Posted: Wednesday, 26 December 2012 11:50PM

Reeds Spring upsets Clever




Sometimes the record does not accurately show how a team has performed throughout the season. Reeds Spring High School had yet to win a game coming into their first round contest of the 67th Annual Blue and Gold Tournament.

Facing an undefeated Clever club, the Wolves were not favored to win.

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Reeds Spring (1-9) pulled off Wednesday’s big upset though against the fourth-seeded Clever Blue Jays (10-1), 56-54. Senior forward Austin Selby knocked down two free throws in the final seconds to win it for the Wolves.

Selby is the leader for Reeds Spring. He has consistently been able to dominate to the paint offensively and defensively. Having already faced teams such as Kickapoo, Republic and Liberty during the early part of the season, Selby and his teammates were prepared to face off with against a talented Clever team.

Both teams got off to a slow start on the offensive end of the court. Clever attempted to use their speed to their advantage because of the height discrepancy the Wolves handed them. Senior Travis Pennewell is one of the guards that have proven to be a consistent component to the Blue Jays offense.

Pennewell had nine points in the first half and was instrumental as to why Clever retained an early game lead. Foul trouble plagued Pennewell, as well as Reeds Spring, in the first half. Picking up his third personal foul midway through the second quarter resulted in him being sidelined for much of the remaining game.

“It hurts us a lot because he is our second most consistent scorer and then that got taken away,” Clever head coach Luke Brosius said.

During that same time, Reeds Spring was able to attack a smaller Blue Jays lineup. With three post players in their starting rotation, the Wolves were able to dominate the glass and basket. Though not able to stretch the defense as much as preferred, Reeds Spring’s athleticism allowed them to get in transition and create opportunities for themselves offensively.

Reeds Spring pulled within one point of Clever during the second quarter after Selby grabbed a defensive board, led the transition break himself, and dished a spectacular bounce pass to a streaking Josh Kent, who finished the play with a madelay up and free throw after Clever was whistled for a foul on the shot.

Playing an aggressive, trap-oriented defense allowed Clever to retain their lead and take a five-point advantage heading into the half.

“In the first half, our goal, as an unseeded team, was to keep it close and within striking distance and then chip away in the third quarter,” Reeds Spring head coach Barry Yocom said.

With senior guard Joey Longstreet and Selby both playing with three personal fouls and a lack of depth among their bench, Reeds Spring had to play smart, yet effective, basketball. Longstreet, who’s presence was rarely felt in the first half, scored six points in the third quarter on dribble penetration plays. With Clever’s defense then eyeing Longstreet as a primary scorer, Selby and junior forward Easton Flaugh were able to find easy buckets inside. Behind their efforts, and Clever’s inability to recreate the offensive rhythm they possessed in the opening two quarters, the Wolves were able to trim the deficit to only two points heading into the final quarter.

In an attempt to eliminate the size advantage Reeds Spring had, Clever went to a zone defense to shut down Selby and his teammates. Brosius’ plan worked for the opening half of the quarter, allowing his team to gain a 10-point lead. Senior Dalton Fisher scored 11 points in the final eight minutes for Clever, but six missed free throws by his team were the ultimate reason as to why they were unable to withstand the Wolves’ late rally.

“I felt we had done a better job defensively going into the fourth quarter and then got some stops to get that 10-point lead,” Coach Brosius said. “Then we started playing undisciplined offense and Selby took over and that lead was gone.”

Selby, Kent, and Fluagh had a determination to end their losing streak. In the final period, those three combined for all 19 of the team’s fourth quarter points. Selby lead the trio with 13 of those 19, including eight clutch free throws in the final two minutes of play. Kent made the game tying layup with just over 50 seconds remaining, tying the game at 54-54. Then, after an empty possession from the Blue Jays, Selby knocked down two free throws with just over four seconds remaining in the game to make his point total a game high 28, and clinch Reeds Spring’s first win of the season.

“I think early we got him (Selby) good looks but then they made some adjustments,” Yocom said. “He continued to attack the basket though and that is what great players do.”

Reeds Spring will now advance to round two of the tournament tomorrow at 6:30 against the fifth seeded Bolivar Liberators at JQH Arena. Clever will try to redeem their upset loss against Mansfield tomorrow at 6:30, which will be held at Hammons Student Center.

Clever Scoring: Dalton Fisher 14, Jared Albright 12, Matt Hamilton 11, Travis Pennewell 9, Ryan Farmer 4, Colton Pemberton 4
Reeds Spring Scoring: Austin Selby 28, Easton Flaugh 10, Josh Kent 9, Joey Longstreet 9

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