Burton’s 25 points leads Lady Dragons to win

The Clinton Highs School Lady Dragons hosted the Anderson County High School Lady Mavs for a cross-county rivalry game Friday, Feb. 5.

After taking an early lead, the Lady Dragons won 65-38.

The Lady Dragons seemed to have the game wrapped up from the start, with a nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter and a 16-point lead at the end of the half, the Lady Dragons only allowed the Lady Mavs 12 points in the entirety of the first two quarters.

While Clinton only beat the Lady Mavs by five two-point baskets (18-13), Clinton sunk three more treys than AC (5-2) and, perhaps most importantly, gained 19 free throws from the Lady Mavs’s 17 personal fouls.

Meanwhile, Clinton only gave up 10 free throws across nine fouls.

“I think that defensively, we came out and switched things up quite a bit,” said Smith. “We kept them off balance and out of their routine. I thought we did a great job offensively in the second half. We struggled in the first half and missed easy shots, but our defense kept us in it. I thought we played very well as a team, and with it being senior night, Jaz and Naiyah played well together. The girls did a great job.”

While Clinton dominated in almost every stat, Anderson County did come out on top with regards to defensive rebounds, beating Clinton 24-22.

Sarah Burton and Naiyah Sanders led the Lady Dragons by a large margin, finishing with 25 and 21 points, respectively. Burton also finished with six rebounds, as well as seven assists, and five steals for an astounding night. Sanders, meanwhile, finished with 13 rebounds, as well as three assists, three deflections, and four steals. She also finished with two blocks. Lydia Snyder, Belle Starnes, and Jaz Moore all three scored for the Lady Dragons also.

Meanwhile for the Lady Mavs, Kylee Alvis led the team with 13 points, followed closely by Lydia Meldrum with 10 points. Emily Mustard came third with five points. Alvis also finished with two rebounds, as well as an assist and a steal, while Meldrum finished with four rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Other notable stats from the Lady Mavs included Jaylynn Bullock’s six rebounds, three assists, and two steals, and Emily Mustard’s six rebounds and single block.

Smith said that it’s evidence of how things are starting to finally fall into place after so many quarantines kept the team off balance for most of the season.

“They’re starting to click and we haven’t been quarantined again. We’ve been quarantined four times this season, I think. We’ve been able to stay together these last couple weeks with our core group for the first time all year.”

Nicky Anosike, the head coach of the Lady Mavericks, said that, while she wasn’t happy with the outcome, she was happy with the improvement she saw, and the team’s “nerve.”

“I think we had some nerve that caused us to make some mistakes early that were hard to bounce back from. I did think we did some good things against them, but, I think we made some mistakes that were just too costly between missing open layups, turning the ball over, and just not making smart decisions. It’s hard to bounce back when those things are compiled on top of one another.

“I did see improvement, though. I’ve been trying to get Kylee Alvis to attack the rim all season and I finally saw that she got it. She attacked and was really effective at attacking and I think she understands. I think Jaellynn Bullock, being a freshman as a starting point guard, she’s stepping up and learning to be a floor general. I’m seeing some things she’s doing that are showing me how, in the future, she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. I think a lot of our players did good things, but it’s being able to do one good thing after another that’s the key. We’ll do something great, but we don’t do those great things twice in a row.”