Clinton hosted East Bladen on Tuesday night in a game that would go a long way to determining the regular season champion of the Four County Conference. The teams locked up in a low scoring affair that saw the Lady Horses take an early lead, but ultimately come up on the short end as the undefeated Lady Eagles roared back in the second half to take the 42-38 win.
The teams went toe to toe in the first quarter playing to a 14-14 tie at the end of the first frame. In the second quarter the Lady Horses shut down the Lady Eagles with a great defensive effort, allowing only one basket from the field and a pair of free throws. The stingy defense resulted in a four point lead for the home team at the half.
East Bladen came out of the locker room for the second half showing improved play at both ends of the court and cut the Clinton lead to one at 29-28 going to the final quarter. The fourth quarter played out as the Lacey Suggs show, with the Lady Eagles senior scoring nine of her team leading 17 points during the final frame. Clinton’s Brielle Mitchell tried to keep the Lady Horses in the game with seven points of her own in the fourth, but Suggs and the Eagles were too much for the Lady Horses as East Bladen overcame Clinton for the 4 point win.
Brielle Mitchell scored 17 to lead Clinton, Alex Canady added 6 and Tanaziah Chestnutt posted 5 points. East Bladen was led by Lacey Suggs with 17 points, Miller Heustess, Christiana Cromartie and Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson each had 6 points for the Lady Eagles.
After the game, Clinton head coach Chris Owens expressed pride in his team’s performance, saying “I was very pleased with the girls. We had the right game plan, shared the ball well and went to the free throw line 31 times, making fifteen. We just didn’t get the win. East Bladen is a great ball team, they are well coached. I am just so proud of our team and the way they played tonight and I know what they are capable of doing down the road.”
The loss drops the Lady Horses to 6-2 in conference play and 14-4 overall. East Bladen remains undefeated at 8-0 in the Four County Conference and 18-0 overall. The win puts the Lady Eagles in the driver’s seat in conference play and leaves Clinton looking for help from someone else to get back in the hunt for the regular season crown.
Reach Mike Carter at [email protected]