Clayton was in need of wins when the Comets visited Rolesville for a late-season conference matchup.
Clayton’s 59-49 win over the Rams kept the team in playoff contention, sitting sixth in the Greater Neuse River Conference standings with Rolesville and Southeast Raleigh —tied for fourth — each having to face conference leader Garner next week. The playoff race, however, was not on the mind of Clayton coach Denny Medlin.
“Coming into this game we had four games left and we know that if we could win our last four we’d have a shot, but that’s not really what we’ve been thinking about,” Medlin said. “We just want to get wins. We want to play good and every time we go out we want to try to win.
“This is our 10th win of the season. We were expecting to win more games than this, but our guys are still working hard in practice. They still have good attitudes, so we’re just trying to come out and compete and win every time we play.”
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Clayton hosts East Wake on Friday before traveling to West Johnston and closing the regular season with a home game against Southeast Raleigh next week. The Comets fell to East Wake, 68-61 earlier in the year before defeating West Johnston and Southeast during a three-game winning streak last month. That run helped set Clayton up for its current standing in the playoff picture.
“We had played real well in some losses, so we needed wins we needed some success,” Medlin said. “That was really encouraging to them to see that some of their work was paying off, that it pays not to give up, so sure that was big for us.”
Clayton (10-11, 4-7 GNRC) never trailed and led by as many as 20 points, holding off a late surge by the Rolesville team that won the previous meeting, 61-50 in January.
Xavier Williams and Daron Davis led the Comets with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
“Number one, we didn’t underestimate them this time,” Medlin said. “We executed a little better and had a little more energy and we just flat out played better. Especially this time, Tre (Armstead), our leading scorer is battling an injury he suffered Friday night in the first quarter. We’ve been plagued with injuries all year, so tonight to come get a win without our leading sorer playing the whole second half was really a testament to how hard these guys play and compete.”
Bryan Canty and Kavon Galberth led Rolesville (6-15, 5-6) with 15 and 14 points, respectively.