The Clinton Dark Horses and the Midway Raiders met up at Pender High School on Wednesday night in the second round of the Four County Conference Tournament. Clinton achieved the second round after blowing out Union 86-37 while Midway found themselves in the semi-finals after picking up a gritty win against Pender. On Wednesday night, however, it was all Clinton as the Dark Horses stormed by the Raiders, 86-47, to advance to the championship game.
Clinton was dominant for much of the game as the Dark Horses raced out to a 20-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. After scoring the first five points of the game, Midway mounted an 8-2 run to go ahead at 8-7, but, Clinton finished the quarter on a 13-0 run of their own to reach the 20-8 first quarter margin.
The second period saw Clinton continue to establish control as the Dark Horses changed the look of its defense to give the Raiders some fits.
“We changed our defense to a 2-3 zone which seemed to bother their guards as they were not able to get clean looks at the basket or the passing lanes,” said Dark Horse head coach Randy Jordan. “We were able to up the tempo from that point on both ends of the floor and capitalize off their turnovers with transition baskets.”
Clinton outscored Midway 27-15 in the second quarter to take a commanding 47-23 lead by halftime.
The third quarter wasn’t much better for the team from Spivey’s Corner as Clinton once again out scored Midway by double digits – 24-11 – to drive the nail in the coffin with a 71-34 lead headed to the fourth quarter.
Clinton would go on to win 86-47, setting up Friday night’s Championship game against the winner of West Bladen and East Bladen.
“With the running clock in the fourth quarter, we were able to play our reserves the whole time. This was important for us as we will need every man on our roster to be able to step up and play as we get deeper into the postseason,” commented Jordan.
“I never thought we could or would get up by that much but it just seems like our guys are on a mission at this point. I’m very proud of and happy for them. They really played well as a team, looked for extra passes to get the best shot possible and our defense played well all night. Right now, over the past five or six games, this has been a really fun group to watch. We seem to be peaking at the right time but we know there is a lot of basketball yet to be played so we are just taking things one day at a time,” Jordan concluded.
Leading scorers for Clinton was Kris Williams with 25 points, Jeremiah Pope had 14, Dewan Lesane 11, and Tyion Wright contributed 10.
Austin Raynor contributed 12 points for the Raiders.
With the win, Clinton improves to 23-2 overall while Midway is now 15-11. Game time on Friday is set for 7:30 p.m.
In the girls game, the Lady Dark Horses also advanced to the Conference Championship game after defeating West Bladen 76-47 in the semifinals on Wednesday night. In the championship game, which will be played Friday night at 6 p.m, Clinton will face the winner of Midway and East Bladen.
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected]