Cambridge’s Clark stars as Ohio boys win by 15

PARKERSBURG-When you are the team that has won once in 12 games, it is a topic of conversation and a source of inspiration as you prepare to face that opponent once more.

That was the case Saturday night at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center as the Ohio All-Stars jumped out to an early lead and never let up in handing West Virginia a 122-107 setback in the 13th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Classic.

“Yea, we talked about it a lot,” Cambridge standout Clifford Clark explained. “The coaches talked to us about it and as players we wanted to come out and represent out state the right way.”

And, Clark, who finished with 14 points, was a big reason why the Buckeyes came out on top for the second time in the last four meetings.

“Sure, we talked about it with the kids,” Ohio head coach Mark Romick said. “We also talked about the fact that this is an all-star game and that the team that played its game and played some defense would win.”

That was the case, especially in the first half, as Ohio jumped out to a 25-10 lead and never let up.

Clark got things rolling with three straight buckets for the Buckeyes while Monroe Central’s Bryan Duffy closed out the opening spurt with a pair of free throws to push the Ohio lead to 25-10 with 16:40 showing on the clock.

West Virginia kept the game close via its favorite weapon-the 3-pointer-as Ravenswood’s Jake Martin and South’s Logan Lawrentz both hit from beyond the arc.

The Mountaineers hit 16 shots from long range, but it wouldn’t be enough as Ohio out-rebounded its rivals by a 69-48 margin.

“That’s how I played during the season,” said Clark. “We knew that we had to be good inside and outside and we did a good job of getting on the boards all game long.”

And, Clark was a big reason as the Cambridge senior finished with 10 points in the opening half as Ohio took a 65-52 lead to the break.

West Virginia continued to battle during the second half, but could not below double digits.

Leading the Buckeyes in scoring with 17 points was Fort Frye’s Chandler Lang while Buckeye Local’s Brennan Czuchran chipped in 16. Rounding out Ohio’s double digit scorers was Clark, Belpre’s Nick Therriault (13), Vinton County’s Alex Owings (10), Meadowbrook’s Cameron Summers (10) and Marietta’s Braden Riley (10).

West Virginia placed eight players in double figures led by Wade Martin’s 17. Jake Ullman chipped in 15 and Parkersburg Catholic teammate Joe Padden and Ravenswood’s Jake Martin added 13 apiece. Rounding out the group was Parkersburg’s Levi Hays (11), Lawrentz (11), Gilmer County’s Austin Cunningham (10) and Wood County Christian’s Patrick Goff (10).

Point Pleasant’s Wade Martin earned MVP honors for the Mountaineers while Marietta’s Riley captured the dunk contest and Catholic’s Sturm the 3-point shooting contest.