Clinton County is headed back to the Region 4 Tournament semifinals.
The Bulldogs, taking on Franklin-Simpson in the last quarterfinal matchup, had to battle with the Wildcats but made more plays down the stretch and used a strong defensive fourth quarter to come away with a 53-42 win on Wednesday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Chase Stines led the way for Clinton County (24-7 overall) – which will face Warren Central in Monday’s 7:45 p.m. semifinal – with 13 points, while Nick Brown scored 10.
Andreyous Miller carried the Wildcats, who finished their season 14-16, with 25 points.
Evan Dearborn’s 3-pointer at the 4:00 mark of the first quarter gave Clinton County a 10-3 lead and triggered a Franklin-Simpson timeout. Caleb Guffey later converted a three-point play to put the Bulldogs up 13-5, and they led 15-7 after eight minutes of action.
Blake Melton’s triple with just over five minutes remaining in the second put Clinton County up 22-11 – and he hit another on the next possession to quickly make it 25-11 Bulldogs.
Bryson Cross scored inside to give Clinton County a 27-18 lead, and it took that same advantage into the locker room at the break.
Franklin-Simpson got within 34-28 with 4:00 remaining in the third, and its deficit was at just 41-36 entering the fourth.
Nick Brown’s triple with 4:03 left put the Bulldogs up 46-38, and Stines scored inside to make it a 10-point contest with 2:56 left.
The Wildcats got it back within single digits, but Clinton County was able to come away with the 11-point victory to extend its season.
FSHS – 7 11 18 6 — 42
CCHS – 15 12 14 12 — 53
FS: Andreyous Miller 25, DeMarco Chatman 4, Demarcus Hogan 4, Kyjuan Stutzman 3, Isaac Marshall 2, Tedric Partinger 2, Dawson Knight 2.
CC: Chase Stines 13, Nick Brown 10, Blake Melton 10, Caleb Guffey 9, Evan Dearborn 6, Bryson Cross 5.