CLINTON — It wasn’t pretty, but all that matters is winning.
That was the first thing to come out of Clinton coach Nick Lawrence’s mouth following a 51-45 boys basketball win over Davenport Assumption on Tuesday night.
“Coming into this game, this was again a scary game for us,” Lawrence said. “Assumption is one of those teams where they may not have the talent, but you know their effort on both ends of the floor is second to none.”
Lawrence said the River Kings played sound basketball for 29 or so minutes, but the latter three became a bit dicey.
“We were making careless mistakes when we were up 10, but at the end we found ways to get the job done,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence ruled out the team being nervous as one of the reasons, as it could have been with past teams.
“Not as much as it was in the past,” Lawrence said. “It certainly makes you sit on the edge of your seat a little, but I’m confident that our team has gotten over that. It was a total team effort tonight.
“We just gradually got better as the game went on,” Lawrence said “I thought we had some good looks, but we had all kinds of guys step up and do what they needed.”
Even though the River Kings never surrendered the lead, the Knights cut Clinton’s lead to three at around the five-minute mark in the fourth quarter.
Brady Ernst and Jalen Jones blocked some shots, fouls started to tally and those who were sent to the free-throw line hit their shots. Clinton shot 16-for-23 as a whole from the free-throw line.
The usual suspects for the River Kings — Ernst and Jones — scored 36 of the team’s 51 points. Ernst also contributed with 14 rebounds. Jones scored 21; Ernst posted 15 points.