On the court, top-ranked Clover Park took a pounding from Sumner.
The fourth-ranked Spartans were physical, pushing and pulling the Warriors. Clover Park guard David Crisp played most of the second half with a cotton ball stuffed in a nostril to stop a bloody nose.
“They have to play us as physical as officials will allow them,” Clover Park coach Mel Ninnis said.
So, yes, Clover Park did get beat up a bit on Tuesday night, but not on the scoreboard. The Warriors thrashed Sumner 70-53 in a SPSL 2A contest Tuesday night at Clover Park.
The Warriors (7-2 overall, 5-0 league) were in control the entire game. They led 18-5 at the end of the first quarter and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Sumner, which entered the contest on an eight-game winning streak, had a size advantage, but couldn’t keep up with the faster Warriors, who forced 26 turnovers.
Spartans coach Brett McDaniel said being physical and slowing down the pace of the game was the best option.
“That’s the only way we can play,” he said. “We’re not as gifted athletically as some of their guys. We have to do our best to be physical and take away the interior.”
Guard Ahmaad Rorie led Clover Park with 22 points and Crisp had 18. McDaniel said Rorie and Crisp – the two sophomores are being recruited by Pac-12 schools – have improved their game since last season when they helped the Warriors win the Class 2A state championship.
“The twins – that’s what I call them – have added some weight, they’re much more muscular now,” he said. “They will take on contact and score in more ways than they did last year.”
Crisp and Rorie were complemented by forwards Xavier Means, Dwayne Crawford and Isom Brown, who combined to score 24 points.
Brown gave the Warriors a spark in the second quarter when he stole the ball and raced down court, dunking on a Spartan. Brown’s slam put a surprised look on the face of Rorie, who said he’d never seen Brown dunk on another player in a game.
“I told him that better not be the last time he does that,” Rorie said.
Brown slammed down another dunk later in the period. Minutes later, Rorie buried a half-court shot as the second quarter expired, staking Clover Park to a 37-17 halftime lead.
Sumner forward Daniel DeVries led the Spartans (9-2, 4-1) with 12 points.