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Middle School Boys Basketball: Clarkton School of Discovery 32, Bladenboro 29

CLARKTON – Garrett Melvin and Cornelius McArthur scored key baskets in the closing minute that lifted Clarkton School of Discovery to a 32-29 victory over Bladenboro in the semi-finals of the Bladen Five Middle School Boys Tournament.

Donovan Stone’s rebound basket gave the Bulldogs their first lead since the first quarter at 29-28 with 1:53 left to play.

Melvin drove the lane and flipped in a runner for a 30-29 Blue Devil lead at the 1:15 mark. McArthur stole a Bulldog in-bounds pass and dropped in a lay-up for a 32-29 lead with 29 seconds remaining. Both teams missed 2 foul shots each in the final 24 seconds.

Melvin led Clarkton with 9 points, and center J. T. Junious totaled 7 points and pulled down 20 rebounds. Jacob Priest finished with 6 points and 8 rebounds, and Jake Garrison added 4 points. McArthur grabbed 5 rebounds, and Malachi Oxendine had 4 rebounds.

Adams recorded a double-double of 19 points and 21 rebounds to lead Bladenboro. Brycen Blackmon finished with 5 points, and Joshua Lewis and Stone grabbed 5 rebounds each.

After Junious hit an early Blue Devil free throw, Lewis and Adams drove for lay-ups and a 4-1 Bulldog lead. Junious scored on a follow shot, and Priest vaulted Clarkton in front 5-4 with a lay-up 5 seconds before the quarter break.

Jake Garrison and Melvin bombed in 3-point shots, and Priest tossed in a baseline runner for a 13-4 Blue Devil lead two minutes into the second quarter.

Adams drove for a lay-up that turned into a 3-point play, but Melvin answered with a lay-up to keep the Clarkton lead at 15-7. Adams put back a rebound and banked in a 6-footer, and teammate Blackmon buried a 3-point shot as the Bulldogs sliced the lead to 15-14. Junious muscled in a rebound for a 17-14 CSD halftime lead.

Blackmon pumped in a 16-footer to start the second half for Bladenboro. Priest sank 2 free throws, and Junious hit one to pad the Blue Devil lead to 20-16.

Adams turned a Stone assist into a lay-up, but Junious responded with a follow shot. Adams drove for another lay-up that resulted in a 3-point play and whittled the lead to 22-21, but Nyshawn McMillian popped in a baseline jumper for a 24-21 Clarkton lead at the quarter break.

Adams opened the final period with a lay-up off of an in-bounds pass. McArthur pumped in a corner jumper for a 26-23 lead. Lewis made a free throw, but Melvin connected on a runner to push the lead to 28-24.

Adams raced to the basket for another lay-up that turned into a 3-point play and pulled Bladenboro to within 28-27 with 3:33 on the clock.

Clarkton, now 6-3, advanced to play top-seeded Elizabethtown Thursday at 6 p.m. in the championship game.

CLARKTON SCHOOL OF DISCOVERY (32) – Garrett Melvin 9, Jake Garrison 4, Jacob Priest 6, J. T. Junious 7, Malachi Oxendine, Cornelius McArthur 4, Donevin Keith, Nyshawn McMillian 2, Jackson Bostic, Nick Norris, Javious Brooks, Joseph Masaid, Nathan Lacewell.

BLADENBORO (29) – Shy’Ron Adams 19, Joshua Lewis 3, Bryley Williams, Donovan Stone 2, Andrew Pait, Jaylen Morse, Brycen Blackmon 5, Gary Parker, Walter Bealon, Elijah Crabtree, Jude Stanley, Jarrett Kinlaw, Ricky Brisson.

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