Oak Ridge trailed by seven points early in a Thursday night game against Clinton, but three Wildcats came off the bench and helped flip the lead.
Clinton had taken an early lead and widened it to 15-8 halfway through the first quarter in a district game at Wildcat Arena.
But Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green put in three bench players: senior forward Shemar Smith, junior guard Jack Replogle, and sophomore guard/forward Jonathan Stewart.
The Wildcats then went on a 13-0 scoring run in the next 3.5 minutes to take a 21-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
They never trailed after that.
The bench provided a spark after a lethargic start for Oak Ridge, Green said.
“They gave us a lift,” Green said of Smith, Replogle, and Stewart.
Oak Ridge senior guard Marcus Smith led all scorers with 34 points. He was 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
Senior guard JaVonte Thomas scored 20 points for the Wildcats (12-4, 4-1 District 3-AAA). Senior guard Herbert Booker added 10 points, and Stewart had nine.
The Dragons (9-8, 3-3) were led by junior point guard Evan Winchester, who scored 25 points. Winchester made four three-point shots and was 9-of-12 from the free throw line.
Clinton senior guard/forward Luke Harrison scored 13 points, and junior guard Chase Lockard added 12, including on three three-point shots.
“They’re solid,” Green said of the Dragons, pointing out Winchester’s 25 points and adding that the players around him can shoot also.
Green thought fatigue might have been a factor later in the game for Clinton as the Dragons battled against Oak Ridge’s pressure.
The Wildcats will play another district game at Wildcat Arena on Saturday, taking on Central (9-6, 5-1) at 7:30 p.m.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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