Bulldogs pull ahead in region race with sweep at Clinton

Jan 12 Written by  MONTE DUTTON

That Newberry’s top-ranked girls’ basketball team swamped Clinton on Friday night was no surprise, but Chad Cary’s boys’ team took an early lead in the Region 3-3A race with a wild 71-68 victory that ended the Red Devils’ 12-game region win streak over the past two seasons.

Newberry’s depth played a big role in erasing a 40-21 second-quarter lead by the Red Devils. Newberry (10-3, 3-0 region) trimmed the edge to 13 at halftime (43-30), and scored 15 straight points at one point in the third quarter to lead 57-54.

Back came Clinton (9-5, 2-1) after trailing by 10 (64-54) five minutes into the fourth quarter. The Red Devils needed a three-pointer to tie at the end but couldn’t get one to fall.

“We got tired,” Clinton head coach Eddie Romines said. “We tried to rotate guys, but the game was played at a very fast pace, and we’re not as deep as Newberry.

“What cost us the game was we didn’t play good defense in the third quarter. When we got good shots, we didn’t finish them like we did in the first half. Rebounding was pretty tight for the game, but during their comeback, they killed us on the boards.”

Jahleed Cook led the Red Devils with 20 points. Zay Hurley added 12, and Zay Bennett added 10. Tariq Goodman led Newberry with 16, and Nick Paul added 13.

“When you pay Newberry, they’re going to trap you,” Romines said. “You know it’s coming. You just have to find the open man and get a good shot. We did that a lot, but in the second half, the shots just weren’t falling the way they were in the first half.

“At the same time, we were down 10 with three minutes left in the game, and we had a shot to put it in overtime. We’ve got another shot at them later at their place.”

Clinton visits Broome on Tuesday night.

NEWBERRY (71): Paul 7, Ruff 11, Wise 3, Willis 15, Rogers 4, Goodman 16, Chalmers 6, Cromer 7, Epps 2. Field goals: 24-58 (.414). Free throws: 7-23 (.304). Rebounds: 38. Turnovers 21.

CLINTON (68): Payne 12, Cook 20, Priestley 7, Bennett 10, James 6, Hurley 12, Richardson 1. Field goals: 27-63 (.429). Free throws: 8-13 (.615). Rebounds: 37. Turnovers: 18.

Not only did Newberry (11-2, 3-0) rout the Lady Red Devils, 58-26, but the Lady Bulldogs applied a full-court press for all but the final 1:38 of the contest, forcing 47 Clinton turnovers and limiting the Lady Red Devils (7-11, 1-2) to only 33 field goal attempts while Newberry was shooting 69.

Newberry only outrebounded Clinton by four, in large part because there were so many to be had. Newberry missed 44 shots. One Newberry player, Kelsey Felks, outscored the entire Lady Red Devils team. She had 28. Terriauna Bennett led Clinton with eight.

Newberry led by 22 points, 33-11, at halftime.

NEWBERRY (58): Miller 3, Ruff 10, Epps 2, Davis 15, Felks 28. Field goals: 25-69 (.362). Free throws: 7-18 (.389). Rebounds: 33. Turnovers: 22.

CLINTON (26): Campbell 6, Massey 2, Watts 6, Barrett 8, Stephens 4. Field goals: 12-33 (.364). Free throws: 2-6 (.333). Rebounds: 29. Turnovers: 47.

Last modified on Saturday, 13 January 2018 00:14