Clinton High’s playoff stay ended abruptly Wednesday night as visiting Powdersville stopped the No. 2 seed from Region 3-3A in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs, 68-59.
The Red Devils (13-7) played from behind for most of the night, but tied the score at 30-30 on a Wil Stewart 3-pointer with five minutes left in the third quarter.
But the Patriots answered with a 14-2 run to take a 44-32 lead with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter. Clinton rallied once more, going on an 8-2 run and trailing 46-40 heading into the final period.
Powdersville built a double-digit lead again in the fourth quarter, and Clinton got no closer than seven point the rest of the way.
The Patriots took advantage of a size advantage in the post and with 6-7 wing Kidd Brezek and post presence Hayden Assemian, getting the Red Devils in early foul trouble. Clinton was whistled for four personal fouls in the first four minutes of the game and seven before the Patriots picked up their first team foul in the first half. The Red Devils were in the double bonus with 5:05 left in the half.
Brezek scored a game-high 24 points – with 13 of that total coming from the free throw line – and led three Patriots in double figures. Asseman added 19 and Nick Sweet 15 for Powdersville (18-8).
Led by Brezek’s 20 free-throw attempts, the Patriots went to the foul line 38 times, while Clinton attempted 19 free throws and connected on 11 of them.
Stewart led the way for Clinton with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Taliek Fuller added 13 points, and Tylan Scurry chipped in 11 off the bench for the Red Devils. Both Stewart and junior guard Austin Copeland had to sit out chunks of the game with foul trouble in the second half.
Clinton’s season comes to an end after a 12-game turnaround from 2020-21 when the Red Devils won a single game.
“I’m proud of them. We’ve had a great year,” said Clinton head coach Eddie Romines. “But we’re not finished. We have 11 juniors on this team and we have a good JV team coming up.”
Laurens girls dominated by defending champs
Defending Class 4A state champion and top-ranked Westside lived up to its billing and perfect record Wednesday, beating Laurens 82-37 Wednesday night in Anderson.
Laurens, the No. 4 seed from Region 2-4A, trailed 26-4 at the end of the first quarter and 39-13 at halftime.
Qua Forston and Raniya Jackson accounted for 26 of the Raiders’ 37 points. Fortson finished with 15, including 13 in the third quarter following a scoreless first half, and Jackson added 11. Ahri Scott led four Rams in double figures with a game-high 20 points.
Westside is now 24-0 on the season.
The Raiders, who made the playoffs for the first time in recent memory under second-year head coach Aianna Kelly, finish their season at 6-13.
The LDHS boys, the No. 3 seed from Region 2-4A, is set to travel to Easley Thursday for their first-round playoff game against the Green Wave, the No. 2 seed from Region 1-4A..