Red Raiders overcome Gardner's 34 points

By ADAM GORE / Special to the Journal

HOUSTON – Jemar Clifton made sure David Gardner’s double-double performance was not enough for Okolona on Saturday.
Clifton and the Shannon Red Raiders (2-1) rallied for the 73-62 victory over Gardner and the Chieftains (5-1) in the Hilltopper Thanksgiving Classic at Houston High Schoo.
Okolona saw a 12-point lead slip away early in the fourth quarter, but pulled within one, 58-57, on an offensive rebound and put-back by Gardner.
That’s when Clifton went to work.
The senior forward scored seven of the Raiders’ final 15 points in the final 2:45 of the contest to help Shannon pick up the come-from-behind victory.
Clifton finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds while Gardner scored a classic-high 34 points and 13 rebounds.
Also on Saturday:
• Corinth 69, Calhoun City 41 (B): Eric Richardson scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter to help the Warriors (3-1) outscore the Wildcats 28-3 in the third and eventually pull away for victory in the first game of the day.
Dominique Cook paced the short-handed Wildcats (1-2) with 11 points.
• Grenada 56, Aberdeen 53: The Chargers (4-1) held off a furious comeback from Rico Haughton and the Bulldogs (2-1) in the second game of the classic.
Haughton hit back-to-back-to-back three pointers in the final minutes of the game to pull the Bulldogs to a three-point deficit aided by numerous empty trip to the free throw line by the Chargers, but Grenada help off Aberdeen in the final seconds to hold on for the win.
Maurice Dunlap paced Grenada with 22 points while Elliot Johnson scored 13 for Aberdeen.
• New Hope 71, Houston 63: The Trojans (3-1) used a 16-6 run in the third quarter to pull away from the host Hilltoppers (3-1) in the final game of the day.
Jamal Richardson scored 19 and Jock Pilgram added 17 for the Trojans. Lazerick Pulliam scored a game-high 21 for Houston.