Lady Dragons will face Bearden in Region Friday

  • Clinton’s Naiyah Sanders lunges to put up 2 against the Lady Red Devils. Lady Dragons lost 70-47. - Collin Riggs

  • Sarah Burton jumps out of two defenders to put up two for the Dragons in the game against Oak Ridge. Clinton lost 64-42. - Collin Riggs

The Lady Dragons are out of the post-season after beating the Cougars 55-53 and then losing to Oak Ridge 64-42.

After beating Anderson County 58-46 in the first round of post-season play, Clinton traveled to Campbell County on a snowy Wednesday to face the Lady Cougars and decide who would move on to the quarter finals. After a hard first quarter and a neck-and-neck race for the other three, the Dragons came out on top.

A large part of that victory was due to Sarah Burton and Naiyah Sanders. Burton finished with 19 points and three steals, while Sanders finished with 16 points and four assists. Jaz Moore, always a key part of the team, finished with 13 points, and led the team on rebounds with 12 total.

The Dragons dominated on most stats with the exception of deflections (5-10), steals (6-8), and blocks (0-1). While the Dragons dominated inside the paint especially, what kept Campbell County in the game was its perimeter play, with the Cougars finishing with 10 treys to the Dragons’ three. Fortunately for the Dragons, though, the Cougars couldn’t keep their hands to themselves and gave up 27 free throws and 20 points on fouls for the night. In such a close game, that can make or break things.

For the quarterfinals, the Dragons traveled to Oak Ridge to face the Lady Wildcats. Despite playing hard, and keeping up for most of the game, the Dragons lost 64-42.

Until the end of the second quarter, the Wildcats’ lead never went above five points, with the Dragons keeping right on their heels.

A couple of rapid-fire baskets at the end of the first half, though, put the Wildcats up by nine, and the Dragons struggled to close the gap after the half, dropping further and further behind in the fourth quarter.

In a reversal of their game against Campbell County, the Dragons had trouble controlling the paint, but treys helped keep them in the game. The Dragons gave up 36 points in the paint to their own 14, but finished with six treys to Oak Ridge’s one. Unfortunately, treys and blocks were the only stats where the Dragons finished on top, losing out to Oak Ridge on everything else, and giving up 15 steals for the night.

Naiyah Sanders shot four of those treys, finishing with 15 points to tie with Sarah Burton for the top spot in scoring. Both girls finished with three assists apiece, while Burton had two deflections and three steals, as well as eight rebounds. Sanders finished with eight rebounds, as well as a block.

Other scorers for the night included Lydia Snyder with six points and an assist; Jaz Moore with four points and three rebounds; and Addison DelCarmen with two points.

Finally, the girls traveled to Halls for their district consolation game. In a rough night for the Lady Dragons, the girls dropped their lead midway through the second quarter and struggled to regain it, falling further and further behind until they ultimately lost 70-47.

Alicia Phillips, head coach for the Lady Dragons, said after that game was she was disappointed in the team’s performance against the Lady Devils.

“I’m just – disappointed. Disappointed in our effort, disappointed in our defense, disappointed in our rebounding,” Phillips said. “We’ve played so well over the last three weeks that to see us go backwards like this was really disheartening.

“Since having our whole team back, we had been getting so much better. We won nine games out of the last three weeks.”

The girls move on to region play this Friday, facing Bearden.

“We have a lot of work to do before Friday,” Phillips said. “A lot.”