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CLEARWATER — Joey Nungester led the Clearwater charge Tuesday night with a game-high 22 points in an 87-68 victory over rival East Lake.
The Eagles had no answer for the Tornadoes’ up-tempo style. Clearwater (5-1) was able to spread the ball around and find the open man almost at will.
“I thought we did an excellent job of passing the ball up the floor,” Clearwater coach Allen Carden said. “That got (East Lake) on their heels a little bit, and got us off to a good start.”
The Tornadoes began the second quarter with a 12-2 run that was capped off by a barrage of open 3-pointers by Nungester. The Eagles struggled with Clearwater’s combination of size and speed. John Hogan added 17 points, most of them inside the paint.
East Lake coach Joe Bloznalis received a technical at the end of the third quarter after arguing a controversial call that went Clearwater’s way.
The Eagles’ Balazs Orzo finished with 20 points. East Lake (5-2) attempted multiple comebacks that were stopped cold by Clearwater’s suffocating defense, which forced multiple turnovers.
“We did a good job of chasing their shooters around,” Carden said. “East Lake is never going to quit playing hard and I never felt comfortable, even in the fourth quarter.”
The Tornadoes are winners of four straight.