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5A region basketball: Clearwater easily dispatches Blake

The Tornadoes’ Regan O’Rourke, getting around Blake’s Julian Jackson (22) and Michael McFarland, finished with 17 points.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

The Tornadoes’ Regan O’Rourke, getting around Blake’s Julian Jackson (22) and Michael McFarland, finished with 17 points.

CLEARWATER — Blake was the bullet train, relying on a freewheeling offense that was approaching unseen speeds.

Only problem was the Yellow Jackets' never-let-up attack that terrorizes normal foes was scorched by a bigger, stronger, faster Clearwater team that can play the same style, only better.

The result was a 68-45 Tornadoes victory.

"Clearwater just outplayed us," Blake coach Winston Davis said. "The big difference was we couldn't score. You can't put up 45 points and beat a team like that."

By rotating on instinct, trapping fiercely and attacking the boards, Clearwater (25-3) made its defense into a thing of beauty.

The Tornadoes keyed on Yellow Jackets sharpshooter Andre Smith and played him to a statistical draw.

"We knew we had to stop Andre," Clearwater guard Cory Carden said. "He was the main weapon."

Smith was held to eight points until midway through the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.

Before that, there were a few close calls in the first half. Clearwater started off by scoring the first 10 points. Blake (20-8) answered by scoring the next 11 to take the lead.

It was the Yellow Jackets' last lead of the game.

The Tornadoes' Okaro White, who was in foul trouble early, reentered the game after Blake went on its run and was dominant underneath the basket.

"The big difference early on was not having Okaro in there," Clearwater coach Allen Carden said. "We need him on the floor."

Smith led the Yellow Jackets with 17 points. Clearwater had 10 players score, including Regan O'Rourke (17 points) and White (14), who both reached double figures.

5A region basketball: Clearwater easily dispatches Blake 02/19/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 20, 2009 11:41am]
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