Clinton High senior Donell Williams was a starter for the Arrows for most of the season. But the 5-foot-8 guard is adjusting well to his new role coming off the bench.
Williams poured in a game-high 20 points Tuesday night to lead Clinton to a 74-51 victory over Northwest Rankin.
“I just try to give us a spark off the bench like Jamal Crawford does for the Clippers,” said Williams. “We have a lot of chemistry on this team because we have been playing together since the eighth grade. We just have to put it together.”
Williams scored half of his points in a 4-minute stretch in the second quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers to help the Arrows (12-9) build a 29-23 halftime lead.
“Donell played well,” said second-year Arrows coach Clay Norton. “If we can get consistent guard play between Robert Younkins, Marcus (Washington), Anfernee ( Felton) and Donell it could be hard to beat us with four guards on the floor.”
Felton finished with 15 points and Washington had 11. The two produced a couple of highlights in the second half, including a dominant third quarter where they outscored the Cougars 25-12.
Washington’s no-look pass to Buka Okoye, who finished it with a dunk, put Clinton up 54-35 at the end of the third. Washington then opened up the fourth quarter with a dunk of his own, starting off a 10-0 run to start the final quarter. The run also included a Felton-to-Washington alley-oop dunk.
“Everything goes around Marcus because he is so athletic,” Norton said. “And our guards complement each other well. Sometimes they are too selfish and sometimes they aren’t selfish enough.”
Jadarius Scott scored 17 points and Anthony Spann had 13 for the Cougars (11-6).
“Jadarius is playing well, probably averaging 25 points over our last four games,” said Northwest Rankin coach David Sanders.
The Cougars, who couldn’t get many shots to fall in the second half, perhaps could have used the services of their coach, the former Mr. Basketball from Provine in 1998 who went on to star at Ole Miss.
“We were 2-for-19 on 3-pointers and Clinton did a good job in that zone,” said Sanders. “We shot too many from the perimeter instead of trusting what we like to do.”
Northwest Rankin will travel to play Madison Central on Friday in a key Division 4-6A game, while Clinton will travel to play No. 6 Vicksburg in Division 3-6A action.
“I think we’re starting to play with a little more consistency,” said Norton, who led Forest Hill to the Class 5A state title game in 2007. “I’m not a fan of moral victories, but we have had some good losses, if there is such a thing. Six of our nine losses are by a combined 27 points and we have played some good competition.”