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March 7, 2013

‘Special’ season comes to a close

Clintondale boys basketball team wins MAC Silver title, falls in district quarters

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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‘Special’ season comes to a close
The Clinton Township Clintondale boys basketball team won a share of the MAC Silver Division title for the first time since 2009. Pictured is Dragons forward Lamont Nelson during Clintondale’s 62-52 MHSAA state playoff loss to Warren Lincoln March 4.

WARREN— The Clinton Township Clintondale boys basketball team won its first Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title since the 2008-09 season.

The Dragons won with defense, according to coach Rob Townsend. For the season, Clintondale allowed 46.9 points per game, using a variety of half- and full-court man and zone schemes to stymie opponents. That number is good for fifth in the 36-team MAC.

Clintondale — which went 12-2 in winning the MAC Silver, a title it shares with St. Clair Shores Lakeview — tallied 48 points per game. That average is the lowest of any league champion in the MAC in two years.

“Earlier in the year, I just said I’d be glad if we were in the race for the league title because of what Lakeview had coming back,” Townsend said. “For us to win it is something special for the kids.”

The Dragons weren’t able to build on that success, however, falling to Warren Lincoln 62-52 March 4 in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Class B district quarterfinal. The setback ends Clintondale’s bid to repeat as district champs.

The Dragons’ 2012 district crown was the program’s first since 1992.

“We started the season 2-3, and we were playing from behind all season,” Townsend said.

“We got behind (against Lincoln), too. They could have folded, but they didn’t. They fought hard, just like they have all year long.”

The Dragons, which finished the season 14-7, went 12-4 after that slow start and never had a losing streak.

“(The district quarterfinal) was kind of like our whole season,” Townsend said. “We were down in games at a lot of points, but we battled all year and we’re division champs. We just dug too big a hole for ourselves against Lincoln.”

Townsend, in his sixth year as Clintondale head coach, is optimistic about the future, as the Dragons next year will return five players.

The Clintondale coach said Semaj Richardson, Greg Robinson and Dominick Hallums would step into bigger roles next season, after seeing significant playing time this year.

“These guys are all-around players,” Townsend said. “They can all do a lot of different things on the court.

“Our success this season shows you the type of character our players have. Most of them played football and won a championship there. To win a championship in basketball on top of that was incredible.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.