Basketball season for the Clinton Dark Horses men is underway and, after making it to the regional semifinals last season, their potential to outdue last year’s performance is high.
The Horses finished last season 27-3 overall, finished as the number one team in the Four County 1A/2A conference at a perfect 14-0 and made it to the semifinals. They lost to the current defending champs Northside, 70-51 — Northside has moved up to 3A — ending the Horses run.
The Horses had some impressive numbers last year in every statistical category. They averaged an exceptional amount of points last season at 73.5 points per game while shooting at almost 50 percent. Their average field goal percentage was 47 percent, while shooting 31 percent from beyond the arc.
They were equally good on the boards with a high rebound count, averaging 45.3 rebounds per game, and their assist average sat at 16.4 assists per game.
The offense wasn’t the only thing that was impressive about last year’s team. They were solid defensively, boasting double-digit steals with an average of 13.9 steals and 4.4 blocks per game.
“We have the potential to be a top five team in the state this year,” said Dark Horses head coach Randy Jordan. “We’re extremely talented, we shoot the ball well and the leadership from our seniors is really good. Team chemistry is going to be the key for us and as long as we get guys to understand what their role will be, we’ll be good.”
Senior leaders are in abundance for the Horses this season, as Clinton returns a good chunk of players from last year giving the team plenty of experience. Some returning include Dewan Lesane, Kris Williams and Trevor Leggett.
Lesane was in the top five in three different statistical categories, including fifth in points per game with 12.3, second in rebounds per game at 7.9 and second in steals per game with 2.9. Williams finished as the third best assist player with 3.4 assist per game and was the fifth best in steals with 1.8 per game. Leggett was a wall of a defender, boasting the second highest blocks in the conference at 2.3 per game.
Those three are just a few that will be returning, adding to the level of experience this team will have this season.
Clinton has some good competition to play at start of season with back to back games against 3A Southern Wayne and potentially against the Lakewood Leopards.
“Our next game will be at home against Southern Wanye, a big 3A team, and then maybe Lakewood depending on whether they keep their playoff run going or not in football,” said Jordan. “Then we turn around and face Southern Wayne again, this time on the road, so we’ve got good a couple of good early teams to play.”
The Dark Horses have their first encounter with Southern Wayne coming up next week, playing host to the 3A school on Tuesday.
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