First place game: Clearwater 52, Mulvane 40
A few beads of water were still resting on Dustin Clevenger's shirt collar after the game.
It was not quite a Gatorade bath, but the water dousing celebrating the Roadrunner Classic Invitational Tournament title was worth some soaked clothes for the Clearwater coach.
“We had a little water shower in there after we won. The kids had a great tournament,” Clevenger said. “Any tournament that you can walk out of here with a trophy is a really successful weekend.”
Clearwater decimated Mulvane early in the championship match, then held steady for a 52-40 victory.
After a dominating first quarter put the Indians ahead 13-5, Clearwater went for the knockout punch. Reed VanDeest drilled a 3-pointer, Johnny Becker swiped a steal for a layup and Collin Neises smoothly knocked down a 3-ball from the corner to put the Indians ahead 21-5.
Mulvane made only one of its first 14 shots.
“If we knock down a few shots, we don't get down so far and it's not such a battle to get back,” said Mulvane's Don Shirley. “They're quick. They're athletic. We just didn't get very many good shots early.”
The Wildcats' scored the first five points after halftime, capped by a beautiful backdoor cut to the basket and layup by Alex Evans, to trim Clearwater's advantage to 28-20. Mulvane would never get closer, and got down by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter.
Ty Redington led the Wildcats with 13 points and six rebounds. Evans added nine points. Offense never came easy, though, as Mulvane shot 28 percent from the field. The Wildcats (8-4) averaged 61 points per game heading into the ballgame.
“We were trapping ball screens. We were really digging on the post, just trying to make them uncomfortable,” Clevenger said. “Mulvane is a team of tempo. If we can do anything to get them out of their tempo, that's what we were going to try to accomplish.”
Becker sizzled for the Indians, going 7-of-8 from the field for 18 points. VanDeest tacked on 10.
Clearwater (8-3) has won five games in a row and six of its last seven. The Indians get an oddly familiar foe on Friday – Clearwater will face Mulvane again.
“I told our kids not to be surprised if we see them again. They're in our sub-state. We could easily see these guys three times,” Shirley said. “We're going to have to score more than 40 to be successful.”
Third place game: Ark City 43, Conway Springs 39
Ark City appeared to have the game wrapped up late in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs led Conway Springs 31-19. The Cardinals showed some signs of life, slowly chipping down the lead, then struck fast and furious late in the fourth.
Ross Rasmussen hit a jumper and finished the and-one to bring Conway Springs within three with under a minute to go. With 20 seconds left, Rasmussen tossed in a layup that cut Ark City's edge to 41-39.
Conway Springs had a chance to tie or take the lead after an Ark City turnover, but the Cardinals also turned the ball over. Kade Kanelakos sank two free throws to give Ark City a 43-39 win.
Fifth place game: Wellington 44, Belle Plaine 42, OT
Neither team could pull away in regulation. Belle Plaine kept it close through overtime, but Wellington had just enough for a two-point victory to take fifth place.
Seventh place game: Kingman 60, Chaparral 43
Chaparral was unable to pick up a win at its home tournament, as Kingman dispatched the Roadrunners 60-43.
All-Tournament Team: Wellington's Nick Becker and Brian Peck, Ark City's Kavin Harris, Chaparral's Justin Struble, Belle Plaine's Austin Johnson, Kingman's Mitchell Packard, Conway Springs' Dalton Murphy and Ross Rasmussen, Mulvane's Ty Redington and Nolan Smith, Clearwater's Colin Frickey and Reed VanDeest
Most Outstanding Cheerleaders: Chaparral
Free Throw Champion: Mulvane's Zach Haynes, hitting 50-of-60, including 12 consecutive
3-Point Champion: Clearwater's Collin Neises, hitting 34-of-60