As hot as a Dragon can get

Clinton takes double-digit wins over Karns, ACHS

  • Clinton’s Jackson Garner puts up a trey against Anderson County last Friday night. - Ricky Williams

  • Rishon Bright goes to the hoop for two of his game-high 23 points against Anderson County Friday night. - Ricky Williams

As the weather cools, the Clinton Dragons are heating up.

The Dragons picked up wins over Karns and Anderson County last week to improve to 5-1 for the season.

On Tuesday, Clinton drubbed visiting Karns by 77-50.

“We shot pretty well early,” said Chris Lockard, head coach of the Dragons. “I think our half-court execution gave us an opportunity to score. Karns is a very good team and I think once we got them off-balance we were able to make another push and then it was about clock management.”

The Dragons jumped out to a 28-17 lead in the first quarter on the scoring of seniors Jackson Garner and Rishon Bright. By halftime, they had extended the lead to 49-31.

Playing even with the Beavers in the third quarter, Clinton outscored Karns 14-5 down the stretch for the win.

Garner led all scorers with 34 points, while Bright added 16 points.

KHS 17 14 14 5 50

CHS 28 21 14 14 77

Karns - Jaylen Cabbage (16), DeSean Bishop (11), Jadarian Faukner (10), Walker Lockhart (5), Raley Henson (3), Griffin Cox (2), Jaden Brown (2), Jaylin Faulkner (1)

CHS - Jackson Garner (34), Rishon Bright (16), Tyler Morgan (9), Lane Harrison (8), Trace Thackerson (3), Hunter Rupert (3), Jeremiah Blauvelt (2)

On Friday night, Clinton added a big road win over its arch-rival and district foe, the Anderson County Mavericks.

The Dragons won that contest 70-38.

Clinton’s defense was on display early as the Dragons took a 23-3 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Clinton forced 19 turnovers in the game and recorded 12 steals.

Though the Mavs clamped down defensively in the second quarter, holding Clinton to 12 points, at halftime, the Dragons held a commanding 35-10 lead.

The Mavs battled back somewhat in the third quarter as they scored 21 points, more than doubling their first-half output in just eight minutes.

The fourth quarter saw a slowdown in scoring for both teams as the Dragons went on to the win.

“I think a lot of it had to do with us defensively,” Lockard said. “I thought Rishon [Bright] did a great job defending [Connor] Martin. One of our goals was to slow him down and he didn’t really get uncorked until the third quarter and we had a substantial lead at that point.

“Anderson County is a good team, and I saw the defensive effort we were getting. Rebounding can’t be overlooked. We limited them to one shot or no shots early on. There wasn’t a whole lot to fuss about.”

Lockard also lauded the efforts of Trace Thackerson.

“He does a lot of things that go unnoticed a lot of the time,” Lockard said. “It was one of the reasons we were able to do multiple things as far as transition and even slowing the ball down. He’s playing really good basketball right now.”

Anderson County Head Coach Derek Wallace was unavailable for comment at press time.

Bright led all scorers with 23 points, while Garner added 19 points and Lane Harrison had 11.

Connor Martin paced Anderson County with 14 points.

Clinton will host district rival Halls on Friday and Gibbs on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Tip-off for both games is 7:30 p.m.

Anderson County visits Scott on Friday. Tip-off is 8 p.m. The Mavs will host Carter on Monday, Dec. 13, and Oakdale on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Tip-off for each game is 7:30 p.m.

CHS 23 12 24 11 70

AC 3 7 21 7 38

CHS - Rishon Bright (23), Jackson Garner (19), Lane Harrison (11), Trace Thackerson (8), Jeremiah Blauvelt (7)

AC - Connor Martin (14), Carter Nelson (9), Zeke West (5), Tate Russell (4), Bryson Vowell (3), Brandon Dake (2), Ryan McGhee (1)