Ryan Funk, Clarence's talented big man, drove to the basket and softly laid the ball off the glass and into the hoop.
The Red Devils' bench erupted.
Trailing host Jamestown, 23-21, with 3:04 remaining in the first half Tuesday night, Clarence was understandably feeling pretty good about where it stood.
Tommy Campion of Jamestown goes up for two points between teammate Branden Kellam, right, and Bobby Floric of Clarence, left, during Tuesday night’s ECIC Division 1 boys basketball game. Below, Zack Panebianco is on the move for the Red Raiders. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Scott Kindberg
That all changed in a hurry.
Red Raiders' senior Tommy Campion converted on a drive and then made a steal and an easy layup. Then sophomore Branden Kellam slammed home a dunk on a feed from sophomore Zack Panebianco and scored again on a pass from Campion.
In a shade over two minutes, Jamestown - its momentum and swagger restored - had outscored the Red Devils, 8-2, and showed the large crowd at McElrath Gymnasium why it is the 10th-ranked Class AA team in the state and No. 3 in the Western New York large school poll.
Armed with a 31-23 halftime lead, the Red Raiders didn't take their collective foot off the gas the rest of the way en route to a 73-56 victory in an Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 basketball game.
Campion finished with 26 points, six steals and three assists; Kellam had 12 points and 15 rebounds; and Panebianco chipped in with 12 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals to help the Red Raiders improve to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the division.
The third quarter was merely a continuation of the second.
During one four-minute stretch, Jamestown outscored the Red Devils, 20-6, to essentially put the game out of reach. Campion was particularly impressive - he scored 11 points during that run - but he did have help. Quinn Lee Yaw and Stephen Carlson hit layups, Panebianco nailed a trey and Kellam made a nice tip for another basket.
When the run was over, the Red Raiders led, 53-34.
Clarence never threatened after that.
''It was nice to end the first half the way we did,'' Jamestown coach Ben Drake said. ''I didn't like the way the game was going for the first quarter and a half. We never got into a good flow offensively, and defensively we were just inconsistent. Going on that run and coming out the way we did in the second half was good to see.''
While the Red Raiders were struggling at the start of the game (they led 15-10 after the first quarter) and didn't shoot well from the arc (4 of 16), they showed dominance on the glass (40-16 rebounding edge) and connected on 32 of 65 shots overall, including 10 of 18 from Campion.
''Tommy has been shooting the ball really well,'' Drake said. ''Tonight he actually didn't (from the arc), but to his credit he was able to find other ways to score. ... Clarence was trying to make him put the ball on the floor, but he adjusted and in the second half he was able to get to the basket and also the free throw line.''
Campion's 26 points - his average through four games - gives him 782 for his career, which is one point away from tying Jaysean Paige for 15th on the school's all-time scoring list. He'll likely do that on Friday night when the Red Raiders play Bennett at 7:30 p.m. in the United Way Tournament. That game will be preceded by the Fredonia-Timon game at 6 p.m. The consolation and championship game will be played at the same time on Saturday.
NOTES: Number 14 on the school's all-time scoring list is Jay Newton (787). ... Funk led Clarence with 25 points, including 11 in the second quarter, and teammate Bryan Jost added 12. ... In the junior varsity game, the Red Raiders improved to 2-0 following a 55-41 victory. Ben Larson and Derek Foe each had 14 points to lead the way.
Elliott 20 4, Williams 2 0 4, Florio 0 2 2, Jost 4 1 12, Schmit 0 2 2, Harot 1 0 2, Sadowy 2 0 4, Funk 9 3 25, Craven 0 1 1, Totals 20 9 56.
Campion 10 5 26, Frank 1 0 2, Johnson 0 0 0, Colwell 1 0 2, Park 1 0 2, Sisson 0 0 0, Panebianco 5 0 12, Hoaglund 1 0 3, Carlson 1 0 2, Kellam 6 0 12, , McBride 2 0 4, Lee Yaw 4 0 8, Totals 32 5 73.
3-point goals-Jost 3, Funk 4, Campion, Panebianco 2, Hoaglund.
Clarence 10 13 16 17 - 56
Jamestown 15 16 25 17 - 73
Jayvees: Jamestown 55, Clarence 41