The Clinton Dragons beat South Atlanta 63-56 in Kingsport on Tuesday as part of the Alpha Invitational at Dobyns-Bennett High School.
“It was a big win. They had a great inside game and quick, athletic guards. We got a lot of clean looks early and just didn’t make many shots,” said Chris Lockard, head coach of the Dragons.
The Dragons trailed 17-11 after the first quarter to the Georgia high school which featured two 6’8 players in the post. Clinton came out firing in the second quarter, using scoring from beyond the 3-point arc to lead 27-26 at the half.
“Defensively, we did a pretty good job of keeping the ball out of the paint. We made very minimal adjustments at halftime. We were playing pretty well, we just weren’t scoring,” Lockard said.
Jackson Garner hit three consecutive 3-pointers. Lockard said Jeremiah Blauvelt had a couple of big defensive plays and Lane Harrison made a huge block.
“That sparked us a little bit and got us out in transition and then Jeremiah hit back-to-back 3’s,” Lockard said.
He also lauded the effort of Rishon Bright.
“In the second half, I believe Rishon had five or six offensive rebounds that led to scores,” Lockard said.
The Dragons hit 10 3-point shots in the game while South Atlanta hit six.
Clinton pushed ahead 45-41 in the third quarter and held off a late surge by South Atlanta to take the win.
“I thought we did a good job to close them out at the end. I felt like they [South Atlanta] were the more athletic team but we were more skilled. They outsized us at so many positions, it was very difficult for us to run our sets so we sort of had to play a little bit of their game and that worked out for us,” Lockard said.
The Dragon’s Jackson Garner led all scorers with 28 points while Jeremiah Blauvelt added 10 points.
The Dragons are in Florida participating in a holiday tournament this week. They return home to face Seymour on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
CHS 11 16 19 17 63
SAH 17 9 15 15 56
CHS - Jackson Garner (28), Jeremiah Blauvelt (10), Trace Thackerson (8), Rishon Bright (7), Lane Harrison (6), Dodi Truss (2), Brent Reynolds (2)
SAH - John Lawton (16), Keyjuan Brown (7), Jalin Chunn (6), David Hollis (6), Jaylen Adside (4), Kemari Clark (2)