Tuesday, June 27, 2017 This Week's Paper

Clover Park handles Sumner to remain in first

It’s been said that games are won and lost on the defensive end. And with the Clover Park Warriors, it also means games are also decided in the back court. While Clover Park expected, and got, a physical game from the Sumner Spartans on Jan. 3, the dynamic sophomore duo of David Crisp and Ahmaad Rorie went for 18 and 22 points respectively to defeat Sumner by a score of 70-53. And the game was not as close as the final score indicated, as Clover Park dominated the contest from start to finish.

“We knew that our ball pressure would be crucial and it set the tone early for us,” said an exasperated Clover Park coach Mel Ninnis as he saw his team dominate the large Spartans on both ends of the floor.

Trying to offset the size differential, the Warriors got great production inside from the trio of Isom Brown, Xavier Means and Dwayne Crawford, who combined for 24 points and kept the larger Spartans at bay for most of the night.

“I can’t say enough about the job that our front line did against theirs, it was a key factor in the game,” said Rorie, who combined with Crisp to give the Warriors all they needed on the night.

The defending state 2A champions got off to a slow start but began to pick it up offensively midway through the first quarter, when Rorie and Crisp began to penetrate the Spartan defense at will for points in the paint or easy dishes to either Brown, Means, or Crawford.

“Isom has really grown the most in the past year, he has really gotten comfortable with his game,” added Ninnis. “Our bigs did a great job of counteracting their bigs to free up Ahmaad and David to do their thing for most of the night.”

Sumner began to make a run at the Warriors, cutting a 25-point Clover Park lead down to 18 midway through the third quarter with David DeVries leading the way, but the Warriors responded and kept the Spartans at bay for the rest of the night.

Already being recruited by several Pac-12 teams, both Rorie and Crisp are amazing to watch on a night-in and night-out basis.

“We seem to know each other well on the court and know where we’ll be at all times,” said Rorie.

Still looking for that one leader to step up, Ninnis feels he will come soon. “A couple of our seniors have shown signs being vocal, but with David and Ahmaad playing they way they are, it should not take long for someone to step to the forefront.”