CLINTON — On January 9, the hometown Clinton Maroons hosted perennially-tough foe, the Monticello Sages.
The Sages took a win by about 20 points over the Maroons earlier on their home court. The Maroons were hoping to return the favor.
The evening began with the junior varsity (JV) game. The first quarter saw the Maroons unleash a barrage of 3-pointers (5) to set the Sages on their heels for a time. The Maroons were up 19-9 after the first quarter, but their lead began slipping as the game progressed.
In the second quarter, the Maroons dropped 3 points to the opposition but were still hitting 3-point shots (2). At halftime, the Maroons’ JV retained a 7-point lead, 33-26.
Coming out of halftime the Maroons were still effective but dropped another point off their lead. The final quarter was tense. The Maroons couldn’t afford to give up much more of their 10-point first quarter lead.
Two more points slipped away from the Maroons, but they held tough, winning by four points 49-45.
The Maroons scored nine 3-pointers in the game. The JV were led by Keaton Graves (#10) with 13 points (and one 3-pointer), and Anthony Westbrooks (#0) with 11 points (and three 3-pointers). Isiah Stephenson (#33) also poured in three 3-pointers in the first quarter.
The varsity game started slowly for the Maroons, gathering only 8 points to the Sages’ 13 in the first quarter. Then, the game began to get tense as the Maroons came charging back to tie the game at 29 points at halftime. Through the third quarter, the lead was back and forth, but toward the end, the Sages took a 3-point lead.
The fourth quarter was another run for the money. The Maroons never backed down but were outscored by 1-point in the final quarter as Monticello took the 62-58 win.
Coach Binkley praised the team for their perseverance and holding the Sages’ top scorer to only 7 points. He also said they needed four players to score in double figures for a win against the Sages, and the Maroons were close but just shy of that goal.
The Maroons were led by Dawson Graves (#2) with 22 points (including two 3-pointers), Brooks Cluver (#12) with 14 points (including one 3-pointer), and Mason Walker (#3) with 11 points (including one 3-pointer). Monticello’s forward Drew Sheppard (#44) took up the slack for the Sages scoring 28 points (including 6/7 free throws).
The Maroons’ varsity is now 10-0 in conference play and 15-4 in overall play.