With the playoffs underway, the No. 2 seeded Dark Horses were back on their home court Tuesday night for the first round. With no worries Clinton easily advances after a crushing win over East Montgomery, 104-55.
“We did what we were supposed to do — we’ve got to beat the team that we are supposed to beat like we did,” said head coach Randy Jordan. “I thought we had good intensity and good energy, plus we got everyone a lot of minutes, which is always important.”
The Horses surely showed why they’re seeded so high. Not only did they score over 100 points, but they sparked the mercy rule less than halfway through the third quarter. Taking a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter, at 28-15, it was smooth sailing for the remainder of the night.
Keeping their foot on the gas pedal in the second quarter, they continued to control every aspect of the game, the offense mimicking their production with the defense locking down harder. Just one shy of the first period Clinton hit for another 27 points while the defense held East Montgomery to just nine. After two quarters of play the Horses pushed their lead even higher to 55-24.
Coming out of the break with a 31 point lead it didn’t take the home team long to put the mercy rule into effect. Less than halfway through the third at the 4:22 they pushed the 40 points mark. With lots of players starting to rotate in and out for the Horses they finished the third up 79-35.
The fourth quarter was more of the same though Clinton did give up 20 in the final frame. It mattered little as the Horses couldn’t be stopped breaking 100 at 2:35 with a three from Jaivah Cruise. With the final buzzer sounding they advanced off a 49 point victory.
“It’s good we got this win because the first one is always the hardest. I say that because you can get overconfident being the higher seed and anything can happen in playoffs. You can’t take anyone for granted,” said Jordan.
Everyone on the roster scored for the Dark Horses with Kris Williams leading the charge with 15 point. Jalen Owens was huge off the bench being the closest to Williams with 11. Dewan Lesesne had a decent night rounding out the leading scorers with 10.
“It was great that we got to take the first step. We got great effort from everyone, the game itself was fun and glad we got everyone a lot of playing time, but now it’s time to get ready for Thursday,” concluded Jordan.
The Horses hit the court again for their Thursday night second round playoff game against North Lenoir.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.