EATON TWP. — For a boys basketball team that entered Friday with one win, Cloverleaf sure didn’t play the role of a loser in the opening round of the 13th Annual Bob DiFranco Holiday Tournament at Ed Kubuski Gym.
The Colts gave Midview a mighty scare before falling 67-66 in a double-overtime thriller.
The defending tourney champion Middies (5-3) advance to the title game tonight at 7:30 against Columbia, which beat Amherst in the opener. Cloverleaf will play the Comets at 6.
“They came out and played well,” Colts coach Marty Ryan said. “They were unselfish all night. I thought Robby (Buckwald) really stepped up and put some wind in our sails.”
Midview senior guard Devin Dombrowski gave the Middies an early lead in the second overtime with a 3-pointer just 24 seconds in. Kyle Warner then tallied on a drive and Steven Gott followed with a short jumper to make it 65-58 with 2:28 remaining.
It looked like things were over, but Buckwald (team-high 22 points, 7 rebounds) followed with back-to-back 3-pointers, and Adam Podolak (13 points) sank two free throws to tie the score at 66 with just 20 seconds left.
Unfortunately for Cloverleaf, Warner connected on a free throw with 13 seconds remaining to finally end the marathon.
Grant Overy, 5-foot-9 junior, led the way for Midview with 23 points, including five 3-pointers. His hot hand gave the Middies a 25-16 late in the second quarter.
But the Colts overcame the big deficit — just as they did in the second overtime — with a big third quarter and the game was close the rest of the way.
Strongsville transfer Wes Davic, a 6-5 senior, also was big for Midview even though he was suffering from a bad cold. He scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds while also sinking eight crucial free throws.
Sophomore point guard Cliff Collyer added 14 points for Cloverleaf, which also received seven pounds and eight rebounds from senior center Jayson Sykora.
“I told the kids to expect a tough game,” Middies coach Troy DiFranco said. “(Cloverleaf) likes this tournament. Last year, for example, they won just one game all season and it came in this tournament (55-43 over North Royalton).”
Contact Jerry Rombach at (440) 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 67, Cloverleaf 66 (2OT)
CLOVERLEAF 10 7 18 18 4 8 — 66
MIDVIEW 8 17 14 15 4 9 — 67
Cloverleaf — Adam Podolak 4-4-13, Robby Buckwald 9-0-22, Jason Sykora 3-1-7, Brandon Johnson 2-2-6, Cliff Collyer 5-4-14, Connor Ploucha 1-0-2, Brandt Buckholz 1-0-2, Ryan O’ Callaghan 0-0-0, Brady Kotlarek 0-0-0, Tom Wangler 0-0-0. TOTALS: 25-11-66.
Midview — Grant Overy 7-4-23, Wes Davic 2-8-12, Kyle Warner 3-3-10, Steven Gott 3-1-7, Jack Duffner 2-0-4, Dylan Eason 2-0-4, Jacob Wells 2-0-4, Devin Dombrowski 1-0-3, Matt Randolph 0-0-0, Mac McCray 0-0-0, Tyler Pasenow 0-0-0. TOTALS: 22-16-67.
3-point goals — Buckwald 4, Podolak, Overy 5, Dombrowski, Warner. Rebounds — Cloverleaf 37 (Sykora 8), Midview 40 (Davic 11). Records — Cloverleaf (1-7), Midview (5-3).