Clinton squads muzzle the Gators

By Michael Hardison - Sports Editor
Isa Banks cuts through the middle of the lane for the Horses in their clutch win over the Spring Creek Friday night. -
Dark Horses Trevor Leggett towers over his man during the opening tip off during Friday nights game. They beat the Gators for the second time this season. -

Girls

The Lady Horses went toe to toe with Spring Creek Friday, taking on the Gators at home and coming through with the 56-45 win.

The first quarter was slow for the home team, as the offense couldn’t do much in the opening eight minutes of the night. Going for only five, the Horses found themselves down by that much with the Gators hitting 10.

The second was not the same story with both teams sparking offensively, though the flow of the game shifted in favor of the Horses. Clinton outscored Spring Creek by three points, hitting 19 to the visitors 16. With the lead changed, Clinton went into halftime ahead by two, the score 26-24.

The third saw yet another lead change by the end of the period. The Gators found some rhythm throughout the quarter with 13 more points added on.

Everything came full circle for the Dark Horses in the fourth. All parts of the game clicked in the final eight and they rallied for 22 in the period. The defense equally performed allowing half the amount from the Gator offense, and with only 11, their efforts weren’t enough as the Horses took it by 11.

“This is a tough team and a tough conference. This was a great game and I’m very proud of my girls,” said head coach Chris Owens. “We are still a young team but we continue to get better and I’m very pleased with tonight.”

Ashlyn Williams destroyed the scoreboard yet again leading all scoring with 25 for the night.

With this win the Lady Dark Horses improve to 7-14 overall and 3-7 in the conference.

Boys

The boys followed suit facing off against Spring Creek for the second time this season. Winning big the first time, they duplicated that performance and won Friday night by 29.

“We came out and played hard. It was rough at the beginning but we came out in the second half and competed with them,” said Clinton player Tyson King.

“We started slow but picked it up in the second half, we started getting what we wanted and were able to get the win. We just need to keep our intensity and think about the reward at the end of the season, that’s what were here for,” added Horses player Austin Fussell.

In typical Horses fashion, they come out and established a lead early. Being up by double digits after the first quarter, they started with 16. The defense played strong and held the Gators to just six points.

The Horses offense didn’t slow up even slightly in the second quarter. Going for one extra before the end of the period with 17 they maintained the 10 point lead. The defense got too relaxed though and allowed Spring Creek 17 of their own. Nonetheless they went into the halftime break still in command 33-23.

Clinton extended the lead to 13 by the end of the third quarter but it wasn’t easy. The Gators cut the deficit to eight behind the surge of offense they got from Landon Smothers, who lit it up from three constantly. Clinton wasn’t fazed and they fought through the Gator run with a 54-40 gap going into the fourth.

The Horses finally looked like their usual dominate selves in the final period. They continued to push the lead being up by 29 at the end of regulation, the final 79-50.

“I’m pleased with how hard we worked and how well we keep getting better at the little things. We did some good things tonight but we didn’t take away the middle which opened up stuff for them. Once we fixed that we were Ok,” said head coach Randy Jordan.

“After we did that we were able to pound the ball inside and use our size to get our tempo were we wanted it,” Jordan added.

Zion Autry was the leading scorer in this contest he finished with a game high 21 points. Kris Williams was right behind him a point shy, he ended with 20.

“We’ve also been getting really good senior leadership. I hope people will come out and support these great group of seniors on senior night as we rest up and get ready for Wallace,” concluded Jordan.

With yet another win the Dark Horse men go to 19-1 overall and remain undefeated in the conference at 10-0. Both the Horses squads hit the court again on Tuesday when they host the Bulldogs of Wallace for senior night.

Isa Banks cuts through the middle of the lane for the Horses in their clutch win over the Spring Creek Friday night.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_IB.jpgIsa Banks cuts through the middle of the lane for the Horses in their clutch win over the Spring Creek Friday night.

Dark Horses Trevor Leggett towers over his man during the opening tip off during Friday nights game. They beat the Gators for the second time this season.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_TL1.jpgDark Horses Trevor Leggett towers over his man during the opening tip off during Friday nights game. They beat the Gators for the second time this season.

By Michael Hardison

Sports Editor

Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.

Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.