The Dark Horses men pushed their win streak to 13 after the beatdown they put on Goldsboro in their rematch Tuesday night. On the road this time, Clinton dominated again, the final 74-46.
“This was a really good win for our guys. Let me start by saying we beat a very good and well-coached Goldsboro team. I’m very proud of the way our guys handled themselves in a tough environment to play in,” said head coach Randy Jordan.
The first quarter was what anyone would’ve expected — a battle. It left the game in a dead heat by the end of the first quarter, with 14 points going both ways. The Cougars established early they were going to do everything they could to ensure they wouldn’t down by 40 as they did in the teams’ first encounter.
“The first quarter was just what we told them they should expect — Goldsboro’s best shot. They have too much pride and tradition up there to just roll over and let us beat them by 40 like we did the first time,” said Jordan.
The second quarter is when Clinton began to seize control. The offense got better, with 17 to end the period, while holding the Cougars to nine points.
After halftime, Goldsboro picked it up offensively, able to add 15 to their total in the third. However, their defense couldn’t slow down the stampeding Horses, who racked up another 20.
It wrapped up easily in the fourth when Clinton had its most well-rounded quarter of the night. They went for 23 more to solidify the win. Even more impressive was the defense. They held Goldsboro to the least amount of scoring they had ina quarter all night. with just eight points.
“After we got through the first period, we were able to exert our size and strength inside and really started to put pressure on them on both ends of the floor,” said Jordan. “We attacked the basket with good results and defensively, we mixed up our zones to put pressure on their guards.”
Dewan Lesesne had another good night, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Xzavier Howard was right behind him with 16 points and six rebounds.
Zion Autry and Kris Williams also played well, Autry having 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Williams finished with 1o points, four assists and three steals.
“We got excellent efforts off the bench by Tymair McIntyre and Jalen Owens. It was a real team effort. This group seems to be getting better at the right time, but we still have a long way to go,” he said. “We need to focus on the little things, weak side box out, taking care of the ball, things like that. Attention to detail is what will pay off for us.”
“We also really want to thank the fans who came last night. They have been very supportive of the guys and as a program we are very appreciative of that,” Jordan concluded.
Despite having a long way to go, they are on a 13-game win streak and sit at 18-1 and 9-0 in conference play. Currently ranked number one in state, they’ll defend that place and their home court Friday against Spring Creek for senior night.
Reach Michael Hardison at email@example.com Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.