Clinton swept Lakewood on Monday night, the men taking a 83-42 victory and the women winning 63-38.
For the men’s varsity team, Lakewood was starting behind beginning the second quarter at 14-11. Their best chance for the comeback was then but the Leopards were unable to turn the table on the Dark Horses with them pulling into the lead.
“I think we did well for the first and second quarter,” said Lakewood coach Todd Wheeler. “We just need to work on a few things.”
Lakewood ended the first half 19 points behind as the score reached 40-21.
“We need to work on our defense a bit and make a few changes to positions,” Wheeler conceded.
While Lakewood played well, they ran into a Clinton team that was riding off their second win over 3A Southern Wayne 69-63 on Friday. The Leopard momentum they tried to mount going into the third quarter could not make up for the lead they lost in the second, ending the quarter at 64-33.
The difference reached 40 points and the mercy rules took effect, meaning the clock would be left running adding more pressure for Lakewood. The game ended at 83-42.
Leading the way for Clinton were Zion Autry and Dewan Lesesne, who each ended with 16 points.
“This was a really nice step for us to take,” said Clinton coach Randy Jordan. “Our bench played really well as we got contributions from everyone as 11 of 12 players scored. We have a long way to go, but we are starting to take the steps we need.”
The Clinton Lady Dark Horses started slow and gradually brought the hammer down on the Lady Leopards.
The Lady Leopards began impressively holding the lead at 7-6 during the first part of the first quarter. Clinton pulled ahead and the score stood at 12-9 going into the second quarter. As the two teams battled through the second quarter, Clinton maintained the lead only for Lakewood’s ladies to close the gap before Clinton grew it again.
The first half of the game stood at 37-20, Horses.
Going into the final quarter, Lakewood stood at 46-25 making a comeback still possible, but unlikely. Clinton was again able to hold the edge in the fourth quarter, taking the game 63-38.
Reach Chris Froat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.