CLINTON — A high school basketball season delayed because of state COVID restrictions got under way in Clinton on February 2.
The pandemic rules were in effect. Only 25 fans from each team were allowed in (with tickets) with socially distanced seating requiring fans to be 30 feet from the court.
There also are now regular referee “media” time outs for all players to sit down, catch their breath and drink fluids since they now are playing while wearing masks. Between games, everyone clears the gymnasium while it is spray disinfected.
The opponent for the evening was the Cerro Gordo/Bement Broncos from east of Decatur. These teams were ready to play.
In the JV outing, however, it was the Maroons who seemed better prepared. The home team led by 6 at the end of the first quarter and then exploded for 27 points in the second quarter to take a commanding 45-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, both teams slowed their play, and the Broncos scored only one less than the Maroons. But the damage had already been done with the hometown Maroons coming away with a 64-40 win. The Maroons were led by Nick Feather and Mason Walker. Each had over 20 points, outscoring the opposition.
The varsity team appeared to be ready to play hard, but the gel factor was not there.
The Maroons were outscored 19-7 in the first quarter, which was a hole too deep to dig out of.
The home team outscored the opposition by one point in the second quarter but were down by 11 points at halftime 23-34. The third quarter saw the visiting Broncos fired up again for a 28-19 quarter lead.
The Maroons came back in the final stanza, but it was too little too late. The Broncos ran away with this game, winning 81-63. The Maroons were led by the tandem of Aiden Schlesinger and Trevor Scott.