After a 13-13 draw to end the first quarter, Laurens turned up the heat in the second quarter. Laurens outscored Clinton 11-3 to start the quarter and went in at halftime up 32-24.
Dee Foster scored all of his 10 points in the first half for Laurens. Raider big man Ryan Dacre set the tone in the paint early with points and rebounds against Zay Hurley, a preseason top 5 player in AAA.
There was not much scoring in the third quarter. Laurens put 11 points on the board, led by Ty Foster with five. Clinton countered with 10 points, including three points by Zay Bennett.
Laurens took a 43-34 lead into the fourth quarter when things started to heat up. The intensity level rose on both benches and both teams picked up the defensive pressure.
After a Justin Anderson free throw to make it 44-34, Clinton scored six straight to cut the lead to 44-40 after a big three-point play by Ahmani Brooks.
Clinton got into foul trouble to start the fourth, putting the Raiders at the line on every foul down the stretch. Laurens struggled at the foul line in the final eight minutes shooting 8 for 18, or 44 percent.
With Laurens on top 47-42 with 4:01 to play, Carson Todd hit one of two free throws and Josh Greene hit a big three-pointer to increase the Raiders lead to 51-42.
JD Payne tried to bring the Red Devils back with eight points in the final 3:08 but it would not be enough.
Justin Anderson, Christian Anderson and Josh Greene led Laurens with 11 points each. Payne led Clinton with 16 points, followed by Ty Priestley with 10 points.
Laurens improves to 2-3 overall and will travel to Spartanburg for a 7:30pm tip on Tuesday. Clinton falls to 2-3 overall and will host Emerald at 7:30pm on Tuesday.
Laurens: J. Anderson 11, C. Anderson 11, Greene 11, D. Foster 10, Dacre 6, T. Foster 5, Todd 2, Harris 2
Clinton: Payne 16, Priestley 10, Bennett 7, Hurley 5, Brooks 5, Boyd 4, Cook 4, Richardson 1