High School Sports

Fast pace favors Clayton’s girls against South Johnston basketball

Clayton’s Janasia Gannon (3) drives to the basket against South Johnston’s McKinley Johnson (10).
Clayton’s Janasia Gannon (3) drives to the basket against South Johnston’s McKinley Johnson (10). newsobserver.com

The battle was speed against experience, and this time speed won.

Sophomores Jamasia Cannon and Endaisha Howard and freshman Asia Todd each scored 11 points, leading Clayton to a 49-36 victory over visiting county rival South Johnston in girls’ basketball Thursday night.

Anna Webster, who is over 1,000 career points has already signed with Charleston Southern, scored 15 points to lead the Trojans while classmate McKinley Johnson chipped in nine.

The win in South’s season opener improved Clayton to 1-1.

“They have a veteran team and we definitely wanted to speed them up,” Clayton coach Marlon Lee said. “We had to pressure them out. We played a tough game here last night and I was worried about how we would be.

“We made them go faster than they wanted to, but we let them get a lot of points off our turnovers. We want to get turnovers and deflections and make other team play out of their comfort zone.”

Clayton led 20-16 at halftime and was never again headed. The Comets’ biggest lead was 49-34 on Todd’s layup with 51 seconds left.

They said it

“We just made too many turnovers,” South coach Ronda Johnson said. “We didn’t box out well. We didn’t get many rebounds. And we were relying too much on Anna. We have four guards who can shoot the 3-pointer, but we were watching Anna too much. I know what we need to practice now.”

Turning point

Clayton scored the first four points of the fourth quarter on baskets from Todd and Jasmine Carter to take a 38-25 lead and put the Trojans in a deep hole.

Three who mattered

Jamasia Cameron, Clayton: The sophomore guard had 11 points and four assists.

“We played better defense tonight,” Cameron said. “Our defense was pretty good. We started slow in the first half, but we got better when we went to our ‘man’ defense.”

Asia Todd, Clayton: The freshman guard finished with 11 points and four assists.

“We were pretty good getting points off our press and going to the ‘and one,’” Todd said. “And that was a big key for us.”

Anna Webster, South: The senior guard had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a solid all-around effort.

“This is our first game,” Webster said. “It’ll come. I think this will prepare us for future games pretty well. We just have to get rebounds and cut down on bad passed. They’re one of the most athletic teams we’ll play.”

By the numbers

4: Rebounds by McKinley Johnson and assists from Clayton’s Cameron and Todd.

6: Rebounds from South’s Sarah Pierce.

8: Rebounds by Webster.

11: Points from the Clayton trio of Cameron, Howard and Todd.

15: Points from leading scorer Webster.

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