Cross helps propel the Clippers past Lisbon in exciting final minutes

Clippers capture another nail-bitter with Lisbon

High School Girls Basketball Lisbon Vs. Columbiana
Photo Credit: Lowell Spencer

LISBON, Ohio (WYTV) – It didn’t go into double overtime like the last time Columbiana and Lisbon played on the Devils home court, but it was just as exciting. The Clippers scored twice in the final 23-seconds of the game to pull out a thrilling 49-47 victory over the Devils.

Last January the Clippers came from behind to beat the Devils 98-97 in a double overtime contest that helped boost the Clippers to an ITCL White Tier championship. This year the win helps give the Clippers an early boost in the EOAC standings. The Clippers now stand 5-0 overall, 3-0 in the league. The Devils drop to 3-2 on the season, 2-1 in league play.

With just 36-seconds remaining in the contest, the Devils Izzy Perez hit the second of two free throws to give the Devils a slim 47-45 lead. But the Clippers senior Alexis Cross would drive the baseline and score with 23 ticks remaining to tie the game at 47. That was followed ten seconds later by a steal and layup from Kayla Muslovski to provide the Clippers the winning points in the game.

“Lisbon always plays tough, our kids played tough. It was a good game. It was worth the six bucks,” Clippers coach Ron Moschella remarked.

“It’s always a rivalry game. It’s always really hard to play them. It’s like the game,” Cross would emphasize. “No matter who’s better it’s always going to be a good game because we really like playing each other. Both are really good teams, and we both play really hard.”

“They keep coming out on top,” a somber Jamie Entrikin said of the rivalry. “They are a well taught, well-schooled team. And good teams find ways to win. We’re a young team, and being in a situation like that is only going to help us get better going forward. It was a tough loss for us. They took it hard.”

The two teams battled at a frenzied pace right from the opening tip-off with the Clippers holding a 17-15 lead at the end of the first period. The Devils would jump back ahead midway through the second stanza when Perez had back-to-back steals and scoring layups to propel the Devils to a 25-20 lead. But the Clippers would close out the period with an 8-0 run to hold a 28-25 lead at intermission.

The Clippers would continue to hold a slim lead throughout the third quarter, not holding a lead larger than 5-points. Then the Devils Chloe Smith would connect on a three from the right point to make it a one-point game at 40-39 at the end of the period.

The game slowed tremendously in the final period with the Clippers trying to pull the Devils out of their zone defense while eating the clock with a lead. But once again Perez would ignite the Devils with a basket at the 4:25 mark to cut the Clippers lead down to 44-42. The Devils Hailee Carpenter would add a basket less than a minute later to tie the game at 44, followed by a basket by Maddie Liberati to give the Devils a 46-44 advantage. Cross would add a foul shot to make it 46-45, setting up the exciting final 36 seconds.

“I’m glad we’re mentally tough enough to get it together and finish the game,” Cross explained. “We had a lot of mental mistakes which is good because we can learn from them and build from this game.”

Muslovski and Cross both scored 14 points in the game to lead the Clippers in the win. Cross would also pace the Clippers on the boards, along with Kennedy Fullum with 6 each.

The loss overshadowed a tremendous performance by the Devils Izzy Perez as she scored a game-high 17 points. Liberati would add 12 points. Autumn Oehlstrom would haul down 7 rebounds to lead the Devils on the boards.

“She can a do a little bit of everything,” Entrikin said of Perez. “She worked really hard this offseason on getting her shot better and now she has an outside threat. Put that with the way she can drive and penetrate to the hole and she is difficult to stop.”

“I’m proud of my kids. I felt they left everything they had out on the floor. That’s all I ask of them,” Entrikin remarked. “It’s tough right now.”

The Clippers also captured the j-v contest, winning 33-23 with Annaliese Quibley scoring a game-high 11 points.