Sometimes You Can’t Win Either

(Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, January 13, 2018, 11:07 a.m.

By Monte Dutton

Newberry, a rival of historic significance, won both the high school basketball games played at Clinton High School on Friday night, and I suppose the Bulldogs’ 71-68 victory in the boys’ game was a bit historic in that it ended a 12-game streak of Red Devil Region 3-3A victories over the past two seasons.

The second and fourth quarters were stalemates. Clinton (9-5, 2-1) dominated the first, and Newberry (10-3, 3-0) dominated the third. It was a great game, played at a frenetic pace, and the two teams mainly shot the same, rebounded the same and made about the same number of turnovers. Newberry is deeper and more experienced. Clinton might be a bit more athletic. I hope to see the game the two teams play later in the season in Newberry.

I like both coaches, Newberry’s Chad Cary and Clinton’s Eddie Romines. As I am a graduate of Clinton High School, I would have preferred a Red Devil victory, but it was an enjoyable night on the local sports beat, anyway.

Newberry has a girls’ program that lost in the 3A finals last year, and I suppose the Lady Bulldogs played the kind of game that should be expected of a team that is ranked No. 1 in the state and wants to stay there. The score was 58-26, and, from the perspective of a Clinton program making its way slowly up a comeback trail, it didn’t really seem that disappointing. Newberry pressed from the opening tap until 1:38 remained in the game, and there were long periods in which it was all the Lady Red Devils could do to get it across the time line. Clinton (7-10, 1-2 region) committed 47 turnovers.

The distance between first and second in the region is almost the same as the distance between first and sixth. I think it likely that both Clinton teams will make the playoffs. Last year the boys went 21-4 and advanced all the way to the Upstate finals. Given the significant losses to graduation, this year’s Red Devils are hanging tough.

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Three of my novels – Cowboys Come Home, Lightning in a Bottle, and Life Gets Complicated – are available in uptown Clinton at L&L Office Supply and Emma Jane’s gift shop.

For the story I wrote on the game for the GoLaurens/GoClinton web site, click here.


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