On his way to 35 points Denis Clemente shot 15-for-29 from the floor and 3-for-6 from the free throw line. He struggled to find his touch from behind the three-point line shooting 2-for-11.
"I thought it was a good game for us," Clemente said. "We played pretty good against a pretty good team. I think I played good."
Clemente's Colts hit down the open jumper and frustrated the taller Raiders squad with their speed in transition. They also did a good job of rebounding despite the size difference.
"It was a nice win for us," Calusa head coach Tim Fowler said. "We haven't played since last Wednesday (December 29). I think the kids brought a lot of intensity tonight. Clemente always pushes the ball up and down the court, but the other kids tried to stay up with him tonight--I think that was the key for us. If it is just Clemente pushing the ball then we are mediocre. We have to get the other guys involved and then we can really be tough."
Clemente wasn't the only one scoring points as his teammates scored 47 points in the game. They were hitting opening jumpers as well as fighting hard down low for easy buckets. Forward Jonathan Rodriguez is the team's second leading scorer and he added a physical presence inside.
"My teammates did a good job of hitting their shots tonight," Clemente said. "Jonathan Rodriguez did a real good job of scoring down low. They helped out a lot tonight."
Fowler thought Clemente, who added five rebounds and four steals, had a good game, but it was not one of his best.
"It was good," Fowler said. "I think he was a bit rusty. He did not knock down the shots that he normally does. We had a long layoff in between games. As the game went on I think he got back into it more. I think he did a nice job, but I don't think this was his absolute best game by far and we have seen him have some pretty nice games."
He had two plays in the game that were absolutely fantastic. He had a guy guarding him the whole game who was at least three inches taller than him with a long reach. Clemente dribbled between his legs and crossed up the defender from the top of the key and drilled a high-arcing 20-foot shot just inside the three-point line. In the fourth quarter he had the ball on a 2-on-1 break and faked the behind-the-back pass, cuffing it in his arm and then putting up the lay-up with the defender nowhere in sight.
He is averaging 29.8 points per game this season and in the last three game he is averaging 36.3 points per game including 40 against Pleasure Ridge Park (KY).
Righthanded player that is not afraid to use his left hand…excellent speed in the open court…quick release on shot…can shoot over taller players…very good touch on floating jumpers…tends to fade away on jump shot…good job of getting teammates involved in game…good leadership skills…loves to play the game…a bit loose with his passes.
CLEMENTE QUARTER BREAKDOWN
QUARTER PTS FG 3-PT FT 1st 6 3-6 0-3 0-0 2nd 11 5-8 1-2 0-0 3rd 7 3-7 1-4 0-0 4th 11 4-8 0-2 3-6 Final 35 15-29 2-11 3-6BOXSCORE
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Calusa Prep 14 30 20 18 82 Gulliver Prep 16 14 18 16 64IN ATTENDANCE
Close friend and current Miami Hurricane guard Guillermo Diaz, who scored 27 points against #9 Georgia Tech last night, was in the first row. Also in attendance was Miami Tropics AAU coach Art Alvarez who coached both Clemente and Diaz for the Tropics.
Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com.