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Clear Lake’s varsity boys team remained undefeated in North Central League I play Friday night by defeating host St. Helena, 72-61, behind Darius Ford’s game-high 20 points.

“This is a darn good team that we played,” Saints head coach Jim Gamble said. “They are 20-2 on the season. They are undefeated in league, and they are rated third in our section.”

Despite entering the contest a decided underdog, St. Helena (12-11, 7-5 NCL I) held its own throughout the first half. The Saints led 16-15 at the end of the first quarter and the game was tied 31-31 at halftime, before the Cardinals used their height and experience to pull away in the game’s final 16 minutes.

Senior forward Nick Jeworowski was one of four Saints in double figures with a team-high 18 points. Colin Darrall, who was sidelined much of the week due to illness, scored 14 points. Senior guard Christian Iano contributed 11 and Fawad Muhammad added 10. Caleb Jeske scored four points, while Jawad Muhammad and junior point guard Jonathan Gamble added two points apiece.

The Saints had a solid night from behind the 3-point line, knocking down 10 treys. Darrall had four, Fawad Muhammad had three, Iano added a pair, and Jeworowski had one.

Despite the defeat, Jim Gamble had nothing but praise for his team, which he said has grown and matured throughout the season and maintained its collective enthusiasm for the game regardless of the result on the scoreboard.

“True to form,” he said of the Saints’ effort Friday. “This team has just tremendous passion for the game and tremendous heart, and they lay it all out on the floor every single game.”

The Saints travel to Fort Bragg on Tuesday night and host Cloverdale in their Senior Night game on Thursday, when Jeworowski and Iano will be honored before tipoff.

Clear Lake JV 68, St. Helena 32

The Cardinals outscored the Saints 33-11 in the second half Friday night, with Donavin Valadez leading Clear Lake with a game-high 18 points.

Sophomore George Cutting led the Saints’ offense with nine points. Will Garrett and Charlie Carpy scored six each, Robert Pryzbylinski contributed five, Henrik Wrede added four, and Emmet Bowen had two.

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