Clayton used its quickness and pressure defense to overpower Corinth Holders boys basketball team, leading from start to finish in a 53-40 nonconference victory Tuesday night.
Comets coach Denny Medlin gave an assist to the boisterous student section for Clayton’s fast start. The Comets jumped to an 11-2 lead and never looked back.
“We had a good crowding cheering us on,” Medlin said. “We really didn’t have a good practice yesterday, intensity-wise. I don’t know if it was coming back from Christmas break. I was a little worried but our crowd had a lot to do with us coming out with a lot of energy.
“Zach Greene pulling defensive rebounds was a big deal for us so we could get out in transition. That is how we like to play.”
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The Comets (11-3) led 17-6 at the end of the first period and 37-19 at the end of the first half.
Corinth Holders (7-6) got within 10 points in the third period at 42-32 but Clayton’s McCaleb Robertston hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the period and the Pirates never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Corinth Holders coach Chris Davis said that Clayton’s gym has been a tough place for the Pirates to play. And Tuesday was no different.
“I thought we started out with a little bit of nerves,” Davis said. “It seems like every time we come to this gym we get awestruck. When you spot a pretty good team 18 points, it’s tough to dig back out of the hole.
“You dig the hole because you’re nervous and then you fall back on your bad habits instead of what you have been working on in practice.”
The first four minutes set the tone. Clayton took a 6-0 lead and was up 11-2 when Tre Armstead scored on a fastbreak with 4:38 left in the period. The Comets were on their way and never stopped running.
They said it
“I really like this team,” Medlin said. “The kids like each other, enjoy playing together. A lot of times they go out there and look like the San Antonio Spurs moving the ball. And then there are times where we get away from what we do and dribble too much, but that is the same thing with any team. I really do like this team. When they get it clicking, we are tough to defend.”
Three who mattered
Clayton’s Tre Armstead: The senior guard scored a game-high 25 points, pushing the ball up the court and driving to the basket for acrobatic buckets.
“Tre did a great job of putting the ball in the goal,” Medlin said. “He made some shots early and he got in the lane and put the ball in the goal for us.”
Clayton’s Zach Greene: The Comets’ big man scored eight points but it was his work on the boards that was crucial for Clayton.
Corinth Holders’ DeMorris Lee: The junior forward led the Pirates with 10 points.