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HIGHLIGHTS: Red-hot Clinton beats Murrah 75-55 on senior night

Clinton coach Leonard Taylor talks with guard Tyler Nichols during the Arrows' 75-55 win over Murrah on Friday, Jan. 28 in Clinton. (Photo by Tyler Cleveland)

Clinton coach Leonard Taylor talks with guard Tyler Nichols during the Arrows' 75-55 win over Murrah on Friday, Jan. 28 in Clinton. (Photo by Tyler Cleveland)

CLINTON — The Clinton Arrows may not be the same team that Kimani Hamilton, Allen Hughes lift Clinton boys basketball to first Mississippi state championship in 28 years (video, photos)

">beat Starkville to win the first basketball championship in 28 seasons a year ago, but they looked ready to repeat Friday night at the Clinton Gym.

The Arrows blew by Murrah 75-55 on senior night to close out the regional portion of their schedule at a perfect 6-0. It was Clinton's 10th win in a row, and guarantees them to top seed in the Region 4-6A Tournament in two weeks.

Clinton's four starting seniors, led by Allen Hughes and Kimani Hamilton combined to score 47 points.

"It was senior night tonight, so we needed to set our emotions aside and settle into our game," Clinton coach Leonard Taylor said. "We've got a great group of guys, one through five. Kimani gets a lot of the attention, and I understand why, but I've got three or four more guys who could go anywhere in the state and start and play and be the man."

All of Taylor's playmakers took turns putting on a show against the Mustangs (13-7).

Senior Brandon Taylor got things going when he drilled a three-pointer from the corner to give the Arrows an early 11-5 lead. Then another senior — guard Ashten Neal — got the hot hand with back-to-back three-pointers to stretch the lead to 22-9 by the end of the quarter.

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The second quarter was Clinton's worst of the night offensively, but sophomore Za'kariyea Hamilton kept the Arrows in the game. He scored seven of Clinton's 11 points, and Kimani Hamilton drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Arrows the 33-20 lead at the half.

Hughes and Kimani Hamilton really got it going in the third quarter. Hughes played Robin to Hamilton's Batman, lobbing a couple of perfect passes to set up alley-oop dunks and helping Clinton stretch its lead to 50-29 to start the fourth quarter.

The Arrows led by as many as 26 in the fourth, matching Murrah's best offensive quarter (25 points) with their best of the night (26).

Hughes led the Arrows with 14 points. Ashten Neal scored 13 and Za'kariyea and Kimani Hamilton finished with 12 and 11, respectively.

"I couldn't be any prouder of this group for the way they've played down the stretch and in region play," Taylor said. "This truly is a brotherhood in here. These guys want to play for each other. Kimani is a perfect example — he's a guy who could go out and score 30 or 40 points a game, but he loves getting his teammates involved and sharing the ball, and that makes us a better team."

The loss was the fourth in five games for Murrah. Corterius Scott led Murrah with a game-high 24 points. The Mustangs will likely be the three-seed in the Region 4-6A Tournament next week.

Check out highlights from the game here: