By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Country Day too much for Claxton
Placeholder Image
    CLAXTON — The Savannah Country Day Hornets used strong outside shooting by Patrick Blackburn and Zach Samuels to outscore the Claxton Tigers (3-13, 2-4 Region 3-A) and hang on to second place in the region standings with a 65-34 win on the road Saturday night.
    The score remained knotted at zero for the first 2:26 of the contest, before Claxton’s Cory Greene ended the draught with a long three-pointer that put CHS up 3-0. After a Bradley Jones layup cut the Tiger lead to one, a pair of David Toraya free throws gave the Hornets (9-4, 4-1) a 4-3 lead.
    The lead changed hands six times in the first period. After Claxton jumped back on top on the strength of a JaMalcolm Morgan jumper with 2:57 to go in the quarter, both squads put on a clinic from behind the arc. The teams combined for five-straight 3s to end the quarter.
    Blackburn took a pass from Samuels and hit the first of his five tre’s to put Country Day back on top, and Claxton’s Tristian McCoy answered with another 3. Blackburn responded in kind, before Greene buried one of his own. Blackburn ended the first with his second 3-pointer that gave the Hornets a 13-11 advantage heading into the second quarter.
    Country Day tightened up in the second, allowing only three Tiger points, and hit the locker room with a 31-15 lead.
    “We had a rivalry game (Friday) night,” said Country Day coach Travis Priddy. “I think our guys were a little drained with (Saturday’s) early start. I just don’t think we were really into it. We’ve been having a tough time coming out in the third quarter all year. One of the things we talk about — no more pressure and playing to win. I think we got a lead and we were playing not to lose the game instead of playing to win. We just stayed aggressive and kept attacking.”
    The Hornets had no trouble keeping up the third-quarter intensity in this one, building a 47-24 lead heading into the final period.
    Blackburn’s 15 points led all scorers, while Toraya notched a double-double, netting 12 points and hauling in 10 rebounds.
    Morgan and Greene led Claxton with eight points apiece.
    Heading into the final stretch of the season with only one region loss to their credit, Priddy and the Hornets are optimistic.
    “We’ve played well in our region,” Priddy said. “We’ve lost one, I think by seven points to Portal. We’ve done a good job with everybody else so far. We’re going through (the region schedule) the second time around. They’re going to make adjustments. Now they know how we’re playing. They know our style. We’re just going to keep playing the way we play. We won’t make too many adjustments. Hopefully they’ll have to adjust to the way we play, and that will give us an advantage.”
    Claxton hosts Richmond Hill Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Lady Hornets 55, Lady Tigers  27
    Despite out-scoring the Savannah Country Day Lady Hornets (14-2, 5-0 Region 3-A) 13-2 in the final quarter, the Claxton Lady Tigers (1-15, 1-5) dropped the region matchup 55-27 Saturday afternoon in Claxton.
    The Hornets used dominant outside shooting to counteract the strong inside presence of the Tiger defense, with Katelyn Hilliard and Melissa Burkhamer knocking down jumpers in the first quarter to help SCD jump out to an early 16-3 lead heading into the second. All of Claxton’s three first-quarter points came from the foul line.
    “We were successful early and hit well from the outside to open up the inside for us today,” said Lady Hornet coach Dale Parker. “We’ve been fortunate to score inside and out all year, but recently our outside shooters have started shooting the ball really well.”
    The Tiger defense tightened up on the perimeter, but that opened up the middle for SCD forward Blake Stafford. Aided by a pair of Hillard 3-pointers, Country Day took a 35-12 lead to the locker room.
    The third quarter saw the Hornet defense hold Claxton to only one bucket, a lay-in by Desare Hollard and the Tigers found themselves down 39 heading into the final period.
    Although the Tigers started off the fourth hot, jumping on a 9-0 run, it was not enough to close the gap.
    Burkhamer led all scorers with 16 points and added six assists. Hillard put up 12 along with her seven boards, and Katherine Dotsun added 10 points for Country Day.
    Lacresha Brewton led the way for the Tigers with eight points, and Kris Johnson headed up the defense with 10 rebounds.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.