Senior Night turned out to be magical for the boys basketball team at Clayton.
For the Comet girls’ team, not so much.
Seniors Kenny Anderson and Martavis McLamb combined for 38 points, leading four Comets in double figures as they repelled Rolesville 70-54 in Greater Neuse River 4A basketball action on Tuesday at Jeff Adams Gym.
In girls’ action, Valencia Carroll’s 21 points led three players in double figures as Rolesville (14-9, 8-5 GNRC) completed a sweep of the season series with a 52-45 romp. It was the Rams’ fourth straight win over the Comets (14-9, 6-7), guaranteeing they will finish ahead of Clayton in the conference standings.
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The boys’ victory means Denny Medlin’s Comets (12-10, 7-6) will finish at least .500. Rolesville (12-10, 9-4) came up short in its chance to clinch second place in the conference, but is almost certain to get its first boys’ basketball state tournament berth.
“I think our energy was really good,” Medlin said. “MaCaleb Robertson has done a great job as an assist man in the past two games. We’ve been up and down, but tonight we played really well on the offensive end. If we play like that, we’re going to be a tough out in the tournaments.”
Jaylin Powell added 18 points while fellow senior Morgan Brown had 13 points and nine rebounds for Rolesville.
Rolesville had won the previous meeting 54-45 at home six days earlier.
“We’ve been trying to put together a complete game,” Rolesville girls coach Clinton Williams said. “We hit some big shots today against their zone, and that was big for us. And We were able to get some turnovers and turn them into points.”
Janasia Cannon led the Comets – who played without sophomore wing Asia Todd after she fell ill in the first half – with 16 points while Endaisha Howard added 13.
Rolesville is seeking its first state girls’ basketball playoff game in the school’s four-year history. Last year’s team earned a berth, but had to
“We did a better job sharing the ball tonight,” Carroll said. “A lot better than we did against them last time. We try to get better in practice every day.”
The Rams led 29-18 at halftime. Clayton was up 16- 14 following a pair of free throws from Howard before the visitors went on a 15-2 run that included 11 points from Carroll.
The lead was 29-22 before the Rams put it away with a 15-0 run in the third. Clayton ended the spree on a layup from Alexis Dixon with 47.6 seconds left in the stanza.
“We worked really well together tonight,” the senior Brown said. “We talked, and pumped each other up and kept each other going. We’re a much more experienced team this year and that’s making a difference.”
Clayton has been on a roller coaster for the second half of the season, following each of its last five wins with a loss.
Anderson led the Comets, who broke open a close game with a big fourth quarter, with 24 points while McLamb added 14.
Devin Carter chipped in 11 points and MaCaleb Robertson added 10 for the winners
Rolesville, paced by 22 points from Ricky Clemons, had won the previous meeting 74-68 at home six days earlier.
“Clayton shot very well throughout the game,” said Rolesville coach Tommy Moore, whose team has won six of its last eight games. “And they were able to spread us with dribble penetration. They got some easy ones inside, and limited us to one shot at our end. We’re just trying to get better in every game. We’ve done a lot better making timely shots in most games that we did tonight.”
The Comets led 29-24 after a nip-and-tuck first half. Rolesville was up 12-8 after the first quarter, and then 22-18 following a Joseph Green layup with 3:43 left in the half.
Clayton responded with a 10-0 run, with five of the points from McLamb.
“We’re giving it all we got right now,” McLamb said. “We’re playing as a team and really came together.”
The Comets, who lead the all-time series 6-2, took the lead for good on a pair of Anderson free throws that made it 33-32 with 6:26 left in the third.
From there it was all Clayton, as the Comets stretched their advantage to 63-47 on a Robertson layup with 4:31 to go.
“We were just too lackadaisical and gave up too many second chances,” Clemons said. “We didn’t have the intensity we needed to have tonight.”
Clayton had ended a four-game losing streak with a 76-51 win at West Johnston on Friday night.
“We moved the ball really well tonight,” Anderson said. “Earlier in the year we definitely had trouble with that. When we play together, we have a good head of steam. We just need to keep it rolling.”