WESTFIELD TWP. — Tyler Webb picked up Brycen Holliday and Nick Bailey held down the fort for Sylar Jones.
Toss in Holliday and Jones being there when most needed and a solid performance from Nate Riley and the Cloverleaf boys basketball team had enough to beat Streetsboro 50-43 Friday in Portage Trail Conference Metro Division action.
“We’ve got guys that have been here awhile,” said point guard Holliday, who scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half while adding five rebounds and two assists. “We like playing in those crazy situations.”
The wackiness started immediately, as the Colts (7-5, 4-3) fell behind the more athletic Rockets (4-8, 4-3) 8-0 before getting their first points with 3:09 left in the opening period.
It continued with leading scorer Holliday going just 1-for-5 from the field in the opening half and peaked when 6-foot-4 center Jones (7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) picked up his third foul with 1:56 left in the third period and his fourth just 1:03 later, both coming on highly questionable calls.
Cloverleaf persevered through it all, however. Webb scored all of his career-high seven points in a 3:45 stretch of the second quarter, Bailey (6 points, 6 rebounds) got more aggressive while Jones was out and Riley (9 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals) was steady throughout.
“It felt amazing to help my teammates,” said Webb, whose team regrouped to take a 25-23 lead at intermission. “We needed to get a ‘W.’ This was a big game for us.”
Holliday heated up in the third period, scoring 10 points as Cloverleaf maintained a 39-37 lead, then went 6-for-6 at the line in the fourth to ice the game.
“My coaches and teammates told me to stay mentally sharp and things would start going my way,” he said after a 4-for-5 shooting performance in the second half. “When I was cold, my teammates picked me up. We needed everybody tonight.
“T-Webb played great. He needed a game like this to get going. I’m proud of him.”
Cloverleaf, whose biggest lead was the final margin, never trailed after Webb hit his second 3-pointer to close the first half, largely because it excelled defensively, whether it was playing man, a box-and-one on Rockets point guard Arnold Jenkins (19 points, 5 3-pointers) or 2-3 zone.
No one other than Jenkins scored more than eight points for Streetsboro, which shot 13-for-45 from the floor (.289). In losing the fourth period 11-6, the Rockets went 0-for-9 from the field and 6-for-12 at the line.
“It wasn’t a great start, but we battled,” Colts coach Jack Banks said. “I’m really proud of the way we played defensively the whole game. I’m proud of the resilience.”
Devin Reese, a 6-1 freshman forward who recently broke Streetsboro’s school record with 20 rebounds in a game, had eight points and 17 boards against the Colts, but a group effort resulted in Cloverleaf losing the rebounding battle by just five, 35-30.
The Colts also bounced back to win following a disheartening loss to Field a week ago, keeping their hopes alive in an extremely balanced Metro Division.
“That’s how our league is,” Holliday said. “Anybody can beat anybody. We’ve just got to be the better team that night.”
Streetsboro won the junior varsity game 50-38. Colin Andel had 12 points for the Colts.
Contact Rick Noland at email@example.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.
Cloverleaf 50, Streetsboro 43
STREETSBORO 11 12 14 6 — 43
CLOVERLEAF 8 17 14 11 — 50
Streetsboro — Jalen Hardy 2-0-5, Devin Reese 2-4-8, Krys Riley-Richardson 1-0-2, Deonte Lewis 2-1-5, Arnold Jenkins 5-4-19, Cody Cipra 1-0-3, Donny Washington 0-1-1, Zamar Harris 0-0-0, Colin Boldin 0-0-0, Hunter Schuller 0-0-0, Mike Hall 0-0-0. TOTALS: 13-10-43.
Cloverleaf — Matt Tanko 0-0-0, Nate Riley 3-2-9, Sylar Jones 2-3-7, Cruz Severson 1-0-3, Brycen Holliday 5-6-18, Tyler Webb 2-1-7, Nick Baily 3-0-6. TOTALS: 16-12-50.
3-point goals — Jenkins 5, Cipra, Hardy, Holliday 2, Webb 2, Severson, Riley. Rebounds — Streetsboro 35 (Reese 17), Cloverleaf 30 (Jones 7). Assists — Streetsboro 8 (Lewis 3), Cloverleaf 10 (Severson, Jones 3). Records — Streetsboro (4-8, 4-3), Cloverleaf (7-5, 4-3). Junior varsity — Streetsboro 50, Cloverleaf 38.