Clinton County’s game plan worked like a charm during the first quarter of Thursday night’s 16th District Championship against Russell County.
The Bulldogs’ Keifer Dalton opened the game scoring the first eight points for the Dawgs, grabbing a two point lead, 8-6.
Russell County then hit a three pointer to move up by one point, but then Clinton County went on a war path from the three point line, along with a field goal to put the Dawgs up by 10 points, 19-9 with 2:30 remaining in the quarter.
Russell County finally added two points to the board to cut the lead to eight, but a basket by Colby Langford put the Dawgs ahead by 10 again, 21-11.
With 50 seconds left on the clock in the first quarter, Russell County had cut the lead to six before Frank England made a field goal to close out the quarter, 23-16.
During the second quarter, Russell County started chipping away at the Bulldogs’ lead.
A three point play early in the period, put the lead to four points, 23-19, but England answered with a field goal for a 25-19 lead.
A 4-0 run by Russell County cut the Dawgs’ lead to two points with 5:26 on the clock. Dalton, who finished with a game high 27 points, hit a field goal to extend the Dawgs’ lead, 27-23.
With 4:32 on the clock, Lance Claywell hit a three pointer for a 30-25 lead, making the Dawgs a perfect six of six from the three point line thus far.
With 2:59 remaining in the half, Russell County took the lead away from the Dawgs, 31-30, but two free throws from Claywell gave the Dawgs back the lead, 32-31.
Langford added to the lead by making one of two from the line, 33-31, but Russell County tied the game on a field goal with 1:30 showing on the clock, 33-33.
With 50 seconds on the clock, both teams tied at 35, the Dawgs were able to get the final shot of the half off, but was off the mark.
Russell County came out in the second half and quickly took control of the game.
The Lakers started off with a three point play to take a three point lead, 38-35.
Dalton went to the line for two shots, making one, to cut the lead to two points for the Bulldogs with 7:01 on the clock.
Russell County moved up by four points, while Clinton County’s three stopped falling.
With the Lakers now up by six points with 4:00 on the clock, England cut the lead to four on a field goal, followed by a basket by Dalton, 42-40.
The Lakers’ next trip down the floor saw Clinton County go down by five points after a three pointer was made, but a drive and layup by Dalton cut that lead down to three points with 3:20 remaining in the period, 45-42.
Russell County scored again to extend its lead late in the third quarter, but a 4-0 run by the Dawgs cut the lead to only one point, 47-46.
At the 1:30 mark, Russell County hit a three pointer and with 45 seconds remaining, Clinton County took a big hit as Langford was called for his fourth foul.
Dalton went to the line with 44 seconds on the clock and made only one of two to trail, 50-47. Russell County closed out the quarter by hitting a field goal and to take a five point lead after three quarters, 52-47.
Russell County opened the fourth quarter by scoring 7-4 for an eight point lead, 59-51, with 5:13 on the clock.
With 3:35 remaining, and Clinton County trailing, 59-53, Langford drew his fifth foul, which took out an inside presence for the Dawgs for the remainder of the game.
Clinton County couldn’t catch back up to the red hot Lakers in the final quarter and ended the game with a nine point loss, 74-65.
From the floor, Clinton County hit 13 of 32 for 40 percent, nine of 16 from the three point line for 56 percent and hit 12 of 21 from the free throw line for 57 percent.
For the game, Clinton County only committed nine turnovers.
The Dawgs moved on to the 4th Region Tournament Tuesday as the Dawgs took on Barren County in its first game. That game was too late for press deadline.
The Dawgs headed into the regional tournament with an 18-11 record.
Individual scoring for Clinton County was:
Above, Keifer Dalton drove the lane for two of his 27 points against Russell County. Below, Frank England went up for a shot during the second half of the 16th District Finals. He finished with nine points.