MICHIGANTOWN – The Clinton Prairie boys’ basketball team had no trouble against county and conference rival Clinton Central as the Gophers defeated the Bulldogs 77-55 Friday night.
Clinton Central sophomore Keenan Orr opened the scoring in the contest by driving in for two points. Moments later Clinton Prairie junior Jacob Price stole the ball then passed it to sophomore Drew Scott for the layup, which tied the game.
The score bounced back-and-forth early in the first quarter until Clinton Prairie junior Kale Morris hit a 3-pointer, which gave the Gophers an 8-4 lead. Morris finished the game with a team-high 20 points, hitting 4-of-7 3-pointers. He also grabbed six boards, which was tied for a team-high with senior Doug Coapstick.
Clinton Prairie led 19-10 after eight minutes of play.
Clinton Central junior Cameron Kimmell opened the scoring in the second quarter by hitting a 3-pointer, which cut the Gopher lead to six points.
Morris hit his second 3-pointer of the contest then tried again moments later from the same spot and missed, but grabbed his own rebound and drove in the basket, making it 26-13 Gophers with six minutes remaining in the first half.
The Gophers worked the perimeter early in the first half to score points then worked the ball inside to junior Chase Joseph to help add to the lead. Joseph finished the game with 11 points.
Clinton Prairie outscored Clinton Central 23-11 in the second quarter to take a 42-21 lead going into halftime.
The two teams put on a 3-point shooting clinic to start the third quarter. Price went 3-for-3 shooting 3-pointers, making all three shots in the third quarter. Clinton Central senior Brandon Eimen also hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished the game hitting 57 percent from downtown and led the Bulldogs with 20 points.
The Gophers outscored the Bulldogs 26-20 in the third quarter to take a 68-41 lead going into the final quarter.
The 3-point shooting show carried over into the fourth quarter. Orr hit one deep for the Bulldogs then senior Logan Adams added his own 3-pointer. Orr finished the game with 10 points while Adams netted seven points.
As a team, Clinton Prairie hit 9-of-18 3-pointers in the game compared to Clinton Central’s 7-of-16.
The Bulldogs outscored the Gophers 14-11 in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 21-point deficit they fell into after the first half.
With the win, Clinton Prairie improved to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in the Hoosier Heartland Conference. Clinton Central dropped to 0-13 (0-2). On the same night, Rossville lost its conference match with Tri-Central, which puts Clinton Prairie alone on top of the conference.
Clinton Prairie’s junior varsity team defeated Clinton Central 46-37 prior to the varsity contest. Junior Kristian Peters led Clinton Prairie with 12 points while sophomore Axle Brandenburg led Clinton Central with 20 points.