By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
CLAY – The Clay Chalkville Cougars boys basketball team are off to a pretty good start for the 2023 basketball season. In four days, they played in three games with their only break coming on November 8 and in those games, they went 2-1 with the only loss coming to a Gadsden City team whose only loss is to Hewitt Trussville earlier in the year. Tuesday night, the Cougars took on the Shades Valley Mounties and improved to 3-1 with a 45-41.
Clay Chalkville 62 Springville 49
In the season opening game, the Cougars traveled to Springville to take on the Tigers. Clay used a great first half on defense and big second a third quarters (25 and 22 points respectively) to beat Springville. Devin McKinnon had 26 points and four rebounds to lead all scorers. KJ Kirk added 17 points and five rebounds while Demar Hinton had seven points and Austin Ray had four points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Clay Chalkville 57 Gadsden City 61
The Cougars got to stay on their home court for game number two, as the Titans from Gadsden City High School traveled to take on Clay Chalkville on Thursday, November 9. The Titans jumped out big in the first quarter and simply held on for the rest of the game to outscore the home standing Cougars in the end. A 21-12 first quarter spelled doom for the home team in this one. Despite their best efforts, the lead was too big and the Cougars fell to 1-1 with a four-point loss to Gadsden City. McKinnon led all scorers for the second game in a row, this time with 19. Erin Callens, Aces Kennedy, and Kaleb Duncan all contributed nine points each in the loss.
Clay Chalkville 67 Opelika 53
The Cougars got back into the win column during a Friday afternoon game against the Opelika Bulldogs. Another great offensive performance and just enough defense gave Clay the 14-point win in the end. McKinnon ended the game with 19 points for the second game in a row and led scoring for the Cougars for the third time on the season. He also had five rebounds. Erin Callens added 14 points, four assists, and three rebounds. KJ Kirk had 10 points and four rebounds while Demar Hinton had nine points and three rebounds.
Clay Chalkville 45 Shades Valley 41
The cougars traveled to Shades Valley for a clash of Tribune teams for the second time of the young season (the first being the season opener against Springville). Clay got their lowest offensive output of the year against the tough Mountie defense while also playing great defense themselves. It took overtime to decide this one and Clay held the Mounties scoreless in the extra period to get the win. Erin Callens led the Cougars in this one with 12 points, getting most of that in the first quarter (6). Devon McKinnon continued his great season scoring 10 points himself in the game.
The Cougars will host Pell City on Thursday night.