Clemente Scores 50 in Pain

MIAMI, Fla. – Denis Clemente, a 5-foot-11 Miami signee, tied a career-high with 50 points to lead Calusa Prep (13-4) past Palmer Trinity 133-104.

On his way to a season-high with 50 points Denis Clemente shot 20-for-33 from the floor and 7-for-10 from the free throw line. He was 3-for-8 from behind the three-point line.

"Nothing is impossible--nothing," Clemente summarized. "It is all about the mentality."

Clemente is averaging 32.0 points per game this season and has scored 30 or more points in eight straight games--he is averaging 37.9 points per game during the stretch.

"This is one of his best games at Calusa," Calusa head coach Tim Fowler said. "I really think it was. First of all is the team we played. Palmer Trinity is a good school—they lost by 10 the other night to Northwest Christian who has been beating everyone this year. To come out and put up 50 against that team—that is the type of game he is capable of playing every night."

In the first quarter Clemente was constantly getting the ball up-court with good speed and a Trinity defender got in his way in the open court drawing a blocking foul. The collision left Clemente with a sore back as the trainers tended to him as he lied face-down on the court.

"I hurt my back in the first quarter," Clemente said. "I hurt my ankle about one week ago and it was bothering me tonight. It is all heart. I only had 12 points at halftime and then scored 38 in the second half. I had to have the right mentality in the second half despite the injuries."

He shot only four times in the second quarter, but registered five of his 10 assists. At halftime, the Calusa Prep Colts led the Falcons of Palmer Trinity 59-47. Clemente's 12 points came on 6-of-12 shooting.

"In the first half I was just getting my teammates involved," Clemente said. "I was being a point guard and passing the ball."

The third quarter, Clemente vowed to make it his quarter—his game. He came out in a fury taking the ball to the hole nearly every time he touched the ball. As the quarter came to a close he had scored 19 points giving him 31 on the game—just at his scoring average. But his night was just beginning.

Clemente started off the fourth quarter with a three-point field goal—his first of the game after four unsuccessful attempts. Before too long, he was up to 41 points. Then a cold spell. With less than two minutes remaining and needing just three points for the 50-point mark, a teammate found Clemente wide open from behind the three-point line on the left wing. As the ball went in, his teammates showed their excitement from the bench.

"There was not any defense in this game," Clemente said. "Both teams just got out and ran."

With 30 seconds remaining the Trinity coach decided it was finally time to call off the press. It was hardly the right time to make any adjustments in the game—a game in which the coach consistently subbed in five players every few minutes.

"I have never been involved in a game like that," Calusa head coach Tim Fowler said. "That is a lot of points, 133-104 in 32 minutes, you don't even see that in the NBA. That is a phenomenal amount of points going back and forth. We are pleased with our offense. I will take our 59 points at the half, but defensively we have to do better."

Clemente's 50-point performance was amazing considering he was a bit banged up.

"He never ceases to amaze me," Fowler said. "I am thinking he won't be able to play in the second half because he is hurt. Literally, he is hurt. When he says that, then he is hurt. He is not one to say it unless he is hurting. He came out cold and passing the ball more in the first half, then picked it up and put up 50 for the game."

On Wednesday Calusa was scheduled to take on IMG Pendleton, but Pendleton cancelled the game despite playing in Miami the night before. The night off gave Clemente a chance to attend the Miami-Duke game.

"I went last night," Clemente said. "Miami is pretty good. My brother, Guillermo had 25 points—he can play. He was just nasty."

FANTASTIC PLAYS

In the second quarter…
Clemente led a 3-on-1 break with the ball in the middle of the court. He looked the other way to leave the defender frozen and appeared to be throwing the ball around the back with his left hand to a streaking teammate on his right, but as the ball was behind his back he stopped the momentum with his right hand and used his left hand to pass the ball off to the teammate on his left. Even the Trinity fans were left in amazement.

In the third quarter…
Clemente was in the middle of his run in the third quarter and was fouled on a play, in which he made the basket. Next time down the court he decided to shake his defender on top of the key giving him a number of crossovers. The defender backpedaled a few steps leaving Clemente open for three. Despite a quick release, the basket did not go in.

In the fourth quarter…
Clemente drove the lane hard after a steal by a teammate. The lane appeared to be closed, but he took the ball up in traffic and got the lay-up to drop.

CLEMENTE QUARTER BREAKDOWN
Qu      PTS	FG	3-PT	FT
1st:	6	3-8	0-1 	0-0 
2nd	6	3-4	0-1	0-0
3rd	19	8-12	0-2	3-5
4th	19	6-9	3-4	4-5
Final	50	20-33	3-8	7-10
BOXSCORE
Team	1st	2nd	3rd	4th	Final
Calusa	26	33	34	40	133	
Palmer 	20	27	28	29	104
IN ATTENDANCE

Miami Hurricane guard Guillermo Diaz, who scored 25 points last night in a loss to #4 Duke. After the game Diaz signed a number of autographs for kids. He is averaging 24.6 points per game in five ACC games this year.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com.

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