Dai’Vontrelle Strong put on a show Friday night.
The Beloit Turner sophomore scored 32 points and hauled down 26 rebounds to lead Beloit Turner to a 78-52 win over Clinton in a Rock Valley Conference game.
Turner (7-1, 5-1 RVC) broke the game open thanks to a 50-point first half, as Clinton (2-5, 1-5 RVC) had no answer for the Strong. The 6-foot-6 center had 18 points in the first half, including four baskets on offensive rebounds.
Despite a big win Tuesday over Walworth Big Foot, Strong was not pleased with his overall game. He more than made up for it against the Cougars.
“I was a little off Tuesday, so I felt like I had to pick myself back up and get the job done tonight,” Strong said after Turner’s sixth straight win. “Coach is always telling me that our success as a team is going to have to start with me, and that’s why I wanted to come out tonight and play better than I did Tuesday.
“Once I made back-to-back baskets early in the game, I felt like I could score when I wanted to. And, I know if I get double-teamed, I can kick it out to my teammates and they will hit open shots.”
Turner hit plenty of open shots the first half. The Trojans filled up the scorebook from the 14-minute mark to the end of the first half. Leading 9-8, Turner went on a 41-16 run to break the game open. Strong converted underneath to make it 36-18, and Sereno Ferone followed with a layup that gave the Trojans a 20-point lead with 6:01 left in the half. The Cougars got no closer the rest of the way.
Clinton coach John Gracyalny said his team ran into a special player in Strong.
“He just took over,” Gracyalny said of Strong. “And we did a poor job of helping out and getting a body on him on the boards. He’s a very athletic kid. He’s very springy, and when he missed a shot, he went right back up and got the rebound.
“We had some shots that didn’t fall, they made a run, and it just kind of steamrolled after that. Give them credit. That’s nice team. They’re very athletic and pass the ball very well.”
Steve Dillard added 15 points for Turner, while Tyler Halsted had 14 points to lead Clinton.
TURNER 78, CLINTON 52
Turner (78)—Reyes 0-1-1; Wash Jr. 5-0-11; Strong 15-2-32; Ferone 4-0-10; Dillard 5-2-15; Malkow 0-2-2; Majeed 0-2-2; Tinder 1-0-2; Marquardt 1-0-3. Totals: 31-9-78
Clinton (52)—Halsted 3-6-14; Krause 1-1-3; Gracyalny 2-6-12; Paschke 4-2-10; Stauss 2-2-6; Ballmer 1-2-4; Anastasi 1-1-3. Totals: 14-20-52
Beloit Turner 50 28—78
Clinton 24 28—52
Three-point goals—Turner 7 (Dillard 3, Ferone, Wash Jr., Marquardt), Clinton 4 (Gracyalny 2, Halsted 2). Free throws missed—Turner 4, Clinton 8. Total fouls—Turner 21, Clinton 16.