Jan 24, 2013
In the first battle of the two heavyweights in the Greater Neuse River Conference, it was the Garner Trojans behind a balanced attack of six players in double figures who got the best of the Clayton Comets, 88-83 on Wednesday night inside Garner's Trojan Coliseum.
As one might expect it was a back-and-forth contest with each team holding leads of no more than six points at any time.
Garner (12-2, 6-0) controlled the opening eight minutes with a 12-0 spurt to take a 25-23 lead into the second quarter. However, Clayton (15-2, 6-1) owned the second stanza outscoring Garner 18-14 to take a 41-39 lead into the halftime break.
Trailing by two points to start the second half, Garner went on a three point barrage knocking down four consecutive shots from Julius Barnes and Sammy Saunders to build 48-41 lead. But, as good teams do the Comets came storming back to pull to within one point at 59-58 with just over two minutes left in the quarter.
Garner would work the post in the final moments of the third quarter as Jasper Stallings got hot scoring six of his career high 10 points in the third and Saunders poured in eight of his career high 17 in the same period to lift the men of Troy to a 67-64 lead after three.
Clayton had an answer however building a four-point lead in the final quarter thanks to the play of Gary Clark who scored 15 of his game high 42 points in the final quarter including going 20-of-23 from the free throw line in the contest.
However, the Trojans were able to overcome Clark and the Comets attack thanks to clutch free throw shooting in the final two minutes to take control of first place in the Greater Neuse River with an 88-83 victory.
Garner and Clayton will face off for the second and final time in the regular season on Friday night at Jerry Smith Court. Tip-off is slated for 8:00.