With seven players out, AC forced to play fresh recruits
Anderson County struggles to put up a game against Clinton with four players injured, two sick, and one stranded by flooding.
The Lady Dragons travelled to Anderson County High School to face off against their cross-county rivals the Lady Mavericks. The game ended 65-34 in Clinton’s favor.
While Anderson County had to recruit some athletes from other sports to have the required number of players, including volleyball players Hannah and Leah Freeman, and Jayce Braden and Callie Bowling, they performed much better than could be expected with a starting team of seconds and fresh recruits. One of those recruits, Leah Freeman, led the team with 13 points, and another, Callie Bowling, came in a close second with nine points.
In fact, the top three scorers for the Lady Mavs were all fresh recruits, who had only practiced once together before the game against Clinton.
Clinton, meanwhile, showed up to play against their old rivals, with Sarah Burton taking her usual place as the lead scorer for the team, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds, as well as three steals. Behind Burton, Naiyah Sanders brought up a distant second with 13 points, matching Burton with seven rebounds and coming away with three deflections. Alayjah Whitt came away with the strongest team play of the night, with six assists and two steals, but only two points. Clinton did take advantage of the new players, though, coming away with 19 fouls to the Lady Mavs’ 11. It’s hard to reconcile the idea of a starting team coming away with more fouls than people that have only practiced a single time together.
The only places where the Lady Mavs did win out over the Lady Dragons were in blocks, where they came away with six, and free throws, where they made 16, finishing with a 70-percent accuracy rating.
Alicia Phillips, head coach of the Lady Dragons, said she’s very proud of the team.
“I thought we came out strong defensively in the first. We had some careless, unforced turnovers, but I’ll take a win any night.”
Phillips said the team has things to work on, but they’re already looking ahead.
“We just have to keep working on adjusting some defensive looks and moving a bit more on offense without the ball. Other than that, the girls are focused and ready for post season.”
Anderson County head coach, Mike Ellis had no comment.