EDMONTON — It was what you’d expect out of a district game, as Metcalfe County and Clinton County played tough, gritty basketball for four quarters in a close contest that came down to the final minute.
But in the end, it was the Bulldogs who left Edmonton with a 53-49 District 16 win Friday night after Clinton County erased an 11-point second half deficit.
“Give credit to Clinton County. They made plays when they needed to make plays. They’re a tough team to guard,” Metcalfe County coach Brandon Brockman said.
Boston Devore scored the first five points of the game for Metcalfe County(2-2, 0-2). Wyatt Blythe rattled home a tough left-handed runner in the lane to give the Hornets a five-point lead, but Clinton County(4-1, 1-0) scored the last five points of the first quarter to tie the score.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the second quarter, but Devore knocked down a trey and finished a layup off of a Blythe assist to give Metcalfe County a 23-17 halftime lead.
The Hornets would not allow the Bulldogs to carve much out of their lead early in the second half.
Sawyer Edmunds hit a turnaround jumper in the lane which was followed by a Wyatt Fields tip-in.
Devore knocked down a jumper and Peyton Dial backed it up with a corner trey that gave Metcalfe County a 38-27 lead midway through the third quarter.
But Clinton County chipped away at the deficit and Chase Stines cut Metcalfe County’s lead to six with a bucket late in the third quarter.
On the next Bulldog possession, Stines drew a foul and knocked down both free throws to make it a 40-36 game after three quarters.
Stines scored the first three points of the fourth quarter for Clinton County and the Bulldogs trailed by just one with 5:50 to play in the game. On the next possession, he converted a three-point play and the Bulldogs took a 42-40 lead.
Clinton County increased its advantage to 46-41 with Metcalfe County sputtering on offense. But the Bulldog defense left Braxton Davis wide open from behind the arc, and he drained a 3-pointer to stop the Clinton County run with 3:15 to play.
The Bulldogs were able to kill much of the clock late in the game with ball control, but Metcalfe County had a few chances to tie or take the lead.
The Hornets couldn’t come up with the shot they needed, and Caleb Guffey, Bryson Cross and Stines hit late free throws to seal the win for Clinton County.
Brockman said the Hornets need to clean up some of what they do offensively, but he added he’s proud of the team especially considering Metcalfe County is playing a lot of younger players this season.
“I believe as we get going throughout the month of January and the month of February, we’re going to be a lot better and we’re going to be able to overcome these types of situations to make the plays we need to win games,” he said.
Metcalfe County dropped an overtime game to Cumberland County on Tuesday. They’ll see the third opponent in their district, Russell County, at home Monday night.