HS Hoops: Lady Dragons survive, advance in thriller

WEDNESDAY, the Clinton Lady Dragons used a gritty, overall team effort to stave off the Campbell County Lady Cougars, 55-53, and advance in the District 3AAA tournament. The fifth-seeded Lady Dragons will play at top seed Oak Ridge Friday night at 7:00, with WYSH’s coverage beginning with the Fox & Farley Full Court Press Pregame Show at 6:50, in one semifinal. Wednesday’s road win over fourth-seeded Campbell County also punched Clinton’s ticket to next week’s Region tournament.

Wednesday’s game will certainly go down in Lady Dragon lore as a classic, with the Lady Dragons watching a slim first-half lead give way to a 20-20 tie after Izzy Proffitt drained a three-pointer at the buzzer. Coming out of the locker room, Clinton opened up a nine-point lead midway through the third quarter after a Campbell County technical foul, but then had to weather a furious Lady Cougar comeback down the stretch. Clutch free throw shooting, excellent team defense and timely rebounds were the hallmarks of the fourth quarter for Clinton.

  • Sarah Burton led Clinton with 19 points, and was money from the charity stripe late in the game.
  • Naiyah Sanders did everything for the Lady Dragons, including score 16 points and grab seven rebounds.
  • Campbell County had no answer at all inside for Jazz Moore, who dominated the post on her way to 13 points, narrowly missing a double-double with nine boards.

Clinton improved to a misleading 9-12 and will get another shot at snapping a losing streak against Oak Ridge that dates back to 1990 on Friday night, but on Wednesday, extended their season with a performance that proves this team is peaking at the right time, after numerous interruptions due to the pandemic hindered their in-season development.

Campbell County’s season ended with a record of 9-14 despite strong games from Cora Browning (14 points), Alyssa Brown (13 points, all in the second half) and the freshman Proffitt (13).

In the other second-round game in the D3AAA tournament, Halls pasted Karns at home, 85-51, sending the third-seeded Lady Red Devils to Powell for a semifinal showdown with the second seeded Lady Panthers.

The boys’ side of the bracket takes center stage on Thursday, with the #7 seed, Anderson County, hitting the road for Fountain City and a showdown with third seed Central. The winner will visit the Don W. Lockard Gymnasium at Clinton High School Saturday night at 7:00 to face the second-seeded Clinton Dragons. That game will also be heard on WYSH, with coverage tipping off at 6:50 on Saturday.

The other second round game sends eighth-seeded Karns to the fourth-seeded Campbell County Cougars for the right to play at Oak Ridge Saturday in the other semifinal.

The winners of tonight’s games will also advance to the region tournament next week.

Elsewhere, at the District 2A tournament, Jellico’s girls won at Hancock County, 44-41, and play at Cosby Thursday, while Washburn visits Greenback in the evening’s other game.

The Oakdale girls played themselves into the District 3A tourney, routing Rockwood, 44-10, and will play at top seed Oneida on Thursday. Other first round games at the D3A tournament send Oliver Springs to Sunbright, Coalfield to Wartburg and Midway to Harriman.

In the boys’ play-in game for the D3A tournament, Coalfield edged Oakdale, 62-61, to extend their season.

Also on Thursday, the Kingston girls open play in the District 4AA tournament by hosting Austin-East.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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