First game for Blaze

It was a competitive opener for the Clinton City Schools Blaze as they fell to Coalfield by a score of 31-23.

The first quarter was a flurry of excitement that saw four lead changes as Hayden Craig (who scored the first points in the history of The Blaze) and Travis Jackson kept CCS within one at 11-10 at the end of the opening quarter.

Scoring for both teams slowed in the second quarter as the Yellow Jackets managed just seven points but largely due to cold shooting and turnovers, the Blaze were held without a point and trailed 18-10 at halftime.

The third quarter looked very much like an extension of the second quarter as Coalfield scored another seven points and The Blaze mustered only two points — a basket by Braden Hensley.

The CCS offense came back to life in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Yellow Jackets 11-6. Craig opened the quarter with a 3-pointer and Abram Temple picked up a basket. Jackson added another bucket and Craig added a couple of more baskets but it was too little, too late and Coalfield held on for the win.

“I think first game jitters played into it. We missed enough lay-ups to beat them by 20 but they beat us and we’ve got a lot to work on. We had — I’m guessing — 20 or 25 turnovers. When you miss lay-ups and have that many turnovers you’re probably going to struggle in every game you play,” said Jeff Little, head coach of The Blaze.

Craig led The Blaze with 11 points while Jackson finished with eight points.

The Blaze will be back in action on Saturday when they host Cherokee at 3:30 p.m.

CMS 11 7 7 6 31

CCS 10 0 2 11 23

Coalfield — Walker Mills (13), Todd Duncan (7), Elroy Roberts (6), Blake Hudson (4), Carter Lowe (1)

CCS — Hayden Craig (11), Travis Jackson (8), Braden Hensley (2), Abram Temple (2)