Clark Cougar Sports


by on Dec.22, 2009, under Basketball

Sophomore steps up

Sophomore Perez steps up

If you missed the game between the Clark Cougars and the O’Connor Panthers, you missed an “Instant Classic”  A game that looked like a sure win in the first half and a definite loss in the second half turned out to be a double overtime thriller with veteran leadership and a super sophomore making the difference in a 76-72 district win.

The game started out promising with three, three point buckets (one by Jason Brickman and two by Jacob Palacios) for the first scores by Clark to give the Cougars an early 9-4 lead.  At the end of the first, Jacob Palacios would score on a put back off a Kyle Rutledge shot and a Jason Brickman steal ended the quarter with the Cougars leading 19-14.

In the second quarter, the score would tighten up as O’Connor would take their first lead of the game, 27-25 with 4:55 left before the half.  The Cougars regained the lead and went to the locker room up by two, 32-30.

Ansley Benjamin started the Cougars off in the 2nd half with four quick points and the Cougars jumped to a 38-33 lead in the third quarter.  The hot shooting and specifically the outside shooting suddenly hit a cold streak, however, and after several missed shots, the Panthers jumped on the opportunities and outscored the Cougars 15-7, giving O’Connor a 45-39 lead going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Panthers extended their lead to 12 and it looked like a certain loss for the Cougars with 4 minutes left in the game. Fighting back, the Cougars were still down 58-48 with 1:27 left in the game before Ansley Benjamin hit a soft jumper from the top of the key.  On the inbound pass, Sam Perez stole the ball and flipped it to Jason Brickman who then hit a three pointer to make it 58-53 Panthers. A strong defensive stand gave the ball back to the Cougars and with :55 seconds left on the clock, sophomore Adam Perez hit a three to narrow the O’Connor lead to two, 58-56. Another O’Connor turnover, Jason Brickman drove the and was fouled shooting.  Two made free throws tied the game with :44 seconds to go.  The Cougars had the ball last during regulation but could not capitalize, sending the game into overtime.

In the first OT period, both teams went back and forth.  Sam Perez hit two three pointers and Ansley Benjamin also made a key bucket.  At the end of the first OT, the Cougars had a chance to end the game with Adam Perez at the line for two free throw shots and the score 70-69 in favor of O’Connor.  Perez missed the first but made his second to send it to a second overtime period.

With leading scorer Jason Brickman on the bench (22 points) and Benjamin there as well after both used their foul allotments, the Cougars continued to battle their way to victory.  Sam Perez sunk another three pointer to give the Cougars a 73-70 lead.  The ball handling chores fell to Adam Perez and once the Cougars got the lead, Coach Sylestine called for clock management with Perez keeping the ball away from the Panther defenders.  O’Connor chose to send him to the line twice; a mistake as he sunk three free throws and Clark fought it’s way to a 76-72 victory.

The win keeps their record unblemished in 28-5A competition at 3-0.

Carolyn Chavana

Chavana drives for two

The girls played before the boys game.  The Panthers proved to be the tougher opponent in that game, handing the girls a loss.

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