The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

December 14, 2013

Boys basketball: River Kings homestand ends on sour note

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.

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