The Dark Horses keep their playoff run going after stamping out Southwest Onslow Saturday night in the sectional championship. Clinton was in control from start to finish, defending their home court for the third time, winning it 81-38.
Taking a small eight point lead early on in the first quarter, it was all the Horses needed to cruise to victory against the Stallions. Opening up the night with 19 points they established the tempo and were executing their gameplan flawlessly. The defense was also in sync holding the opposition to just 11, completely throwing off their rhythm.
They didn’t let up in the second quarter, on either end of the court, as both offense and defense was even better. The pressure their defense was putting on the Stallions had them completely stumped as they were held to 10. Meanwhile, Southwest Onslow had no answers for the booming show of offense by Clinton, they ended the second with 25. With the effectiveness of the trap defense doing its job for the Horses they found themselves taking a huge lead into halftime, the score 44-21.
It was more of the same coming out of the break as the adjustments made by the Stallions did nothing to change the flow of the game. The third quarter was basically a mirror of the previous period the only difference was one less point from both team. Clinton continued to extended their lead pushing it to two shy of the mercy rule after winning the quarter 24-9 putting the score at 68-30.
Then within the first minute of the final frame the Horses found the basket it needed to spark the mercy rule. With players rotating in and the clock continually running Clinton won the period 13-8, wrapping up the third round by a 43 point margin.
“We really came out and played with a lot intensity and energy from the start. We were able to execute our gameplan giving us the win so we’ve survived and advance to the next round,” said head coach Randy Jordan.
Xzavier Howard could not be stop as he led all scoring with a game high 21 points. Tymair McIntrye was big coming off the bench finishing behind Howard with 12. From their scoring came from all over as Kris Williams, Kahari Williams, Dewan Lesesne and Trevor Legget each had nine points.
With another playoff win behind them the Dark Horses will look to protect their home turf again, on Tuesday, when they take on the No. 3 seeded Fairmont.
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.