The McClain Tigers had a hard-fought game Tuesday night at home against the Clinton-Massie Falcons, battling for a 12-12 tie at the end of the first quarter — but the Falcons had different plans. McClain wouldn’t make the score equal again for rest of the game.
The Falcons increased their lead to 17 at halftime, and when the final buzzer sounded, the Tigers found themselves down by 18 points and with one more tick in the loss column. The final score had Clinton-Massie topping the Tigers by a score of 59-41. The loss moves the Greenfield McClain Tigers to a record of 4-8 overall and 2-3 in the SCOL.
The game started in front of one of the smallest crowds to attend a boys’ basketball game in Greenfield in recent memory. The familiar electricity usually flowing through the gym seemed to be missing for the home crowd as the game began, despite a spirited pre-game warmup by the Tigers.
McClain controlled the tip, and after two minutes of play and several trips up and down the floor, the score remained at 0-0 for both teams. It was almost three minutes into the game before McClain’s Jacob Starkey sank a 2-pointer to put the Tigers on the scoreboard. Brock Dean hit a 3-pointer shortly after, giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter. The Falcons quickly caught up, and the lead bounced back and forth until a little before the final minute mark when Dalton Mischal made a long 3-pointer, giving the Tigers their last lead of the game at 12-10. A shot by the Falcons’ Uetrecht tied the game with 33 seconds left in the quarter.
The second quarter was all offense for the Falcons, as they outscored the Tigers 21-4. The dismal scoring performance by McClain was not without effort, as the up-tempo play provided many scoring opportunities and shots at the goal. However, as sometimes happens, the ball just would not fit through the hoop. The lonely two baskets scored in the second quarter came from Mat Barton and Dalton Mischal. As the halftime horn sounded, the Tigers retreated to the locker room to adjust their attack and regroup on defense. Clinton Massie led 33-16 at the half.
Coming out for the third quarter, the Tigers did find a little life, pouring in 14 points against the Falcons’ 11. Catching up by 3 put Greenfield down by 14 going into the final quarter. Jacob Starkey was the star of the third quarter, scoring 8 of his 15 points in the period.
The final quarter of the game proved to be more of the same the Tigers had seen the first three quarters. Clinton-Massie’s scoring attack could not be stopped, running right through and over the defending Tigers. The lack of defense and Mischal being the lone scorer off the bench spelled frustration for a talented Tiger team. That frustration was evident as the Falcons shot 14 free throws in the fourth quarter alone.
As the clock emptied, the scorebook recorded three players in double figures for the Falcons, while only two players did the same for Greenfield. Jacob Starkey and Dalton Mischal finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Coach Mitchell will take his Tiger squad to Hillsboro Friday, Jan. 13 for another league matchup.
Clinton-Massie — 12 21 11 15 — 59
McClain — 12 4 14 11 — 41
CMHS: Demler 3-3/3-9; Wolfe 4-2/2-10; Chowning 3(1)-6/6-15; Myers 3-0/1-6; Greathouse (1)-3; Leforge 3/4-4; Uetrecht 3(1)-4/6-13
MHS: Duncan 1-2/2-4; Dean (1)-1/4-4; Starkey 6-3/6-15; Barton 1-1/2-3; Mischal 3(2)-1/3-13; Beatty 1-0/1-2
Mark Branham is a contributing sportswriter for The Times-Gazette.