By Erik Harris
PINSON – No. 8 Clay-Chalkville had four guys score in double figures to push the Cougars past Pinson Valley 81-60 on Friday night.
The road win improved Clay-Chalkville’s Class 6A, Area 12 record to 2-1. Head coach Clint Argo and the Indians currently sit at 0-3 in area play.
Sophomore forward Nico Collins led the visitors with 16 points, almost all of which came in the paint. Senior point guard Hasan Abdullah wasn’t far behind with 15.
Kenneth Cotton slashed his way to 13 points and senior David Turner posted 12.
Many of those points came when the Cougars turned defense into transition offense. Those high-percentage buckets got Clay-Chalkville off to a 22-11 advantage going into the second quarter. They shot well on 7-of-13 shots in the opening eight minutes of play.
“Everything’s predicated on our defense, when we guard and not really worry about the offensive end, we’re better on offense,” Clay-Chalkville head coach Jeremy Monceaux said.
An early Cameron Lawrence 3-pointer gave Pinson Valley the lead out of the gate, but that momentum didn’t last as the Cougars extended their 11-point lead with a 9-0 run to start the second frame.
“I was really happy with the way we came out of the gate, I could tell in the locker room we were ready to play,” Monceaux said.
From there Clay-Chalkville controlled the contest, always holding at least a 20-point lead until Indians point guard Donevan Waldrop got hot.
“(Waldrop) is a very talented player,” Monceaux said. “I thought we did a good job in the beginning of not gambling and making him stay in front of us.”
Waldrop’s consecutive 3-pointers drew his team to within 19 with four minutes remaining in the game. He dropped three fourth-quarter deep balls, and got help from fellow guard D’Andre Hart who struck from behind the arc late.
Waldrop finished with a game-high 21 points.
The Cougars answered that scoring flurry by making four of their final five shots. Senior Carden Davis made two of them.
Clay-Chalkville will host Center Point on Tuesday night.