gave the ball back to the Wildcats with 25.2 seconds left.

"We do 30 free throws per day. We're starting to add the mental part of the game into practice, but that just did not happen," White said. "It's hard because you're on the opponents' floor in a big rivalry game. I knew those boys would find a way because they've done it all year."

Sherman's Jared Gleason and VanEarden then traded free throws prior to a Wildcats' turnover. Clymer then missed another two free throws with 2.3 seconds left, but Robson's desperation heave from the opposite foul line came up empty at the buzzer leading the strong Clymer contingent on hand into chants of "We're No. 1."

"There is still one more rung to get that league championship," White said. "That was our first goal for the year. I know it's a cliche, but we'll focus on that next game."

Robson's 49 points moved him past Emory into fourth on the all-time Sherman scoring list with 1,213 points, 27 behind No. 3 Norval Reed Jr. Robson also had nine rebounds and four steals.

"It would've been nice to win it, but you can't win everything," Robson said. "It hurts, but hopefully we'll see them at JCC."

Neckers' 35 points was 17 better than his previous career best of 18 set in the Pirates' first win over Sherman on Jan. 17. Neckers also grabbed 12 rebounds and had three steals.

"He played a great game. He hit a lot of tough shots with a hand in his face. We did not do a very good job of defending him," Emory said of Neckers. "Clymer seems to do the little things that we're not doing yet. That's why they are the league champs, deservedly so. Hopefully we'll see them in the playoffs and we'll do the little things."

NOTES: Jordan Wade had eight rebounds and four assists; Dylan Davis and Overton each had six rebounds; and VanEarden had six steals and five assists. Gleason had 10 rebounds and three assists while Ramsey had three steals and three assists.

CLYMER (73)

CNeckers 0 1 1, VanEarden 3 7 14, Overton 3 3 10, DNeckers 15 5 35, Wade 3 0 7, Davis 2 0 4, Gustafson 1 0 2. Totals 27 16 73.

SHERMAN (70)

Gleason 2 2 6, Nickerson 0 0 0, Robson 14 15 49, Kahle 0 0 0, Ramsey 3 3 11, Meeder 0 0 0, Burick 0 1 1, Delcamp 1 0 3. Totals 20 21 70.

3-point goals - VanEarden, Overton, Wade, Robson 6, Ramsey 2, Delcamp.

Clymer 11 12 14 26 10 - 73

Sherman 11 21 7 24 7 - 70

 
 
 

 

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