The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

February 1, 2014

Kings rout Wildcats again


Herald Staff Report

CLINTON — Clinton coach Nick Lawrence was a little worried about how his boys basketball team would respond playing Davenport North for the third time this season.

"With a team like North, our previous games had been blowout wins, so you worry about complacency," Lawrence said. "For us, the challenge was to stay motivated the entire time."

The River Kings completed the three-peat Friday at Yourd Gym, beating the Wildcats 75-45.

The earlier wins had been by 40 and 39 points, and when the Kings raced to leads of 9-0 and 15-2 as four of the five starters scored, it appeared this one might have an even larger margin.

But North (2-14) caught Clinton's attention as it closed the first quarter on an 11-6 run and crept within 28-21 with four minutes left in the first half. Then, Kevin Murphy was fouled and Lawrence was hit with a technical foul.

"I didn't even try to get one," he said. "I got up and reacted negatively."

Murphy made a pair of free throws, then Jayden Clayton made one of the two technical shots. Suddenly, the Wildcats were within four and had the ball.

Clinton refocused, though, and North never got closer.

"It ended up working out," Lawrence said. "We went to a 2-3 zone about the time of the technical, and the kids did a pretty decent job."

Thomas Smith also gave the Kings a lift off the bench.

He made a pair of free throws to start an 8-0 run that included a pair of Jalen Jones baskets around one by Smith to send the River Kings to the locker room at halftime leading 36-24.

"Thomas was a huge spark for us on both ends of the court," Lawrence said. "He has a big body and moved his feet well. I think another big part was we had been struggling from the free-throw line and he knocked both down. That was a confidence booster."

Smith finished with eight points. Jones led the way with 22, putting his career total at 900. Brady Ernst added 21, 13 in the second half when Clinton pulled away.

The large margin allowed Lawrence to clear his bench, something he was glad to do since the Kings play again tonight at the Eric Ottens Shootout in Fulton, Ill.

Going into the game tonight that was concern, to keep guys in game shape but keep them fresh," Lawrence said.

CLINTON 75, DAVENPORT NORTH 45

NORTH (2-14, 1-10) — Kapryse West 0 0-0 0, Corey Lamonte 1 1-2 3, Kevin Murphy 1 4-6 6, Corey Iossi 0 0-1 0, Jayden Clayton 4 1-2 9, Joe Alexander 1 3-4 5, Logan Wright 2 2-2 8, Logan Wadsworth 0 0-0 0, TJ Moore 2 1-2 5, Robert Wolf 3 0-0 9. Totals 14 12-20 45.

CLINTON (10-5, 7-4) — Robbie Thacker 1 0-0 2, Zach Pope 0 0-0 0, Jalen Jones 8 5-10 22, Jon Cady 2 1-4 5, Colin Nelson 1 0-1 2, Ashley Jones 0 0-0 0, Derrick Howard 3 3-5 9, Justin Horst 1 0-0 2, Day 0 0-0 0, Cole Pennock 2 0-1 4, Thomas Smith 3 2-2 8, Brady Ernst 9 3-3 21. Totals 30 14-26 75.

North     13     11     7     14     —     45

Clinton     21     15     15     24     —     75

3-point goals — North 5 (Wolf 3, Wright 2); Clinton 1 (J. Jones). Total fouls — North 22, Clinton 18. Fouled out — None. Technical — Clinton bench.