Basketball is back in full swing for the Clearwater Tigers. The Tigers are about a third of the way into the season and have had several exciting games! The Tigers began their season with a Homecoming win against Zalma. The next week they jumped into the Annual Thanksgiving Tournament at Arcadia Valley. The tournament is one of the most anticipated events for players and fans alike. The Tigers fell short going 1-2 in the tournament, but it wasn’t without some exciting moments. In fact, they fought their way through the Thanksgiving tourney minus two of their players who had competed during the previous week’s homecoming festivities. At AV the Tigers battled it out walking away with at least one win.
The next week, the Tigers had to bounce back quickly as they were playing two tough teams in East Carter and Arcadia Valley. At home against East Carter a battle ensued that wouldn’t be decided until the final few minutes of the game. This night found fans standing on their feet most of the game as the Redbirds a
nd Tigers exchanged bucket for bucket. The victory could have gone to either team, this time, the hard-fought win went to East Carter. Tigers fans weren’t disappointed as they got to watch a fiercely competitive game and were proud of the way their team had battled. Clearwater had to turn around the next day and travel to face Arcadia Valley. It was obvious that the previous night’s battle had taken a physical toll on Clearwater as they came out flat against Arcadia Valley and never bounced back.
Last week Clearwater took two wins, securing victories against Naylor (87-60) and Eminence in double overtime 94-92. Last year the Tigers traveled to Eminence and lost on a buzzer beater. Entering the night, the team hoped to avenge last years loss. Clearwater, however, came out flat in the first quarter and dug themselves in a hole down 10-2. Coach Zac Moore called a timeout and was visibly frustrated with the way his team was playing. After encouraging his team to turn it around, the Tigers returned to the court with more energy and by the end of the first quarter had the lead 20-17. Once again, Clearwater found themselves versing an opponent who was trading bucket for bucket. At halftime, they went into the locker room with a slight edge 34-31. At the end of regulation time, the Tigers found themselves in a tie with Eminence. Neither team could pull away during overtime period one, and while Clearwater found themselves ahead during most of the overtime, Eminence found a way to tie it up and push into a second overtime period. With Clearwater ahead in the second overtime, Eminence looked to score with a few seconds remaining. Eminence put up a game-tying shot which was blocked by Senior Keegan Gracey. Clearwater had the chance to inbound the ball and get another possession back, before sealing the win. Clearwater shot 31 for 66 from the field and 8 of 23 from the three-point line. Scoring was led by Charles Robbins, Keegan Gracey, and Lance Dilport. All three players also made crucial free throws during the overtime contest. Rebounding played a critical role in bringing the victory. Rebounding was led by Gracey and Dilport. The Tigers have two more games prior to the Christmas break.