Clinton hangs on to beat Parkview in double overtime
CLINTON--After leading for 31 minutes Thursday night, suddenly the Clinton boys basketball team was staring a four-minute overtime square in the face.
Head coach Denny Morris called it crushing.
And it might have been if the host Cougars had let the game slip away. But Luke Risse hit a critical 3-pointer that forced a second overtime, and Clinton took over from there in a 67-61 victory that set the stage for what should be a feisty race in the Rock Valley South Conference.
“In the third and fourth quarter, we were playing like we were losing and were doing things we didn’t need to,” Risse, a junior point guard, said. “But it’s a huge win. We’re in good shape. We’re going to look to keep climbing after we got behind (in the standings) early.”
Clinton opened the conference season with just a 1-4 record, but the win pulled it within one game of Parkview (3-6, 3-3). And the Vikings entered the night tied atop the league standings with Beloit Turner.
It appeared the Cougars, led by Zach Kaminski’s 26 points, might run away with the game. They jumped out to a 13-4 lead after one quarter.
“We’d been off since (Dec. 17), and so we anticipated we’d be a little inefficient,” Parkview coach Boyce Hodge said. “Having said that, we make our free throws, it’s a different outcome.
“It was just one of those games that somebody had to lose.”
After fairly even second and third quarters, the Vikings clawed back in the fourth by holding Clinton to just five points.
With 6.3 seconds left and trailing 48-46, Christian Hobson dribbled the length of the floor and found Garrett Reinhardt—who scored a game-high 26 points—for an easy layup as time expired, sending it to overtime.
“I told them in the huddle, ‘It’s how you respond right now,’” said Morris, whose team had led up to that point since it was 3-0 in the early minutes.
Once in overtime, Parkview took its first lead of the night when Hobson drove to the rim for a bucket with one minute left, and James Wellnitz’s free throw on the next possession made it 54-51.
But Risse dribbled up the floor and was left open just enough to deliver a game-tying deep shot.
“I give all the credit to the my teammates,” Risse said. “I was just lucky to be the one that was open, so I figured I’d take it.”
Parkview missed a 3-pointer at the the other end, and four more minutes were put on the clock.
Clinton forced four straight empty possessions to begin the second overtime, building a five-point lead and then icing the win at the free-throw line—a place that the teams visited a combined 68 times in 40 minutes.
“I was just really proud of the way the guys responded,” Morris said. “We feel it’s almost like tournament time. We realize we have to win every conference game right now if we have a chance at winning the title.
“We’ve got a long ways to go, but we’re starting to jell at the right time.”