Clinton High School hosted the preseason Women’s Basketball Jamboree this past Saturday, with over 10 schools from all over coming out to compete.
The format for the jamboree was for teams to play each other for two 20-minute halves. Both teams were allowed two timeouts and the clock kept running, stopping only for official’s timeouts and injuries. The Lady Horses played three times throughout the course of the event, which extended for 10 hours — from 8 a.m. to past 5 p.m. Saturday.
County schools such as Midway, Lakewood and Union were there along with Clinton’s big rival from last season, Northside, to name a few. However, the Horses didn’t get the opportunity to face some of their competition for the upcoming season.
They opened up the day at 10:30 a.m., facing off against South Robeson. They dominated from start to finish, controlling the pace each half. The Horses not only showed good offenses, but played lockdown defense, getting one steal after another. The shooting from one of the returning starters from last year’s title run, senior Ashlyn Williams, was exceptional from beyond the arc.
This didn’t carry over into their next game a few hours later, when they faced off against West Carteret. The shots that were falling in the first scrimmage didn’t quite fall for them in this matchup. Perimeter defense was the biggest issue as West Carteret dropped three-pointers pretty constantly.
The Horses cleaned it up in their final game of the day, though they still weren’t as in command as they were against South Robeson. To end the jamboree, they battled toe-to-toe with West Brunswick, pushing the ball up and down the floor well and their overall defense was much better than in the previous match.
Alex Canady, another senior, returner and leader for this year’s team, had the hot hand this go-around. So much in fact that she pulled up while extremely contested and knocked down threes as if wide open.
“We got to see a lot of things today, some good and some bad,” said head coach Chris Owens. “The important thing is that we see what we need to work on and what needs improving going forward. I’m looking forward to coaching the new players and the vets this year and overall I was very pleased with what I saw today.”
The Lady Horses will be back in action Thursday on the road facing East Bladen in the first scrimmage of the new season.
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.