By THOMAS P. WEAVER
LIVINGSTON-Both the girls and boys Clay County High School basketball teams will take the court as high seeds here in this week’s District 7A tournament.
The Bulldogs enter as the #1 seed after knocking off Jackson County and Clarkrange last week to win the regular season conference title and they also downed a good Gabriel Christian team over the weekend to finish the regular season with an impressive 20-5 mark.
Despite losing their final two conference match-ups with Jackson County and Clarkrange last week, the Lady Bulldogs will play with confidence as the third seed after dominating Gabriel Christian Saturday on senior night to finish the year at 15-11.
The girls begin post-season action first on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. where they will face the second-seeded Lady Buffaloes again, while the boys’ first action comes Friday night at 6 p.m. where they will take on the winner of Tuesday night’s play-in game between Pickett County and Monterey.
A Lady Bulldog win would put them in the championship game next Monday at 7:30 p.m., while a loss would send them to the consolation game the same night at 6 p.m.
If the Dawgs prevail, they will play for the title next Tuesday night at 7:30, but a defeat would put them in the consolation contest earlier that evening at 6 p.m.
No matter the outcome this week, both teams will advance to next week’s Region 4A competition because they will automatically finish among the top four from District 7A.
See next week’s HORIZON for conference tournament updates.
CELINA-After a close first half, the Bulldogs used a big third-quarter push to propel themselves to victory here by a score 63-44 over Jackson County last week.
Senior guard Jake Edwards had a big night scoring a game-high 20 points–including four three-pointers, while fellow seniors Dylan Carter (16) and Corey Hamilton (13) also scored in double figures.
Clay County led by seven at the break, but blew open the tight game in the third frame outscoring the Blue Devils 14-6 to amass a 15-point advantage heading into the final quarter.
There they finished the game with a 16-12 stanza and took the 19-point victory.
DAWGS (63)-Edwards 20, Carter 16, Hamilton 13, Austin Cherry 7, J.R. Fraga 5, Taylor Brown 2.
CELINA-Much like the game earlier this year with Jackson County, the Lady Bulldogs were dominated by the #1-ranked Lady Blue Devils early and fell to them by a final score of 56-30 here last week.
Clay County could only muster one bucket in the opening quarter and nine in the second stanza to fall behind 30-11 at the half and it didn’t get much better after intermission.
The Lady Blue Devils put up 19 in the third frame versus eight from the Lady Bulldogs and the game eventually got out of hand leading to the 26-point defeat.
LADY DAWGS (30)-Alex Grace 6, Ashley Owens 6, Mattie Monroe 5, Hannah Ogletree 5, Olivia Copeland 5, Kalona Meadows 3.
CLARKRANGE-Clay County grabbed the #1 seed in this week’s District 7A tournament with a win over Clarkrange here last Thursday night by a score of 52-48.
Carter dominated the paint to score a game-high 19 points in the win, while Hamilton and Cherry pitched in 13 and 11 respectively.
A quick Bulldog start handed them an early seven-point margin and Clay County maintained that lead into intermission with the scoreboard reading 23-15.
The Buffaloes made a game of it the second half as they matched the Bulldogs basket for basket in the third and then outscored them 19-14 down the stretch, but Clay County’s first-half advantage was enough to secure the four-point victory.
DAWGS (52)-Carter 19, Hamilton 13, Cherry 11, Eddie Roach 5, Edwards 4.
CLARKRANGE-Despite leading by two at the half, the Lady Bulldogs fell to Clarkrange here last Thursday night by a score of 57-39.
Clay County played with the Lady Buffaloes in the first two quarters gaining that two point margin by the end of the first frame and stayed even with their opponent in the second stanza to head into intermission with the score 28-26.
Things fell apart for the Lady Bulldogs after the break as Clarkrange outscored them 15-7 in the third quarter and 16-4 in the final period to take the 18-point win.
LADY DAWGS (39)-Owens 9, Monroe 8, Ogletree 6, Grace 6, Copeland 6, Ruby Richards 4.
CELINA-Strong second and fourth quarters handed Clay County a 62-40 victory over Gabriel Christian last Saturday.
Carter was again a monster inside scoring 25 points, while Cherry added 10 in the victory.
An even first quarter was followed by a 19-8 Bulldog outburst spurred by Carter giving Clay County a double-digit lead at halftime, 30-19.
Then after a virtually even third period, the Dawgs again went on a run to close out the game with a 21-point final frame to take the 22-point win.
DAWGS (62)-Carter 25, Cherry 10, Hamilton 8, Edwards 6, Roach 5, Fraga 4, Brown 2, Clay Copas 2.
CELINA-The Lady Bulldogs crushed Gabriel Christian 68-18 behind Owens’ game-high 14 points and 10 other Clay County players scoring at least a basket.
The Lady Bulldogs led 22-2 at the end of the first quarter and the rout was on.
The scored 22 more in the second and head coach Joe Sims gave his bench significant playing time in the blowout win.
LADY DAWGS (68)-Owens 14, Meadows 9, Ogletree 8, Monroe 6, Riley Edwards 6, Ashlynn Browning 6, Richards 5, Cecilia Netherton 5, Chanah Sherrell 5, Chelsea Copass 2, Copeland 2.