CLARENDON- It’s becoming a matter of just taking care of business for the Clarendon Broncos, and Friday night was an ideal snapshot of how they’ve been doing that.
In an early District 2-2A matchup to determine sole possession of the district lead, Clarendon didn’t fool around against Wellington. The Broncos got out to a huge first half lead thanks in large part to their stifling defense and withstood a strong second half shooting effort by the Skyrockets to cruise to a 62-44 victory which affirmed they’re the team to beat in the district.
With a No. 12 ranking in the state, not to mention the last two Class 2A state titles, Clarendon (10-9, 3-0 in district) has a lot to live up to every time it takes the floor. The standard has been set to the point where Clarendon coach Boston Hudson can afford to nitpick about his team’s second half performance.
“To be honest it was just a poor second half,” Hudson said. “To hold (Wellington) to 10 points in the first half, the second half was disappointing. The first half we played really solid defense and to have that 21-point lead was nice.”
Clarendon never trailed and was especially dominant in the first half. The Broncos gave up only four field goals in the first half and closed the half with an 11-0 run to take a 31-10 halftime lead.
It looked as if the rout was on early in the third quarter as Clarendon got up by as many as 23 points. But Wellington (14-4, 2-1) suddenly found the range from outside to stay in it.
The Skyrockets hit six 3-pointers in the second half, including five in the second quarter. Bryant Tarver hit three 3-pointers in the quarter and scored 17 of his 21 in the second half.
Wellington chipped away and midway through the fourth quarter cut it to 51-41.
“I think we kind of relaxed in the second half but we were able to finish the game,” Hudson said. “They’re a 3-point shooting team and that’s what I told our guys during a timeout in the fourth quarter. I’m proud of the effort but we’ve got to tighten some things.”
The Broncos were able to put the game away by finishing with an 11-3 run. They were especially accurate from the free throw line in the final quarter, sinking all nine of their attempts.
Lyric Smith led Clarendon with 21 points. Tyler Harper added 13 and Jmaury Davis had 10. Brenden Garcia scored 11 points for Wellington.
Wellington 6 10 32 44
Clarendon 12 31 49 62
W– Bryant Tarver 21, Brenden Garcia 11. C– Lyric Smith 21, Tyler Harper 13, Jmaury Davis 10. Records: Wellington 14-4, 2-1. Clarendon 10-9, 3-0.