Summer basketball gives most teams an opportunity to reload, develop talent and identify who next year’s go-to player may be.
But Clover Park still has its main guy.
Senior-to-be David Crisp scored 23 points in the semifinals against Lincoln and tallied 29 points in the finals versus Foss to lead the Warriors to the Tacoma Community College Summer League Tournament title on June 27.
While the star guard knows he will be counted on as the big-time playmaker next year for Clover Park, he noted his focus this summer is “just making my team better…so when the time comes next season for them they’re ready, they’re used to it and not just out there on the court.”
Crisp helped the Falcons control much of the first half in the championship against Foss, including a behind-the-back pass to Markel James for an easy layup with seven minutes left in the period for a 24-14 lead. But Foss freshman-to-be Roberto Gittens nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 28-26 at the break.
But Crisp took over in the second half, scoring 21 of his 29 points – including a clutch three-pointer with just over seven minutes left to give the Warriors some breathing room with a 53-49 lead. The Falcons hung tough, but the Warriors’ Tino Smith nailed another three and Crisp followed with a nice dish to James for a dunk and a 62-55 lead that created more space with just under four minutes left. James finished with 16 points while Smith added 11 points for the Warriors.
The Falcons were missing four key players due to various commitments, but were led by by Lincoln transfer Ar’Mond Davis, who scored a team-high 22 points, while Olashawan Miller added 16 points and Gittens scored 13 points.
“It’s tough because you get all these young kids in that environment, and you try and get them to do the right things but they don’t necessarily know what we’re doing yet,” said Foss head coach Mike Cocke’. “But that’s summer. That’s what you use it for.”
The Falcons had breezed past South Kitsap 58-32 earlier in the semifinals, using a 17-0 run to take a 22-5 lead midway through the first half and coast the rest of the way. Davis again led the Falcons with 19 points, hitting three three-pointers.
“He’s done a good job for us this summer,” Cocke’ said. “He’s shot the ball well, and he’s long and can get to the rim. He’s very talented offensively.”
Gittens scored 12 points against the Wolves, while Miller added 11 points. South Kitsap had beaten Stadium 38-35 on June 26 to advance to face the Falcons.
Clover Park had topped Lincoln 59-56 in the other semifinal, as Crisp scored 11 points in the first seven minutes to help the Warriors build a quick 19-4 lead. But the Abes – who lost stars Tre’Shaun Fletcher to graduation and Ahmaad Rorie to a transfer this offseason – relied on a cast of characters to cut the lead to 27-23 at the break.
“These guys are young,” said Abes head coach Aubrey Shelton. “But we had a very good JV team last year – one of the best JV teams we’ve ever had actually. So it’s been kind of up and down, with the inexperience and a little immaturity.”
Incoming freshman Londrell Hamilton provided a huge spark for the Abes early in the second half, scoring two quick baskets to tie the score and giving Lincoln a 30-29 lead with a free throw four minutes into the period. Hamilton scored 14 of his team-high 15 points in the second half, showing a solid ability to drive to the rim.
“He’s probably the best ninth grader in the city,” Shelton said, also noting the effort of returning players Isaiah Barsh, Tre Brown, Cameron Collins and Semaj Booker.
The Abes stayed close the rest of the game, and had a shot to tie at the buzzer, but a three-pointer clanked just off the rim.
Crisp had scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, while Smith added 10 second-half points for the Warriors.