Dragons’ grit comes out in win

Clinton wins 3AAA thriller on the road

Dragon Evan Winchester continued his court dominance against Central. (photo:Conner McCarty )
With both Clinton High School teams coming off out-of-district home wins over Coalfield, the Clinton Lady Dragons and Dragons traveled to District 3AAA foe Central High School with some momentum.

The Dragons (8-4, 2-2) faced a tough test against a talented Central Bobcats (8-2, 5-1) squad. Clinton would hold Central to only 13 points in the second and third quarter combined. Both teams shot poorly in the second half.

However, because of the Dragons’ successful second quarter, combined with gritty, physical defense — Clinton held off the Bobcats and captured a crucial 50-46 District 3AAA win.

The contest was close for four quarters.

The biggest lead of the game for either side was nine points. The Bobcats came out of the gates hitting shots, and took an early 13-6 advantage in the opening quarter.

Clinton gained some ground on two Chase Lockard triples, and Junior point guard Evan Winchester went three-for-five in the first quarter. Yet, Central led 18-13 heading into the second quarter.

The Bobcats’ shooting would finally cool off after an early second quarter bucket. After that, Central went almost six minutes without a score. Clinton made the Bobcats pay with an 11-0 run to take a 26-20 lead. Central would end their drought before the first half ended, but the Dragons took a 29-24 lead into the break.

The third quarter of this ballgame was odd, and seemed out-of-place. The first half had an entertaining back-and-forth pace to it.

The third quarter was a slow, offensive struggle with long, drawn out possessions.

Both teams would only put seven points each on the board. Yet, the Dragons successfully retained their lead, and went into the fourth up 36-31.

The tempo of the game increased again in the fourth quarter.

The two teams seemed to trade baskets, but Central failed to find a way to even the score. Clinton’s big man Demarcus McKamey would play a vital role keeping the Dragons on top. McKamey would score six of his ten points in the fourth quarter.

The Dragons’ ability to score when they needed to, or get a stop when they needed to resulted in a hard fought four-point road win.

The Dragons shared the ball well, racking up 15 assists compared to Central’s four. Evan Winchester was crucial down the stretch for Clinton.

Winchester might be bigger than most point guards in the area, but putting the ball in his hands is never a bad idea — He’s got the handles, the basketball IQ, and he’s averaging 17 points and eight assists per game. Against Central, Winchester led the Dragons in scoring with 16 points, with eight assists, and six boards.

This past weekend, the Clinton boys traveled to Atlanta where they faced McIntosh and Tri-Cities High Schools.

The Dragons defeated McIntosh, but dropped the contest to Tri-Cities High.

Both Clinton teams faced Lakeway Christian on Tuesday night, but the results were not available by press time.

Before Christmas break, Clinton will travel to Halls this Friday. Tipoff for the girls contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.