Longtime Clinton High School boys basketball Coach Chris Lockard knows his young team let a District 4-AAA game slip away at home Friday night.
But he’s hoping that the painful lesson will stick with the Dragons, and he believes it will.
“I think we let one slip through our fingers and I really think we outplayed them,” Lockard said after Clinton came up on the short end of a 62-53 decision against Halls at the Don W. Lockard Gymnasium. “It wasn’t for lack of effort and it wasn’t for lack of being coachable.
“It was just youth, and I hope they will learn from this and I hope they will respond and I think they will. They were upset, but they didn’t do any finger-pointing. It was ‘What could I have done better?’ I hope this will propel us to where we want to go and into the team we want to be.”
The Dragons (2-4 overall, 1-1 in the district) got off to a fast start against the Red Devils (5-4, 2-0). CHS opened a 15-12 lead early and kept building on its advantage throughout the night.
The Dragons opened a 32-24 lead by halftime and Clinton held a 49-40 edge heading into the final frame.
But things would come unraveled in the last eight minutes of the contest and the Red Devils closed the game with a 22-4 run and left town with a victory.
“I think we played really well until with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter,” Lockard said. “Then, we had a spot where we put up about five or six 3’s in about 10 seconds when we were up by eight, nine or 10.
“They weren’t bad shots. It was just about bad timing. We’ll learn from this and it’s up to me. I’ve got to do a better job teaching them about the situations.”
The Dragons had three players post double figures in the scoring column. Jeremiah Lee scored 18 points and pulled down six rebounds. Bryson Maddox added 12 points, and Teegan Bolinger finished with 10.
Halls, which has a team filled with shooters, also had three players score in double figures. Gabe Holmes had a game-high 19 points. Grayson Bishop had 16 and Caleb Shaffer came up with 12.
Lady Dragons lose to Halls: Clinton lost a district home game to the Lady Devils, falling 48-41.
With the loss, the Lady Dragons dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the league.