Still "Finishing the Mission"
UPDATE: RED DEVILS ADVANCE, 53-42, OVER PENDLETON. Carter named All-State. Jalen Carter's jam with 45 seconds to play, following a Zay Hurley basket on a pass from Jahleed Cook, sparked Clinton to an 80-70 win Tuesday over Indian Land in the survive-and-advance Class AAA State Playoffs. Clinton, #2 in the state, maintained its lead with a Kiah Young free throw with 36.9 seconds to play in the CHS gym, extending its record to 19-3.
Clinton will play Pendleton this Friday, 7 pm in the CHS gym, in round two.
During its 29-point 4th quarter, Indian Land did not look like a 6-16 team, a #4 seed from its region. Clinton head coach Eddie Romines said, "You've got to hand it to them, they're not going to quit. For a lot of our guys, this is their first playoff game. We were tight. The seniors came through. We could have folded when they cut it to 4, but we didn't."
As one of the best boys basketball teams in the state, Clinton has had a big target on its back for three weeks now. It's only going to get bigger now as Upstate teams aim for the Feb. 25 Upper State Championship Game set for Greenville, Clinton would not face #1 ranked Southside until that game, if both teams win two more games.
Carter led the Red Devils balanced scoring with 19 points, Young scored 18, Hurley 17, and point guard Tymori Tribble 15 for the game.
Tribble hit two big free throws at the 1:17 mark staking Clinton to a 75-68 lead, as Indian Land fouled to extend the game. Romines said the Red Devils will have to do a better job from the charity stripe, and work on defense for the shoot 3s and drive offense that Indian Land used to win the 4th quarter, 29-25. Clinton held a 63-50 lead at the 4:10 mark after Tribble hit two free throws.
That lead dwindled to 69-63 at the 2:32 mark after a tense moment in the game. Carter was fouled on a rebound, sandwiched by two Indian Land players, but was assessed a technical foul as he tried to escape the double-team. Hurley sank two free throws at the 2 minute mark to get Clinton back to a 6-point lead.
Young's 3-point shot had given Clinton a 58-43 lead with 6:47 to play in the game. Clinton had a 55-41 lead after the 3rd quarter after leading 36-28 at halftime.