The Clayton boys basketball team made just one basket in the opening quarter of its season opener against Cleveland Wednesday night.
The Comets then brushed the rust off and pulled away for a 69-47 win over the Rams (0-2) scoring 62 points in the final three quarters.
“In the first game, I think everyone was pressing,” Clayton coach Denny Medlin said. “We were taking it to the goal and getting good looks but we were just trying to finesse and going up a little soft instead of attacking the rim hard.
“It’s something we talked about, ‘you’ve got to go strong’.”
The Comets (1-0) found strength thanks to the sharp shooting of Martavis McLamb. McLamb led all scorers with 22 points with 18 of those coming from half a dozen shots outside the three-point line.
Tonio Mayo and Landry Moore each supplied seven points for Cleveland but the Rams didn’t have enough firepower on this night to stay within range by the second half.
Cleveland held a 21-20 lead late in the second quarter before a late Clayton surge gave the Comets a 28-21 halftime lead. Armstead and McLamb each hit from the perimeter and Andrew Bond converted from close range to close the half on the 8-0 run.
Three who mattered
Martavis McLamb, Clayton: McLamb may have been the beneficiary of great ball movement against the Rams zone defense but the shooting guard knocked down 6 of 12 opportunities from downtown to lead the Comets with 22 points.
Tre Armstead, Clayton: Armstead’s speed and quickness allowed the Comets to push the ball up the floor and create good shots before the Cleveland defense was set. Armstead ended the night with 14 points.
Jamar Poston Cleveland: With the majority of Cleveland’s post players still focusing their attention on the football team’s run through the playoffs, Poston was the post presence for the Rams. He finished with 11 points and seven rebounds to lead Cleveland in both categories.
They said it
“We had some bad turnovers; we turned the ball over 16 or 17 times,” Cleveland coach John Jacobs said. “When you’re going to score 40 or 50 points like we’re doing right now, you can’t turn the ball over 16 times.”
By the Numbers
4: Three pointers Martavis McLamb made good on in the second quarter.
2: Turnovers committed by Clayton in the second half, both coming in the final minutes with the game well in hand and the starters on the bench.
8: Points contributed by Cleveland’s Garrett Davenport.