Claymont earns win in a return to The Pit
Dec 21, 2013 12:14 AM
UHRICHSVILLE Twas a game before Christmas and the weather was cool, as Claymont fans went inside the junior high school.
The scoreboards were hung on the ceiling with care, in hopes that a victory soon would be there.
The Mustangs were warming up, prepping for the game as the River View Black Bears were doing the same.
When out on the floor arose such a cheer as both teams ran out grinning ear to ear.
Away to mid-court the starters walked out, to show their opponents what they're all about.
The ref tossed the ball up and that was it, and here is the story of the game at “The Pit”…
That was the theme of Friday night’s throwback game at “The Pit” where the Claymont boys basketball team defeated River View 71-54 in a hot and loud gymnasium to improve its season record to 4-2.
In the Gray Division of the East Central Ohio League, Claymont remains undefeated at 3-0, while River View falls to 1-6 (1-2).
The Mustangs played their fist game at “The Pit” since 2001 and have since shacked up in what is referred to as “The Palace” at Claymont High School, hence the slogan “From the Pit to the Palace.”
This was the first time any Claymont basketball team hosted a game in what is now the Claymont Junior High School facility.
Claymont head boys basketball coach Scott Doak was excited to be part of the history and atmosphere.
“I was really honored and proud that I could even coach this game because I know the history and the tradition,” Doak said. “It was a lot of fun. I’m glad we got out of here with two wins and we wanted to do that not only for ourselves, but to honor all the players, coaches and fans that have watched games here, played here and coached here.”
The two wins Doak referred to was the varsity game and of course the junior varsity game, which saw the Mustangs defeat the Black Bears 53-30.
To prepare for the throwback game, the Mustangs were shown the 1996 Claymont vs. Dover game.
“We actually brought out the 1996 Claymont/Dover game when Brian Watkins played and they beat Dover here,” Doak commented. “We practiced here and showed them the film. We wanted to get a feel for what it was like, which they did.”
The conception of the plans to host a game at “The Pit” was thought up by the former Claymont Athletic Director Brian Watkins, as current Claymont Athletic Director Kyle Daniell noted.
“It’s definitely a team effort,” Daniell said. “What really happened, it was Brian’s idea. We were kind of on pins and needles how it would come off, how many people would fit, if there’s going to be a big result, because some people don’t understand the nostalgia of it. But it’s actually proving to be nice. The people are feeling the throwback type feelings, if you will.”
Daniell also commented on the film that was shown to the team the other night at practice and the excitement it possessed after Claymont won the classic game.
“We came back and won,” Daniell excitedly said. “This place was a mess, it was crazy, it was really loud. It was an awesome environment.”
“They don’t make gyms like this anymore,” Doak added. “I loved it and I hope we can do it again. There’s a part of me that would like to play every game in here. And the kids enjoyed it.”
The kids most likely enjoyed the victory from last night’s game as well, especially sharpshooter Kohltin Miles, who scored 17 points and sank five 3-pointers. Dylan Sterling also found the bucket beyond the arc and led the Mustangs in points with 20 tallies and grabbed seven rebounds. Dallas Clarke entered well into double digits with his points as he scored 16 for Claymont.
Doak mentioned that the success from beyond 3-point range really helped his team win capture a win tonight.
“Even though we hit some shots, our defense was terrible,” Doak said. “Usually, one of our staples is our half-court defense we think. Offensively we were hitting some threes, obviously. That’s an equalizer I guess.”
“Our defense was my big concern in the first quarter and even the first half,” the coach added. “But we played good, lockdown defense in the third quarter. I think the third quarter is what really won the game for us.”
“River View is much better than they’ve been,” Doak said about last night’s opponent. “Coach Trout has done a great job with them. They’re a lot better than they’ve been. They compete and they play hard.”
On Jan. 18, the Lady Mustangs will have their turn to host at “The Pit” as the Claymont girls basketball team looks to take on Coshocton in ECOL action.
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Edited: Dec 21, 2013 12:14 AM by Bob George