Dawgs closing in on another 20-win season with three victories

 

MONTEREY-The Clay County High Bulldogs grabbed a hard-earned District 7-A win here last week, picked up some help from an old foe, and find themselves back in first place in the district race again. 

The Bulldogs scratched out a 54-39 win over the Wildcats here and coupled with Jackson County’s win over Clarkrange, headed into last night’s game against Pickett County alone in first place.  The Monterey win was the first of three wins by the Bulldogs on the week as the regular season heads down the home stretch. 

The Bulldogs also beat Van Buren County and Macon County, and carried a 19-5 overall mark heading into this week’s play. 

The Bulldogs continued to be ranked in the top ten in the Associated Press last week and also ranked high in a couple of categories compiled by the popular internet site Coach T (see related story).

Dawgs…………………….54

Monterey…………………39

Clay County led all the way and built a comfortable lead midway through the third quarter, but had to fight off a couple of Wildcat comebacks before putting the hosts away.

The Bulldogs led by five after the first quarter (11-6), and by eight at intermission (22-14). Nolan Dale, who wound up with a game-high 16 points, scored eight quick points in the third quarter to make it 34-18. Monterey fought back over the next few minutes to cut the lead to 37-30 on a 12-3 run, but a Shawn Garrett layup and Trent Boles’ three-pointer gave the Dawgs a 12-point lead heading into the fourth period. 

Monterey launched a small comeback in the fourth quarter to cut the lead back to eight, but the Bulldogs responded with an 8-0 run of their own to finally seal the verdict. 

Tyler Edwards (11) joined Dale and Garrett (10) in double figures, while Boles added eight key points (with a pair of three-pointers) off the bench. 

The win pushed the Dawgs’ district mark to 6-1 heading into last night’s game.

DAWGS (54)-Adams 3, Boles 8, Brown 4, Dale 16, Lynn 2, Garrett 10, Edwards 11. 

Dawgs…………………….66

Van Buren………………..56

Garrett exploded for 27 points (possibly a season high for a Dawg) and was joined in double figures by two other players as the Dawgs beat the Eagles for the second time this season, tallying 66 points against them for the second time, too. 

CCHS beat the Eagles 66-51 in Spencer earlier in January, and a balanced, consistent offensive effort landed them at that exact number again.

The Dawgs scored no fewer than 14 points and no more than 18 points in any quarter in the game. They hit 66 points for the third time this season, which also represents their season high. They have also hit 59 points three times in a season marked by outstanding scoring defense (see related story).

The Bulldogs led 18-13 after one, and stretched that lead out to eight (35-27) at halftime. They led by 12 heading into the final stanza, and Van Buren closed the gap by a deuce in that period.

Edwards joined the big performance by Garrett in double figures with 16 (with three treys), while Nathan Knight added 11. 

DAWGS (66)-Dale 3, Lynn 6, Knight 11, Garrett 27, Edwards 16, Dersham 2.

Dawgs…………………….64

Macon County……………51

The Dawgs won their fourth in a row and eighth in the last nine games, taking the lead early and never trailing again. 

Clay County built a big lead through the second and third quarters, and saw the Tigers launch a bit of a comeback, but the lead never got below double digits the rest of the way. 

The Tigers took an early 3-0 lead, but treys by Dale and Edwards and a short jumper by Dale gave CCHS an 8-3 lead they never relinquished. Macon County pulled to within one at 9-8, but a three-point play by Knight and another bucket by Edwards made it 14-8 after one. 

Another three-pointer by Knight made it 17-8 and the teams went cold for a while after that. Caleb Lynn broke the Clay drought with a rebound basket to make it 19-11 and the Dawgs started to pull away. A three-pointer by Boles at the buzzer gave the Dawgs a 29-15 lead at the half. 

Scott Brown’s three-pointer early in the third made it 32-15 and the lead ballooned to 42-21 at one point in the quarter before the Tigers put together a 12-4 run to cut the lead to 46-33 after three. 

The CCHS margin stayed in double figures through the fourth quarter, bouncing around from 11 to 13 points most of the way. 

Edwards’ 16 points led the way in another balanced effort. Boles (12) and Garrett (10) also hit double figures and six Dawgs scored at least six points. 

DAWGS (64)-Brown 9, Knight 8, Dale 6, Garrett 10, Edwards 16, Lynn 2, Dersham 1, Boles 12.