UNION – De’Shanti Watts scored 15 points to lead the Clinton girls past Union County, 55-42, in the Region 3-3A basketball opener for the reigning champion.

Watts hit 5 field goals and 5 free throws (in 15 attempts), but the Red Devils connected on just 12 of 29 foul shots as a team. Tinique Austin also scored in double figures with 11 points (4 field goals, 3-8 free throws). Also scoring for Clinton (3-1, 1-0 region) were Dana Kinard with 8 points, Grayson Taylor with 7, Taneal Evans 6, and Serenity Baker and Madison Swindler, both with 4.

Head coach John Gardner called it “a great team win” and added, “We controlled the game pretty well from the start. I’m proud of this team and how it is coming together.”

Carmen Glenn led the Yellow Jackets with 20 points, and Carly Sumner added 11. Union (2-2, 0-1) hit 15 field goals and 13 of 21 free throws.

The Union County boys put four players – K.J. McCurrey with 25 points, Jarryson Hunter with 15, and both Shy Smith and Timmy Salter with 12 – in double figures en route to a 72-59 victory over the Red Devils.

Clinton (1-4, 0-1) countered with Jadden Copeland’s 17 points and 10 each for Austin Copeland and Taliek Fuller.

Wilson Wages added 9, Wil Stewart 7, Kimon Quarles 3, Peyton Pitts 2 and Jamon Golden 1.

“I’m disappointed we lost, but we played well,” head coach Eddie Romines said. “The game was much closer than the score indicates.”

It was the Red Devils’ third game in as many nights: a win over Ninety Six and losses to Ben Lippen and Union (3-5, 1-0).

“The guys are working hard and improving every day,” Romines added.

Clinton hit 4 3-pointers and 15 of its 19 free-throw attempts.

Back in Clinton, the Red Devil JV boys, led by KeLaja Byrd with 7 points and M.J. Henderson with 6, edged Union County, 33-32.

The game’s leading scorer was the Yellow Jackets’ Koheen Minnick, who scored 10 points.

Other Clinton scorers were four players – DeVanta Cunningham, C.J. Young, Zay Johnson and Kadon Crawford – each scored 4 points. Jaden Hill and Quay Ryant added 2 apiece.