The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 14, 2013

Boys basketball: River Kings homestand ends on sour note

By Zach James Herald Assistant Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Yourd Gym belonged to the North Scott Lancers on Friday night.

Clinton fell to the Lancers 63-42, giving them an 0-2 mark this week before heading out on the road next week to Davenport North and Burlington.

North Scott gave Clinton any problem that Nick Lawrence and his team didn't want to see — pressure, empty possessions, turnovers and foul trouble.

"We knew it was going to be a challenge," Lawrence, coach of the River Kings, said. "They have five guys who can space out the floor, but I think their pressure got to us in the first half, and it was something we couldn't bounce back from."

North Scott forced the River Kings to cough up the ball a season-high 18 times.

"That's the first time we've seen pressure like that all year," Lawrence said. "It's one thing to replicate something as close as possible and then see the real thing on the floor. They did an excellent job forcing us to play faster than what we wanted to, which led to those turnovers."

Foul trouble was also a concern for the River Kings. The two catalysts for Clinton, Jalen Jones and Brady Ernst, were disqualified in the fourth quarter, but their total numbers felt the pressure as well.

Jones had seven points, while Ernst had a team-high 13 points.

"Jalen is struggling to shoot the ball right now," Lawrence said. "Once he gets going, so do the players. What a lot of people forget is defensively teams are going to make Jalen the focus on perimeter defense. He's going to see that night in and night out."

Jones had just one made basket, which was a 3-pointer. He went 1-for-9 from the floor.

"I'm not concerned about that," Lawrence said. "He's a high-level kid, he'll know how to get out of this funk, and we'll work with him on that."

While the River Kings front two had struggles, the Lancers had their main horse ride them to their fourth win of the year and first win in the Mississippi Athletic Conference.

Cortez Seales scored 28 followed by Marlon Stewart with 11 points.

"Seales did a phenomenal job tonight, and it's hard to stop somebody who was playing as well as he was," Lawrence said.

Clinton had its first five games at home. They won the first three, including taking home the River City Classic title, but this week ran into losses to Dubuque Senior on Tuesday and most recently with North Scott.

"We competed really hard this week but dug ourselves into too many holes to climb out of," Lawrence said. "I think we felt a little too comfortable playing these home games, but I thought our focus on Thursday was a little off, and because of that, I don't think we performed to our best tonight."

NORTH SCOTT 63, CLINTON 42

NORTH SCOTT (4-0, 1-0 MAC) — Deeago Reichenberg 0 0-0 0, Adam Sibert 1 0-0 2, Marlon Stewart 4 2-2 11, Adam Alberts 0 0-0 0, Cortez Seales 9 8-10 28, Trey Kilburg 3 1-2 8, Tanner Greve 2 0-0 4, Miles Anderson 1 0-0 2, Ricky Grimes 2 0-0 4, Nolan Slowick 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 11-13 63.

CLINTON (3-2, 1-1 MAC) — Zach Pope 1 0-0 2, Jalen Jones 1 4-6 7, Jon Cady 4 0-0 8, Colin Nelson 0 0-0 0, Ashley Jones 0 0-0 0, Derrick Howard 5 0-0 11, Justin Horst 0 0-0 0, Theo Harris 0 0-0 0, Jakob Faur 0 0-0 0, Cole Pennock 0 0-0 0, Thomas Smith 0 3-4 3, Brady Ernst 4 5-7 13. Totals 15 11-17 42.

North Scott 25 13 11 14 — 63

Clinton 13 9 4 16 — 42

3-point goals — North Scott 5 (Seales 2, Graham, Kilburg, Stewart); Clinton 2 (Jones, Howard). Total fouls — North Scott 17, Clinton 17. Technical foul — Clinton bench. Fouled out — Jones, Ernst.