High School Sports

Clayton boys roll by short-handed South Johnston basketball

South Johnston’s Elijah Hill (4) drives to the basket against Clayton’s Austin Boyd (30) during Thursday’s game.
South Johnston’s Elijah Hill (4) drives to the basket against Clayton’s Austin Boyd (30) during Thursday’s game. newsobserver.com

Clayton’s boys got to learn a little bit about themselves in their basketball game with county rival South Johnston on Thursday night.

And truth be told, it was too bad the Trojans even had to play this one.

The good news for South is that the Trojans’ football team was making a nice run in the state playoffs. But the bad news is that basketball personnel were decimated.

Kenny Williams led the way with 12 points and Martavis McLamb added 11, leading the Comets to a 56-15 victory.

Clayton, which won its second game in as many nights to start the season, needed the breather as the Comets were preparing to take on Smithfield-Selma on Friday night with their third game in a row

“We went out with a lot of defensive intensity and rotated a lot of guys and just got them tired,” Clayton coach Denny Medlin said. “South Johnston will be OK once they get their football players back. We just pushed the ball and wore them down since they only had eight players.”

Kelby Wood had six points to lead South, which was playing its season opener. The Trojans will play on Monday and Tuesday regardless of the football team’s status.

They said it

“We had a lot of inexperience on the floor without a single returning starter,” South coach David Dewey said. “I saw some positives and a lot of negatives. At times the flow of the offense was good and we handled pressure well.

“But then we would make a bad pass instead of being patient. We had some guys play minutes they wouldn’t have gotten, and that helps both our JV and varsity teams.”

Turning point

Clayton was ahead 8-7 early in the game before going on a 40-2 run as South put the ball in the basket once in the combined second and third quarters.

Three who mattered

Kenny Williams, Clayton: The senior guard finished with a game-high 12 points.

“Our coach told us to just keep pushing hard no matter what,” Williams said. “I’ve never played three games in three nights. We just have to have the same attitude we’ve had the last two nights and just play hard.”

Martavis McLamb, Clayton: The junior guard scored 11 points.

“We played team ball with a lot of effort and came out with a ‘W’,” McLamb said. “When we got ahead we just relaxed and kept going forward. We’re ready to play again tomorrow.”

Kelby Wood, South: His six points kept the Trojans from finishing in single digits.

By the numbers

5: Rebounds by Clayton guard Mason Medlin.

6: Points by South’s leading scorer Kelby Wood, and assists by Clayton’s Tre Armstead.

9: Points that South had going into the fourth quarter.

11: Points by Clayton’s Martavis McLamb.

12: Points by the Comets’ Kenny Williams.