Herald Staff Report
Clinton Community College won for the third time its last four games Wednesday with a 72-65 victory over Black Hawk.
Clinton coach Joe Shovlain said the win sprang from the way the Cougars played in the second half Saturday. Clinton trailed the University of Dubuque junior varsity by eight at halftime and the Cougars took the lead for good with two minutes left on their way to a 69-64 win.
“I think that was the impetus for this game,” Shovlain said. “We felt good and we got started off well.”
Freshman Xavion Jones scored 26 points, including making four 3-pointers, to lead the Cougars in avenging a 52-50 loss to Black Hawk earlier in the season.
“He had a great offensive game,” Shovlain said. “He shot the ball exceptionally well from behind the 3-point line. He got some good looks and the credit for that goes to Virshaun Grant and Richard Hurt. They penetrated hard, kicked the ball out and he knocked the down.
“We also got out and ran. He had three or four layups in transition. We want to do that and we did a good job of it tonight.”
Grant dished out 10 assists and scored seven points.
Clinton (3-5) led by 14 at halftime and withstood a second-half run by Black Hawk.
“We held them off pretty well,” Shovlain said. “But that’s one thing we talked about in the locker room after the game. It’s 40 minutes and we took some vacation in the second half. We’ve got to be mentally tougher.”
With eight freshmen on a roster of 13, Shovlain said it’s taken some time for the squad to gel. But now they are and he attributed the Cougars’ recent success to that.
“It takes a while to mesh,” Shovlain said. “But they’re all coming together. A lot of that is because of the quality kids we have involved and the hard work of everyone involved in the program. I think we have the chance to be a pretty good team. We’re not there yet and there’s a lot of work left to do, but I’m satisfied with the direction we’re going.”
Charles Pemberton had a double-double for the Cougars, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He also blocked three shots. Another bright spot for Clinton was the return of James Randolph after missing some time due to injury.
Shovlain said Randolph would have to work his way back into the starting lineup and to get more minutes, as the coach is pleased with the play of Kimani Stevens, who took Randolph’s spot in the starting lineup.
CLINTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE 72,
BLACK HAWK 65
CLINTON (3-5) — Virshaun Grant 1 4-7 7, Richard Hurt 0 1-2 1, Xzavion Jones 11 0-2 26, Kimani Stevens 5 1-1 11, Charles Pemberton 6 4-6 16, Dominique Helgemo 0 1-2 1, BJ Bostic 1 1-2 4, Dane Barun 1 0-0 2, BeeJay Caleb 1 0-0 2, James Randolph 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 12-22 72.
Halftime score — Clinton 36, Black Hawk 22. 3-point goals — Clinton 6 (Jones 4, Bostic, Grant).