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7th straight for No. 10 Clinton.

Byline: Jay Gearan

CLINTON -- The 10th-ranked Clinton Gaels are certainly in a galloping mood these days.

Powering past Oakmont, 83-45, in a Wachusett C matchup Tuesday night, Clinton won its seventh straight.

The Gaels (7-1) have not lost since their opener against top-ranked St. John's a month ago.

"Every night we just come out and play hard,'' said Clinton senior captain Ed Rupia, who scored 15 points, mostly from the paint. "If we play our game, we can play with anybody.''

Oakmont entered with an 8-2 record but couldn't match the Gaels' shooting and rebounding.

"We got outclassed,'' Spartans coach Eric Dawley said. "They came as advertised; we just couldn't stop them.''

"We played our best game tonight,'' Clinton coach Tony Gannon said. "Our bench came to play, and we have a lot of good team chemistry.

The Gaels are 27-4 since the start of the 2012-13 season.

"It's a credit to the Monty Tech summer league,'' Gannon said. "These kids play hard in the summer and into the fall.''

Junior captain Brendan Kittredge led Clinton with 21 points, followed by senior Cristian Parades with 12 and senior Ronal Ascenio with 10.

Off the bench, the Gaels got good playmaking from junior Austin Gannon, plus scoring production from Ascenio and A.J. Bedard (6 points).

Oakmont, led by senior Mike McGuirl's 17 points, including five 3-pointers, stayed close for most of the first quarter. Senior guard Nolan Durkee nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game with 2:40 left, but then the Gaels jetted to a 22-19 lead by the first break.

Minutes into the second quarter, Clinton spun a 10-2 run, boosting its lead to 34-23 with Rupia and Richard Dalton scoring inside, often on putbacks. When Greg Winn drove for a left-handed layup seconds before halftime, the Gaels were ahead, 45-31.

Kittredge had two steals and drives, plus a jumper, to score the first seven points of the third quarter to put Clinton in control, 56-36. From there the Gaels coasted to another convincing win, eclipsing their 77.6 points-per-game average.

"We crashed the boards and acted the whole game like we were only down by two points,'' Rupia said.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Gearan, Jay
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jan 15, 2014
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