Dawgs bring home runners-up trophy

Posted March 9, 2021 at 2:21 pm



It was a roller coaster of emotions for Clinton County fans Saturday as they saw their Dawgs play in a hard fought game for the All “A” State Championship.

In the end, the number three ranked team in the state, St. Henry, whose ranking went up to number one after last weekend, found a way to surpass the Bulldogs with a 74-57 win.

The Bulldogs’ runners-up finish is the farthest the boys team has advanced in the tournament in school history.

During the first quarter of play, Clinton County came out swinging and managed to outscore St. Henry 16-14.

Blake Melton scored six of his game total 17 points in the first quarter. His presence on the court was questionable due to an ankle injury the day before against Evangel Christian.

The Bulldogs continued to put points on the board in the second quarter as Nick Brown made a field goal to give Clinton County its largest lead of the game, 18-14.

St. Henry fired back and scored the next five points to take a one point lead over the Dawgs, 19-18.

Clinton County would regain the lead on a field goal by Nick Delk, 20-19, but an 8-3 run by St. Henry to finish the quarter saw Clinton County trail by four at the half, 27-23.

St. Henry opened up the second half with a three pointer, but baskets by Chase Stines and Melton cut the lead back to four, 38-34.

Once St. Henry led by six, 40-34, Melton hit one of his four three pointers to cut the lead to three points with more than six minutes on the clock.

Clinton County matched St. Henry on the next baskets, but with the Dawgs trailing by three, 42-39, St. Henry went on a 8-2 run for a nine point lead, 50-41.

St. Henry’s defense became too strong for Clinton County as the Dawgs found itself down 56-45 by the end of the third quarter.

The Dawgs battled as long as they could in the fourth quarter. Brown hit a basket at the 3:14 mark to put the Dawgs within six points, 61-55, but Clinton County would only put up two points for the remainder of the game.

St. Henry posted 13 points during that time and pulled away from the Dawgs for the win, 74-57.

Clinton County shot 50 percent for the game on 24/48 shooting, including 6/14 from the three point line.

From the foul line, the Dawgs only attempted six shots, hitting three for the game.

Individual scoring for Clinton County was:

Delk 19

Melton 17

Brown 10

Cross 6

Stines 5

Clinton County 44

Evangel Christian 42

In order to get to the championship game of the All “A” Classic, Clinton County had to go through Evnagel Christian in the semi-finals.

A game that would have been played as a first round game if the state tournament had played every round at McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Kentucky, became a semi-finals game for the Dawgs.

Evangel Christian drew first blood in the game with a three pointer right out of the gate.

Clinton County answered with a three pointer by Melton, but Evangel Christian regained the lead on a field goal made at the 6:10 mark, 5-3.

Clinton County then put together a run, 8-2, to end the quarter with an 11-7 lead.

During the second quarter, Clinton County started to fire on all cylinders, picking up a 10 point lead at the 2:42 mark, 23-13.

Evangel Christian fought back and finished the quarter on a 9-2 run to trail the Dawgs by three at the half, 25-22.

For the remainder of the game both teams were back and forth.

With the Dawgs trailing by two, 27-25, Melton suffered a severe ankle injury and was forced to sit out for the remainder of the game.

Up until that point, Melton was the leading scorer with 11 points for the Dawgs.

As the third quarter came to a close, what once was a 10 point lead for the Dawgs was now tied at 35 going into the final period.

Stines took a two point lead for the Dawgs early in the fourth quarter, but at the 5:17 mark, Delk was sidelined as he took an elbow to the right side of his head, which would later require six stitches.

Head Coach Todd Messer started Clinton County’s stall tactic at the 4:30 mark.

On a back door cut by Brown, Clinton County went up by four points, 39-35.

Brown added two free throws to give Clinton County a six point lead with 2:45 on the clock, 41-35.

A 7-2 run by Evangel Christian cut the Dawgs’ lead to only one with less than a minute on the clock, 43-42.

Evangel Christian had possession with 32 seconds on the clock. A bad inbounds pass by Evangel Christian led to the steal and Cross was fouled to stop the clock at 13.8 seconds remaining.

Cross went to the line and missed the first one, but made the second one to give Clinton County a two point edge, 44-42.

During the final play, Evangel Christian couldn’t convert as Clinton County regained possession with .6 seconds remaining. As the pass came inbounds, time ran off the clock sending the Dawgs to the championship game of the All “A” Classic State Tournament with a 44-42 win in the semi-finals.

Individual scoring for Clinton County was:

Melton 11

Brown 11

Delk 10

Cross 6

Stines 4

Nuetzman 2

Clinton County 58

Glasgow 48

On Tuesday of last week, Clinton County traveled to Glasgow to take on the Scotties in a 4th Region matchup.

It started out quick for the Dawgs as Clinton County jumped out to a 20-8 lead in the first quarter. To end the quarter, Clinton County would score two more baskets for a 24-11 lead.

Clinton County remained in control throughout the rest of the half, even though the Dawgs went cold from the floor during the period.

By halftime, Clinton County had taken control of a 10 point lead, 34-24.

During the second half, Clinton County continued to struggle from the floor all while still maintaining control of the game.

In the final 5:02 of the third quarter, Melton hit a three pointer, followed by a three pointer by Cross and both Delk and Brown added field goals to put the Dawgs out on top by 13 points, 46-33.

Although Clinton County never lost the lead in the fourth quarter, Glasgow did make a run at the Dawgs, getting to within four points with 1:27 on the clock, 52-48.

From that point on, Glasgow would fail to put any more points on the board as Cohen Davis knocked down two free throws and Cross made four free throws to end the game with the Dawgs on top by 10, 58-48.

Individual scoring for Clinton County was:

Cross 18

Delk 18

Brown 10

Stines 5

Melton 3

Davis 2

Nuetzman 2

Clinton County finished the week with an 18-3 record and moved up to a state ranking of 22 according to KHSAA’s RPI ratings.

The Dawgs were back in action Tuesday night of this week hosting Somerset Christian Academy. Clinton County will begin the 16th District Tournament as the number one seed playing the number four seed Cumberland County on Sunday, at 3 p.m.

Cole Nuetzman scored a basket during Clinton County’s semi-finals game against Evangel Christian. Clinton County defeated Evangel Christian, 44-42.

Bryson Cross drove the lane during the second half against St. Henry in the All “A” Classic championship game. Clinton County was defeated by St. Henry, 74-57. Clinton County moved to 18-3 on the year. Cross finished the game with six points.