By Michael Buhler
The Clearwater Indians boys basketball team pulled off perhaps its biggest win of the season last Tuesday when it traveled to Augusta and upset the Orioles – the No. 3 team in Class 4A – 63-58 on their home court.
The Indians capped the week three days later with a 59-51 road win at Circle.
“Augusta was playing really well,” Clearwater head coach Dustin Clevenger said. “I was really proud of the way our kids played and the toughness it took to win a road game in overtime. Circle was another dangerous team that can get hot offensively at any point. We really executed the defensive game plan well in both games.”
The Indians led Augusta 42-33 entering the final period of regulation, but the Orioles used a fierce rally to tie the game at 51 by the end of the quarter and force the extra session. In overtime, Clearwater outscored the Orioles 12-7 to complete the upset bid.
The Indians also shot a blistering 57.5 percent (23-for-40) from the field and out-rebounded Augusta 36-44, but committed 22 turnovers, which the Orioles turned into 22 points to stay in the game.
Brett Gibbs led Clearwater with 26 points and 18 rebounds, while Jake Wellington added 15 points
“Brett Gibbs had an unbelievable game,” Clevenger said. “He blocked two shots, but changed twice as many. He really got in a groove offensively, and our guys kept looking for him around the rim. Brett is always a force on defense, and always plays with great effort.”
The Indians were slated to go to Winfield earlier this week, but that game was called off because of icy conditions. Clearwater is slated to host Wichita Collegiate on Friday and Andale on Tuesday.
Clearwater: Gibbs 26, Wellington 15, Dalen Ankerholz 9, Nick Warren 9, Tanner Cash 4.
Last Friday, the Indians rallied from a 26-23 halftime deficit to take a 59-51 win at Circle. Clearwater limited the Thunderbirds to just 33 percent shooting from the field (19-for-58) in the road win.
Clearwater: Wellington 18, Cash 13, Ankerholz 10, Gibbs 9, Zach Trotter 6, Warren 3.