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Mustangs dominate at home against Ripley

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Lynchburg-Clay's Braedon West scored a career-high 16 points in the Mustangs' SHAC win against Ripley, Tuesday at LCHS. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

DODSONVILLE — The Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs had their top scorer return after four games Tuesday night, and in that process they snapped a three-game losing streak by defending their home court against the Ripley Blue Jays, winning by a 61-26 score. 

In the Southern Hills Athletic Conference victory, the Mustangs earned the convincing win behind a 23-point effort from the returning Denver Clinton, who missed the past four games with injury. Clinton didn’t miss a beat — especially in the second half — by making eight two-point baskets, and he was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. Seventeen of Clinton’s 23 points came in the second half. 

“It was great [to have Clinton back],” Lynchburg-Clay head coach Brian Callahan said. “He's our top scorer and was kind of finding his way in the first half, and I really thought he kind of snapped into it in the second half. He was way more into it, really playing downhill, trying to get all of them just to trust what they're doing offensively. Those shots and those opportunities will present themselves if they just continue to run the offense.” 

LC (3-6, 6-9) had two others score in double figures, those players being Braedon West with 16 points and Austin Bell scoring 11 points. West totaled four two-point baskets, two 3-pointers and he was 2-of-2 with his free-throw attempts. Bell collected his points with five two-point field goals and he made one free throw. 

“He's capable of doing that, and that's what we just told him in the locker room,” Callahan said of West’s career-high game. “I said I thought he played outstanding.”

Also in the game, Jay Cordrey finished with nine points for the Mustangs, as he sank two 3-pointers and he finished 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. Cairen Goings rounded out the scoring with two points by sinking a basket. 

The Mustangs opened the game with a free throw by Cordrey, but LCHS lost the lead with a basket by the Blue Jays with 5:19 on the clock in the opening quarter. LCHS regained the lead for good with a one-handed shot by Clinton and a basket by West for a 5-2 advantage with 3:21 left in the quarter. 

After RHS (0-8, 2-13) scored two points off a jumper, the Mustangs ended the first frame with a put back basket by West, only to see it answered with a bucket by the Blue Jays as Lynchburg-Clay ended the quarter with a 7-6 lead. 

The Mustangs finished the second quarter leading at halftime by eight points at 20-12, as they outscored LCHS by a 13-6 score. 

Lynchburg-Clay led by as many as 11 points in the second, and Ripley only got as close as four points to the Mustangs’ lead, as LCHS opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer by Coffey, two points in the paint by Clinton, and a layup by West as he went around the defense of the Blue Jays to put LCHS ahead by eight points at 14-6 with 5:11 left in the second quarter. 

RHS made it a 14-9 score with 3:49 left in the first half, byt the Mustangs answered by scoring the next six points with two baskets by Austin Bell and a two-point basket by Clinton, putting the Mustangs ahead by 11 points with 2:00 left in the second frame. 

Ripley’s Blake Fyffe ended the scoring in the second quarter with a 3-pointer, leaving the LCHS lead at eight points at halftime. 

LCHS led 36-18 after the third frame was finished, winning the frame at 16-6. Though Ripley scored the first four points of the third frame — with both baskets scored by Ty Fyffe — it was the Mustangs who came back with four points of their own off baskets by Bell and Clinton, regaining the eight-point lead at 24-16 with 4:38 left on the scoreboard. 

Ty Fyffe scored a bucket for the Blue Jays with 3:49 left in the quarter, but that was all the scoring for the visitors for the rest of the third as LCHS ended the frame with a 12-0 run from the 3:33 mark until there was 20 seconds left in the quarter. 

“We’re really trying to make sure that we run our offense,” Callahan said. “I told them, sometimes it's going to take one or two passes, and sometimes it'll take five or six. That's fine. It's whatever the defense dictates in that possession. We've been really working on it and started really trying to hone in on it the last couple of weeks, and tonight, I was really, really pleased.”

The run began with a jumper by Clinton, followed with a West 3-pointer, and then a three-point play from Clinton as he scored a basket with a finger roll basket, followed by the ensuing free throw. From there, West sank a basket, and the quarter scoring ended with Clinton making two free throws. 

The final quarter saw the Mustangs take complete control of the game, outscoring the Blue Jays, 25-8. 

“I didn't think we played badly in the first half, but I thought our effort was even taken up another notch in the second half, and I thought just our rotations were very, very good on defense,” Callahan said. “I thought we just did a really good job of being where we were supposed to, you know, being aggressive, taking the traps when they were presenting themselves, playing with high hands and just playing defense.”

Lynchburg-Clay’s fourth quarter scoring included eight points by Clinton, five points from Bell, five points scored by West, Cordrey with five points and two points by Goings. 

Ripley was led in scoring for the game by Ty Fyffe with nine points.

The Mustangs’ win improves them to 6-9 overall and 3-6 in the SHAC Division I standings. Ripley falls to 0-8 in the SHAC Division II standings and 2-13 overall as RHS has lost four consecutive games. 

Next for the Mustangs is a road SHAC game on Friday, Jan. 26 at Peebles. 

Ripley is scheduled to play again on Friday, Jan. 26 in a SHAC away game at Manchester. 

      06 06 06 08 — 26
LCHS    07 13 16 25 — 61

LYNCHBURG-CLAY (61) — J.Cordrey 0 (2) 3-4 9, B.West 4 (2) 2-2 16, A.Bell 5 (0) 1-4 11, D.Clinton 8 (0) 7-7 23, C.Goings 1 (0) 0-0 2. TOTALS: 18 (4) 13-17 61. 

RIPLEY (26) — T.Fyffe 4 (0) 1-4 9, J.Bartley 1 (1) 0-0 5, B.Fyffe 0 (1) 1-2 4, N.Lacy 2 (0) 0-0 4, A.Manning 2 (0) 0-0 4. TOTALS: 9 (2) 2-6 26.