Dragons continue to roll

But Scott almost put out their flame

  • Clinton’s Lane Harrison gets the easy layup during the Dragons’ 79-46 win over the visiting Gibbs Eagles. Harrison was top scorer of the night with 21 points, followed by Jackson Garner with 19. - Tony Cox

  • Clinton Rishon Bright sets the tempo for the Dragon offense in an earlier contest against Halls. - Tony Cox

The Clinton Dragons went into Christmas break with two more wins, including a thriller over district rival Scott.

On Tuesday, the Dragons grounded the Gibbs Eagles by a score of 79-46.

“We started out really attacking in the transition,” said Chris Lockard, head coach of the Dragons. “I think that was probably the biggest difference. We moved the ball really well but we didn’t shoot it great early but we were able to control the boards.”

After an initial slow start by both teams, Clinton pulled away to a 19-8 first-quarter lead.

They built their advantage to 41-22 at the half as Lane Harrison, Jackson Garner, Jeremiah Blauvelt and Trace Thackerson helped pace a balanced scoring attack. All four finished the game in double-figure scoring.

The second half was a repeat of the first half as region rival Gibbs did not pose much of a threat to the huge lead held by the Dragons.

“Defensively, I think we gave them a lot of trouble both on the perimeter and inside,” Lockard said. “We were just sort of able to stretch the lead out. It was a pretty good win. That’s a region game for us. Anytime you can grab one of those wins. it’s a good night.”

The Dragons beat the Eagles on the boards as well, out rebounding them 43-23.

Harrison led all scorers with 21 points while Garner added 19. Thackerson scored 14 and Blauvelt added 11 for Clinton in the lopsided win.

GHS 8 14 15 9 46

CHS 19 22 25 13 79

Gibbs - scoring stats not available at press time

CHS - Lane Harrison (21), Jackson Garner (19), Trace Thackerson (14), Jeremiah Blauvelt (11), Hunter Rupert (8), Rishon Bright (4), Barrett Maddox (2)

On Friday night, district rival Scott came to town and proved to be a challenge for the homesteading Dragons.

Clinton won 51-49, but it was far from easy.

“We were playing without [Jackson] Garner, he had the flu, and Tyler Morgan is out with a back injury, so we were a little bit off-balance,” Lockard said.

The Highlanders moved to a 12-8 lead in the first quarter and pushed that lead to 24-16 at the half as both defenses held down scoring. To the dismay of the home faithful, Scott edged out to a 41-29 lead in the third quarter. Instead of folding, the Dragons responded to adversity, chipping away at the Highlanders’ lead.

With a scant 45 seconds remaining in the game, looking like they might suffer their first home loss of the season, Clinton went on a 6-2 run. Harrison sank a 3-pointer to give Clinton the lead at 48-47 but Scott added a late basket to go up 49-48. With 4.2 seconds left in the game, Harrison dropped in another 3-pointer from the corner to win the game.

“We came out and our offense wasn’t flowing,” Lockard said. “Defensively, we were fairly solid. That’s what kept the game from getting out of hand. We shot the ball poorly early. We were behind early in the first quarter and stayed behind until late in the fourth quarter.

“Jeremiah Blauvelt guarded [Trey] Morrow most of the night … We held him to 14, which I thought was a big key,” he said.

Morrow entered the game averaging better than 35 points per game.

“We just played bad,” Lockard said. “We turned the ball over. We had a lot of unforced turnovers. It was a great ball game for us as a team and as a coaching staff. We faced tremendous adversity and were able to find a way to hang in there and give ourselves a chance to win.”.

Harrison and Blauvelt led all scorers with 18 points each. Thackerson added 11 for the Dragons.

The Dragons were scheduled to face South Atlanta at Dobyns Bennett on Tuesday before heading to Florida for a weekend Christmas Tournament. They return home to open the second half of the schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 4, against Seymour. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

SHS 12 12 17 8 49

CHS 8 8 13 22 51

Scott - Trey Morrow (14), Luke West (14), Grey Todd (8), Brandon Brummett (5), Dakota Prewitt (5), Scott Jeffers (3)

CHS - Lane Harrison (18), Jeremiah Blauvelt (18), Trace Thackerson (11), Rishon Bright (4)