Martin freshman Carter Hilton scored 13 points and had six rebounds in the game with Kalamazoo Phoenix. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Clippers drop overtime heartbreaker to Kalamazoo Phoenix

Jason Wesseldyk

The free throw line wasn’t particularly kind to Martin in its Class D boys’ basketball district semifinal with Kalamazoo Phoenix on Wednesday, March 9.
Normally a team that makes more than 70-percent of their free throws, the Clippers fell to 63 percent (24-of-38) against Phoenix.
It only seemed fitting, then, that free throws played a big role in the way the game ended.
Down two, Martin drew a foul in the closing seconds of overtime. But both free throws were off the mark and the Clippers suffered the 74-72, season-ending defeat.
“The game, for us, came down to free throws and rebounding,” Martin coach David Curry said. “We definitely had our chances at the line, we just didn’t convert enough of them.
“And Phoenix is a very athletic team that did a good job of crashing the boards and as a result out rebounded us by a 48-35 margin.”
The season came to a close at 15-6 for the Clippers, who won the SAC Central title. It was the program’s first conference championship in 20 years.
“I’m so proud of the fight these kids have had in them the entire year,” Curry said. “I’ve said it before and I will say it again, they never quit. There was never a time that we ever thought we couldn’t pull a game out, no matter what the score was. Hopefully they don’t let this game overshadow what we accomplished.
“They’ve taken a program that had only won a few games in the years prior to when I was hired and have started something great. They won five the first year, 10 the second and now 15 this year. They’ve laid a great foundation for the future of this program and I think have brought great pride to this community.”

For full story, pick up a copy of the March 17 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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