Photo by Jason Mussell
Dutchtown’s Domonique Clune shoots a 3-pointer early in the first quarter, the shot that gave the Lady Bulldogs senior 1,000 points for her career. Clune finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds Tuesday.
HAMPTON — Domonique Clune spent part of the night before she’d likely reach a significant career milestone texting with Dutchtown girls basketball coach April Tate. The Lady Bulldogs senior guard wanted to know if Tate was watching the Duke-Connecticut women’s basketball game on television.
“Trying to learn something so she can become a better person and a better player,” Tate said.
Clune has few contempories on the court in Dutchtown girls basketball history. That’s official now after she reached 1,000 points in her high school career with 25 points to go along with 14 rebounds in the Lady Bulldogs’ 63-37 victory over Stockbridge at home in a Region 4-AAAA, Div. A game Tuesday.
Clune became just the third player to reach the milestone at Dutchtown, joining former guard Brittney Strickland and Abria Trice, and she didn’t waste any time. Just five points shy of 1,000 entering the game, Clune made a baseline jumper and 3 in the corner for the first five points of the game and biggest of her career.
“It’s a good feeling,” Clune said. “Being here for three years, it feels good to know I’ve done something, I’ve left something here. It’s a really good feeling.”
Clune wasn’t close to being done for the night. She had 10 points in the first quarter as Dutchtown built a 16-7 lead and nine in the second to help the Lady Bulldogs go into halftime up 39-18.
Virtually every part of Clune’s game was on display. She made three 3-pointers; found room in the paint to drive for athletic lay-ups; and 10 of her 14 rebounds came on the offensive end where she battled in the paint for put-backs.
Amanda Brodie added 12 points, four rebounds and three steals for Dutchtown (14-5) while Victoria Nelson had 10 points.
Asia Monday led Stockbridge (1-15) with 15 points and seven rebounds.
And the Lady Bulldogs bounced back with a solid performance after a disappointing loss to Woodland on last Friday.
“We played good defense,” Clune said. “We had assists, ball-fakes, bounce passes, everything Coach Tate’s been telling us we’ve been trying to work on. We played good this game.”
Clune put in her standard night — plenty of points and rebounds and even a bit more leadership than the reserved 5-foot-10 guard is used to.
Such has been the evolution of Clune’s game since she came to Dutchtown her sophomore season. Clune played in 80 percent of Dutchtown’s games that season after coming off a knee surgery, though it was clear the sophomore had game. Last season, Clune was full healthy and blossomed, leading the team in scoring (16.9 points per game) and rebounding (8.7 per game).
Now, a senior and trying to lead Dutchtown to its first state tournament appearance in two seasons, Clune worked all summer with two trainers to reach that next level where she makes her teammates better and gets the attention of colleges coaches.
So when Tate sees Clune pour in 25 points and calmly instruct center Kamera Harris after the freshman was called for a foul, she can tell it’s paying off.
“This year she’s even more so started to come into herself,” Tate said, “and understand that she’s a leader on this team and she can do it in numerous ways.”
And Clune said there’s even more room for improvement.
“In my opinion, I’m not playing the best I can,” Clune said. “Coach Tate is always saying you have a peak. I know I can play better. And going deeper in, going toward the region [tournament], I’m going to peak.”