Girls Basketball: Clarissa Martinez comes up big for Plano vs Mt Assisi
Updated: February 6, 2012 10:20PM
Plano sophomore Clarissa Martinez is often the tallest girl on the court when she plays.
In Monday’s 45-40 Class 2A Plano Regional quarterfinal win over Mt. Assisi, she was not only the tallest girl on the court, she played the biggest game as well.
Martinez hauled down an impressive 24 rebounds to go with 13 points and six blocked shots to send the Reapers into Wednesday’s regional semifinal game against Aurora Christian.
“She’s starting to realize how good she can be,” Plano coach Mario Serra said. “She was much more aggressive. We told her going in that it was going to be a big game for her. She’s coming into her own. Tonight she stepped up and said, ‘You know what, I’m going to get every rebound.’”
It seemed like she did just that all night long. Her 24 boards helped the Reapers (15-14) to a 57-to-26 edge on the glass over Mt. Assisi (9-15).
As it turned out, the Reapers needed just about every one of those rebounds, thanks to their 35 turnovers, which helped Mt. Assisi stay in the game. Martinez had four rebound put-backs in the third quarter alone, helping Plano to a 37-30 lead going into the fourth quarter.
But instead of rolling that momentum into the final quarter and pulling away, the Reapers allowed Mt. Assisi to come back in a hurry. Thanks to seven quick points from Clare Kelly, who led all scorers with 24 points and added eight steals, the game was suddenly tied at 37-37 with 6:19 to go.
“It’s never easy with us,” Serra said. “We get a run going and then we commit some turnovers and do some other silly things. That’s the problem with a young team sometimes. We make some mistakes. They did a good job of capitalizing.”
A lay-up Albana Hoti, her lone bucket of the game, and yet another rebound put-back by Martinez gave Plano a 41-37 lead, however, a lead which the Reapers never gave back.
Tachae Miles added 11 points off the bench in the win for Plano. Zhate Jackson chipped in with nine points and eight rebounds.
With the win, the third-seeded Reapers set up a showdown with Aurora Christian Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. The first semifinal features Aurora Central Catholic and Joliet Catholic, who topped Chicago Christian Monday, at 6 p.m.
“Aurora Christian creates a lot of havoc because they like to drive to the basket,” Serra said. “We’re going to have to play a lot better, we know that going in. We can’t have 35 turnovers. If we have that many turnovers, we’re not going to win.”