The Clinton Dark Horses faced off against a relentless Trask Titans basketball team on Friday evening. In a game that was tight throughout much of the contest, the Dark Horses were able to pull away late in the fourth quarter to preserve their undefeated status in the Four County Conference and extend their win streak to 11 games with a 71-56 victory.
The game was underway with a quick 6-0 lead for the Dark Horses but the pesky Titans stayed within striking distance. A fast-paced first quarter would come to a close with Clinton leading 22-20.
In the second quarter, the Dark Horses looked poised to take control of the game as they built a double-digit lead at 30-20 with five minutes to go before halftime. That lead would grow to as many as 12 points, but the Titans wouldn’t go away. By halftime, Clinton’s lead had dwindled to just six points as the Dark Horses led 34-28.
Trask made things interesting midway through the third quarter as they fought back from their double-digit deficit to claim their first lead of the game at 39-38 with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter. The Titan lead was brief, however, as Clinton mounted an 8-0 run to reclaim a 46-38 lead. The quarter would close with Clinton narrowly leading 47-43.
The Titans kept the margin within four points for the first couple minutes of the final frame before tying the game up once more at 48-48 with 6:22 remaining. At that point, Clinton was finally able to dig in and take some control. The Dark Horses quickly reclaimed a 51-48 lead following a three-point play by Kahari Williams. With 4:15 remaining, Clinton had extended its lead back to 6 points at 57-51 before Trask called timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Dark Horses were able to hold their ground as the game progressed deep into the fourth quarter and Trask was forced to resort to fouling. Repeatedly finding themselves at the free throw line, Clinton’s lead grew back to double digits and the Dark Horses would go on to win, 71-56.
Clinton head coach Randy Jordan was proud of his team’s ability to weather the storm.
“We needed a game like this. Trask pushed us tonight and we had to dig down and find something we hadn’t had to this point,” Jordan stated. “The group we went to in the third quarter gave us a huge lift at both ends of the floor. They changed the tempo and were the difference in the game. Tyion Wright and Mike Kramer played very well also. They each played strong and really made a difference.”
Clinton now prepares for a tough test against West Bladen, a team that is also undefeated in league play.
“We have to focus on West Bladen now,” Jordan said. “They’re 6-0 in the conference like we are and this is going to be a big game.”
With the win, Clinton improves to 13-2 overall and 6-0 in the Four County Conference. The big game at West Bladen is set for Thursday night.
Reach Daron Barefoot at firstname.lastname@example.org.