GOSHEN — With 2:50 left in Friday's boys basketball game against Jimtown, Clinton Christian's Nathan Stutzman hit a 3-pointer and became the school's all-time leading scorer.
But Stutzman didn't know he had accomplished that feat until seconds after the Couriers beat the Jimmies 62-53.
Stutzman needed 18 points and finished with 19, making him the school's top scorer with 1,528 points. Stutzman passed Sherwin Beachy, who set the school standard in 2001.
"I had no clue," said Stutzman when asked if he knew, at the time, the individual significance of his 3-pointer with 2:50 left. "I didn't know about the record until it was announced after the game.
"I'm excited. It's a great accomplishment."
Stutzman's historic basket gave Clinton Christian a 55-49 lead and it was part of a 12-4 run to end the game for the hosts.
"I think it's great," Couriers coach Chad Schrock said about Stutzman's record-setting night. "He's been working hard at it ever since he was a little boy. He's had a great three seasons for us and this is his fourth year starting on the varsity. He can definitely fill it up in a hurry, which is great. I'm very proud of him."
Schrock was also proud of the way his team erased a 32-26 halftime deficit.
The Couriers (3-1) were strong on both ends of the court after halftime. Defensively, Clinton Christian forced six turnovers in the third quarter. The hosts also made 54 percent of their shots over final 16 minutes.
"The biggest thing we talked about is that the intensity wasn't there on the defensive end," Schrock said. "In that third quarter we forced six turnovers and that led to easy buckets. Easy buckets make the other team clam up a little bit and become tense. That's what (defensive) pressure does."
Despite leading at halftime, Jimtown coach Marcus Moore wasn't pleased. His frustration grew in the second half.
"I thought we had a terrible first half, too," said Moore of his team's season opener. "We gave up way too many easy baskets. We were out of position (defensively) and our effort wasn't great.
"They were playing at home and they kind of got some things going their way. They executed and made shots. Unfortuately, we didn't. We didn't get enough stops down the stretch and they got a lot of offensive rebounds and I thought that hurt us."
Clinton Christian finished with a 26-20 edge on the boards with Stutzman leading the way with nine. Benson Yoder added seven rebounds to go with 16 points.
Five 3-pointers in the first quarter helped Jimtown jump to a 22-16 lead. Jimmie 6-foot-6 center Sam Pawlak scored 11 of his 25 points in the opening period.
"I didn't think I did a very good job of making adjustments in the second half," Moore said. "I also think our guys got tired. We needed to get a rotation locked in. It's your first game of the year and basically everybody is new to your varsity roster and you're trying to figure out who's going to fit in where and that's an adjustment."
Caleb Schrock provided a spark in the second half for the Couriers with 11 of his 13 points. He turned two of his steals into four points.
CLINTON CHRISTIAN 62, JIMTOWN 53
Jimtown: Austin Pearison 6, Dalton Whitman 2, Sam Pawlak 25, Sevon Gillespie 4, Collin Lemley 12, Michael Maxwell-Williams 0, Nic Fann 4. Totals: 20 5-6 53.
Clinton: Nathan Stutzman 19, Benson Yoder 16, Seth Shetler 6, Ryan Hochstetler 6, Caleb Schrock 13, Herschel Miller 2, Tylan Mullet 0. Totals: 23 11-17 62.
Scoring By Quarters
3-point goals: Jimtown (8) - Lemley 4, Pearison 2, Pawlak 2; Clinton (5) - Stutzman 3, Hochstetler 2.
Rebounds: Jimtown (20) - Pawlak 9; Clinton (26) - Stutzman 9, Yoder 7.
Steals: Jimtown (3) - Whitman, Lemley, Fann; Clinton (6) - Stutzman 3, Schrock 3.
Turnovers: Jimtown 13; Clinton 8.
Fouls: Jimtown 14; Clinton 7.
Records: Jimtown 0-1, Clinton 3-1.
JV: Jimtown 53, Clinton 25.