Thursday night, we had the opportunity to broadcast the Clinton City Blaze basketball doubleheader against Caryville, and we were not disappointed.
Playing in front of a packed house with all the pomp and circumstance associated with high school hoops, the Lady Blaze got things started with an impressive 27-24 win over previously-unbeaten Caryville. Clinton got 12 points from Lanee Carmichael and Shelby Kelly added six points as the Lady Blaze improved to 12-3 on the season. Bralee Hall had five points, Josie Moody added three in her first game back after a knee injury and Ashton Chamblee rounded out the scoring with one point. As a team, Clinton played stifling defense all night long.
Colie Thompson led the Lady Cardinals with 11 points, Emma Kate Lawson added six, Lakin Smith chipped in three and both Reagan Davis and Macey Kibler scored two points apiece for Caryville, which fell to 10-1.
Far less drama in the nightcap, as the Blaze boys throttled Caryville 39-11, thnaks again in large part to stifling team defense and a balanced scoring attack. Braylen Hayden led Clinton with 9 points, Hayden Craig added seven, Andrew McAmis tallied six, as did Jaxon Wilburn, Zayden Ford hit for four points, Brian Hall, Carson Richardson and Adison Simmons scored two points each and the scoring was rounded out by Cambden Britton with one point. The Blaze are now 9-5 on the season.
Caryville fell to 9-2 despite a balanced attack. Cameron Lawson, Reid Chapman, Logan Belew, Tyler Cook and Rylan Rice each scored two points while Jake Lawson added one.
If you have not had a chance to check out the Blaze, you need to do it if for no other reason than just the outstanding gameday atmosphere, and the simple joy of watching basketball played purely for the love of the game.
Hats off to the Clinton City School System and the Clinton community for their support of the fast-growing Blaze athletic program.