Clendenen, Giussani Power Baylor Past Rival McCallie

They Combine For 28 Points In 48-42 Division II-AA Region Win

Saturday, February 1, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Back at you McCallie.

The Blue Tornado won at Baylor by a point in overtime on Jan. 18.

On Saturday, Baylor returned the favor, pulling away in the final three minutes to calm the Blue Tornado, 48-42, in Division II-AA East/Middle Region basketball action before a packed house at McCallie’s Sports and Activity Center.

Coupled with a 50-48 victory over McCallie in a holiday tournament matchup in December, the Red Raiders have won two of three meetings this season with their bitter crosstown rivals.

The three games were decided by a total of nine points.

“This is a big-time rivalry,” Baylor’s veteran coach Austin Clark said. “They go to our place and win and we come to their place and win. I’m really proud of our kids because they finished the game tonight. At our place we didn’t do a good job and our players knew that. It ate at them for two weeks.

“This was a great team effort.”

In the last 30 games, McCallie has a slight 16-14 edge over Baylor and 25 have been decided by eight or fewer points and 11 by three or less. In the games dating to 2002, the average margin of victory is 6.3 points.

“This was a very big win for us,” Baylor’s Amedeo Giussani said. “We did a very good job defensively and that kept us in front of the game. That was a key in the game for sure.”

Once again Matt Clendenen led the Red Raiders (13-7, 3-3) with a game-high 16 points, including five in the fourth quarter.

Giussani finished with 12 points.

Clendenen and Giussani are both seniors.

Clendenen has put up 60 points on the Tornado in three games, including 23 at Baylor and 21 in the holiday tournament game at Chattanooga State. Giussani had 24 points in the three meetings.

“They did the same things over at their place, but we didn’t have good help-side defense and that gave them easier shots,” said McCallie’s C.J. Fritz, who scored a team-high 11 points. “Tonight we played better help-side defense and made it tougher on them, but they still got their points. Credit goes to them.”

Adrian Thomas was the only other player in double figure for McCallie (10-11), which dropped its second region game in as many days after winning four straight to open league play.

McCallie plays host to Father Ryan on Friday while Baylor entertains Brentwood Academy on the same night.

With the two defenses putting a premium on every possession, the Red Raiders went into the fourth quarter with a shaky 29-27 lead.

Sophomore Spencer King hit a running bank shot, beating JaVaughn Craig on the play, and converted a three-point play after being fouled. Thomas answered with a bucket for McCallie.

Sammy Lupas, another senior, turned a McCallie turnover into a layup to give the Red Raiders a 34-29 lead with 6:39 left. But Fritz, who beat Baylor in January with a driving, over-the-shoulder layup with six seconds left in overtime, nailed a 3-pointer.

Clendenen made a baby hook in the lane and McCallie’s Chauncey Alford scored on a driving layup, but missed the ensuing free throw – the Tornado were a paltry 2-for-10 from the stripe – after drawing a foul by Clendenen.

“Two of 10?” McCallie coach Dan Wadley asked. “I didn’t know it was that bad. You win and lose games at the foul line. It’s not like we don’t practice it because we do. Normally as a team we shoot 63 percent.”

McCallie sophomore Jordan Atkins dropped in a layup and tied the game at 36-all with 3:28 remaining.

Clendenen converted a three-point play and Cam Walker had a putback after a Fritz miss and McCallie trailed 39-38 at the 2:54 mark.

King’s acrobatic shot in close and Clendenen’s 3 from the left corner pushed Baylor’s lead to 44-38 with 1:53 on the clock.

Up 46-42, Giussani missed a free throw, but Clendenen skied for the rebound and flipped the ball to Lupas, who made a layup with 39 seconds left for the final margin.

“They wanted it more than we did tonight,” Wadley said. “They played with a lot more urgency, especially in the second half. Baylor played great, so give them all the credit in the world. This was our best defensive effort against them all year, but they had a good scheme and their defense hurt us some too. They covered up our shooters a little better with their defense.”

Craig, a sophomore, is a perfect example of that. Craig scored 29 points in the first two games against Baylor. He managed only four in the rubber game.

Baylor gave McCallie problems from the get-go. The Blue Tornado went scoreless for 6 minutes and 31 seconds while the Red Raiders built an 11-4 lead.

Clark liked how his Red Raiders played down the stretch.

“We made some free throws (3 of 5) and didn’t make too many turnovers,” he said. “In the last three or four minutes when we had the lead we were just looking for layups and fouls. We did a good job.”

SUMMARY     

Baylor                         8 11 10 19 – 48

McCallie                      4 12 11 15 – 42

Baylor (48) – Maize, Brogdon 4, Matt Clendenen 16, Seaberg 4, Upshaw 2, King 5, Lupas 6, Amedeo Giussani 12

McCallie (42) – C.J. Fritz 11, Bowman, Craig 4, Adrian Thomas 10, Whitener 3, Alford 2, Clark, Atkins 6, Walker 6.

3-point Goals – Baylor 4 (Clendenen 2, Brogdon, Giussani); McCallie 6 (Fritz 3, Thomas 2, Craig).

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)


UTC's McLean Set For Suns Summer League Squad

From the moment Tre McLean ’16 walked on campus in 2013, he brought a through-the-roof work ethic. That work leads to his next step heading to Las Vegas joining the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Summer League. McLean transferred to Chattanooga in 2013 from Queens University of Charlotte after his freshman year. He followed his head coach Wes Long from Charlotte to Gig City when current ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern Bobcats Sign Howard Hoops Standout

The Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats volleyball team and basketball team have picked up recruits from the Chattanooga area this season and the men’s basketball team recently decided to follow suit. Head coach David Stephenson crossed into the Volunteer State in late June to sign guard Justin Smith. Smith prepped at Howard High School, which has always been a hotbed for ... (click for more)

Young Woman Suffers Serious Injuries In 30-Foot Fall At Quarry At Greenway Farms

A young woman was seriously injured on Wednesday night  when she fell approximately 30 feet from a bluff at the the Greenway Farms quarry in Hixson.   Some kayakers were paddling in the quarry shortly after  8 p.m. when they saw the woman fall to the ground below. They immediately went over to the victim and called 911. The Chattanooga Fire Department ... (click for more)

Walker County Taking Out Another Loan To Deal With Debts Left By Bebe Heiskell Administration

Walker County officials said they are having to take out another loan to deal with debts left by the Bebe Heiskell administration. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield has called a special meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the commissioner's office in Lafayette. The agenda includes a $4 million tax anticipation note from Lafayette Bank, which stepped in to help the new administration ... (click for more)

CPS Should Have A Manned 24/7 Presence In Every County

This week something became abundantly clear to me. The Department of Child Protective Services in the state of Tennessee, or at least in Hamilton County, are asleep at the wheel.   Early yesterday afternoon local news stations broke the news: "Animals Removed from Soddy Daisy Home."  What the news station either didn't know, or didn't report, was that the children of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Heroes Gather On July 14

Oliver North, whose journey as American patriot has not been an easy one, never lost hope. He once admitted he lied to Congress under oath, was found guilty of three felony counts after he followed the direct orders of his superiors, and then endured the wrath of the ignorant before the ACLU – of all sources – had the charges vacated. The former Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps ... (click for more)