Clayton Rains is glad to be a part of Chadwick’s second straight District championship and the Cardinals’ full-court pressure.
Rains scored 17 points Saturday to help power Chadwick to a 60-32 victory versus Lutie in the Class 1 District 4 championship game.
The Cardinals’ senior center initially decided not to play this season, but was back in uniform by Thanksgiving.
“I was kind of tired of basketball and my brother wasn’t going to be here to play with me,” Rains said, referring to his older brother, Calvin, an All-Mark Twain Conference pick last year. “It was mostly about my brother not being here.I came and watched one game, the first game of the season. I thought, ‘This ain’t right me not being out there.’
“I went to coach (Shawn Guerin) and he said it wasn’t too late, that I had to get my 14 practices in,” he added. “I got my practices in and started playing. I look back and I’m glad I’m playing.”
“We were very thankful he came back,” guard Garrett Gardner said. “We didn’t have a lot of players. With another body we were able to take breathers on the bench.”
Rains gives Chadwick a presence in the paint. The 6-foot-0, 200-pounder proved to be too much for Lutie to handle, even after he endured a slow start shooting.
“I was feeling pretty good, other than I couldn’t buy a free throw,” Rains said. “I couldn’t make my power layups, either. Once I saw a ball go in the basket, that’s what I was needing. Any time I wanted the ball or wanted to get a rebound, I could get the ball.”
Rains has the build of an offensive lineman, but does well to get up and down the floor as part of Chadwick’s full-court press.
“We do a lot of conditioning, so it don’t bother me much,” Rains said of the Cardinals’ up-tempo style. “I sweat real bad. There are some games I get tired, but some games I’m just fine. Most people say I need to play football, but we don’t have it. I don’t know if I would play if we did have it. I’ve never played.”
“Clayton can move. He’s very agile,” Gardner said. “He’s one of our main guys down the floor. When we look for him, he’s there to finish layups.”
“I coached Clayton since he was small in the fourth grade. He understands the system and what he has to do,” Guerin said. “I coached (former Cardinal center) Jaron VanHouden for seven years. Big guys who have a work ethic will adjust. They both understood and bought into the system.”
The Cardinals’ press flustered Lutie. The Indians committed 34 turnovers, including 20 in the first half.
Chadwick was up 43-18 by halftime.
“We sped them up and they threw it all over the gym,” Rains said. “They got frustrated and were kind of arguing with each other. We could tell we were in their heads and they were fixing to quit. That’s when we went for the kill.”
“We could see at the end of the first quarter, when they were throwing the ball all over,” Gardner said. “We could we were starting to get them rattled. When schools press us, we’re like, ‘Let’s hurry up and break it so they will get out of it.’ (Full-court pressure) is annoying. When someone doesn’t come out of, you’re sick of it by the end of the game.”
Clayton Garrison added 15 points for the Cardinals and Paden Gilbert had 11.
LUTIE (32) — Billingsley 2 0-0 5, Collins 3 2-2 8, Anderson 1 1-2 3, Ault 3 0-0 8, Garrison 1 0-2 2, Jennings 3 0-0 6.
CHADWICK (60) — Geurin 5 0-0 10, Gardner 2 0-1 5, Gilbert 5 3-4 13, Garrison 5 2-2 15, Rains 5 5-10 17,
Lutie 7 11 7 7 - 32
Chadwick 15 28 14 4 - 60
3-point goals - Garrison 3, Rains 2, Ault 2, Gardner, Billingsley.
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