PREP BASKETBALL: Flustered by Clear Lake’s press, Bear River falls in Adidas Falcon Shootout opener | TheUnion.com

PREP BASKETBALL: Flustered by Clear Lake’s press, Bear River falls in Adidas Falcon Shootout opener

Bear River's varsity boys basketball team is still a work in progress.

The Bruins are a young team that is still ironing out the kinks as it folds in several late-arriving players who recently joined the squad after an extended football season.

The lack of cohesion and chemistry was evident Thursday in the first round of the Adidas Colfax Falcon Shootout where the Bruins squandered a 12-point second quarter lead and fell to Clear Lake, 59-50.

"We have a lot of things we have to get better at," said Bear River head coach Jeff Bickmore. "One of the biggest things right now is we just havn't had many practices. We got these football guys so late and then it's tournament time. So we're practicing once or twice a week and I think we've had five or six practices under our belt with all the guys."

The Bruins started the game red hot and finished strong as well, but the middle quarters were all Clear Lake.

Bear River (6-6) jumped out to a 13-7 lead in the first quarter and held a 19-7 advantage after a pair of Justin Powell 3-pointers to start the second quarter, but that's when Clear Lake put on the press and the Bruins fell apart.

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Facing the press, Bear River looked frustrated and confused as players continued to get caught in traps and turn the ball over, which often led to easy points for the Cardinals.

"The biggest issue was we didn't do a real good job of handling the pressure," Bickmore said. "We turned the ball over, we were getting trapped and we were unable to get out of the traps… They got us playing fast and we kind of panicked. We just turned over the ball too much and that led to easy baskets for them."

The Cardinals went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter thanks to their press and took a 23-21 lead into halftime.

Bear River senior guard Clay Corippo put the Bruins ahead 24-23 with a 3-pointer to start the third quarter, but the Cardinals responded with a 22-5 run to take a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Clear Lake extended its lead to 19 points before the Bruins started to break the press. Bear River would outscore the Cardinals 21-11 down the stretch, but it wasn't enough.

"The fact that we lost by under 10 is kind of amazing as poorly as we played during that stretch," said Bickmore. "But, hopefully we can come back tomorrow and play with a little more poise, make some adjustments and play better."

Leading Bear River was Corippo with 13 points, including four 3-pointers. Corippo was one of seven Bruins to sink at least one 3-pointer. As a team they went 12-of-28 from beyond the arc, but were just 4-for-20 from two-point range.

Clear lake was led by guards Tanner Hutton, with 14 points, and Brady McGuire with 12 points.

The Bruins are right back at it today for the second round of the tourney.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

Cardinals 59, Bruins 50

LEADERS

BR: C. Corippo – 13 points

BR: B. Vasquez – 7 points

CL: T. Hutton – 14 points

CL: B. McGuire – 12 points