OPTIMISTIC OPENING: Cubs edge West, 49-45, to begin District 17-3A

in Boys Basketball

CLIFTON – Playing without senior leading scorer TJ Ferch, the Clifton Cub boys basketball team rose to the occasion to hold of the West Trojans, 49-45, in the District 17-3A opener Friday night at the Clifton High School gymnasium.

Led by senior Everett Sadler’s 18-point performance, the Cubs (1-0 in district, 13-4 overall) surprised the Trojans (0-1, 9-8) by jumping out to a 15-6 first quarter lead. West battled back, though, outscoring Clifton, 11-6, in the second period to move within four going into halftime.

But that proved to be as close as the Trojans could get as both teams exchanged identical scores in each of the final two quarters as the Cubs secured the win. Behind Sadler, sophomore Seth Payne tossed in 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists, followed by sophomore Griffin Phillips with eight points and a team-high 11 boards and junior Luis Rodriguez with seven points.

Clifton hits the road to take on Keene (0-1, 6-6) Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. In other District 17-3A action, Whitney (1-0, 3-5) visits the Harmony School of Innovation (0-1, 0-3), Maypearl (1-0, 8-5) travels to West, and Grandview (1-0, 9-12) hosts Rio Vista (0-1, 6-11).

Wrapping up their non-district schedule Dec. 31, the Cubs traveled to Valley Mills and knocked off their Bosque County rival, 54-45, Tuesday. Phillips led Clifton with 17 points as the Cubs outscored the Eagles, 15-4, in the second quarter to take control of the game. Rodriguez and Sadler added eight points apiece, while Payne tossed in seven.

Photos by DAVID HARDING

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