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Lady Dragons earn split in first two outings

  • Clinton Lady Dragon Sarah Burton tallied 73 points in the first games of the 2021-2022 season. The senior wants to set the school’s scoring record and reach 2,000 in points as a graduation present. - Ken Leinart

  • Clinton’s Belle Starnes draws a foul while making a play against Austin-East Saturday - Ken Leinart

The Clinton Lady Dragons opened the 2021-22 basketball season with a pair of Hall of Fame games last week.

On Tuesday, they traveled to McMinn County and took a 74-58 loss to a very good Lady Cherokees team.

The bright spot for the Lady Dragons was that Sarah Burton reached 1,500 career points. In fact, the game-high 40 points from Burton helped keep Clinton in the game until McMinn County pulled away in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Dragons trailed 42-30 at the half and cut the deficit to six points late in the third quarter. But the Lady Cherokees opened the fourth quarter on a 10-3 run and put the game away late.

“The first game we came out with some jitters.” said Alicia Phillips, head coach of the Lady Dragons. “McMinn County is a great ball team and we knew it would be a good test. We played great in the third quarter. Sarah Burton led our team in scoring, but overall I was proud of how hard we played and how we fought to come back.”

CHS 18 12 14 14 58

MC 25 17 12 20 74

CHS: Sarah Burton (40), Bailey Burroughs (9), Ashanti Davis (5), Belle Starnes (2), Ally York (2)

The Lady Dragons got into the win column in a big way on Saturday evening with a 65-27 thrashing of Austin-East.

“We came out strong defensively and shared the ball more,” Phillips said. “We played more aggressively. We challenged our kids to be more physical and they are stepping up to the task.”

Clinton jumped out to a 28-3 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Burton posted 17 of the first-quarter points on her way to a game-high 35 points.

Clinton led 50-11 at halftime after outscoring the Lady Roadrunners 22-8 in the second quarter.

A-E 3 8 12 4 27

CHS 28 22 5 10 65

CHS: Sarah Burton (35), Bailey Burroughs (16), Belle Starnes (9), Ashaunti Davis (6), Autumn Hill (5), Cadence Crowley (2), Sydney Herrell (2)

The Lady Dragons will host Karns on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and visit Anderson County on Friday, Dec. 3.

Tip-off for both games is 6 p.m.