Speak with Clint Robinson during a casual interaction and he doesn’t appear the slightest bit intimidating.
Sure, he’s 6-foot-7, but his voice is timid and cautious and he still has a somewhat boyish face.
But happen to witness Robinson, the junior center from Charles H. Flowers High School, during a game and he turns into a bad, bad man.
The mammoth post player announced his presence in the Prince George’s County 4A league with authority Wednesday night in the season opener at DuVal High with a 16-point, 17-rebound effort in the Jaguars’ 69-65 overtime victory against the Tigers.
Robinson was one of three double-digit scorers for Flowers, which won its first game under new coach Mark Edwards. DuVal, meanwhile, dropped its home opener on Artie Walker Court with Walker himself in attendance watching his protégée, Lafayette Dublin, coach his first game at the varsity level.
“It was a tough game,” Robinson said. “Good competition. We came into this year ready to do something. I’m glad we got the W.”
Robinson finished the game 6 of 10 shooting from the floor and also blocked two shots. He said one of the main elements of his repertoire he improved his summer was receiving the ball on the blocks.
“Last year, I wasn’t too good at posting up,” he said. “But I felt a lot better tonight.”
Added Edwards: “He dominated the boards through the fourth quarter and overtime, and that was huge for us. My expectation was for him to be a double-double guy this year. He’s worked awful hard and he’s earned some opportunities to get some touches in the paint.”
The game featured nine lead changes and eight ties in what could be a preview of things to come in the highly-competitive 4A league.
“It’s going to be a battle every night,” Edwards said. “And this program is in a position now where they’re learning how to play as the hunted and not the hunter anymore.”
Flowers was the County 4A League champion last year.
After trailing by four at the half, DuVal’s Mike Cunningham (14 points) led a furious third-quarter comeback that sent the Tigers into the final eight minutes with a 43-39 lead. That lead didn’t last long, however, as Flowers converted their first two 3-pointers of the night (one by Dontae Holloway and another by Brandon Green) to tie it at 47-47. Veterans Holloway and Green combined to score 33 points and pull down 11 rebounds, but Green badly injured his ankle with 2 minutes and 8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and didn’t return.
With the Tigers holding a one-point lead in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, Jaguars guard Kenny Pedeway was fouled driving through the lane with 1.3 seconds remaining. He made his first free throw, but missed the second, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Flowers made 7 of 11 from the free-throw line to secure the win.
“They won the ballgame at the line,” Dublin said. “That hurt us.”
Dublin wasn’t pleased with his team’s defensive rotations or offensive efficiency (23 of 64 from the field, 7 of 26 from beyond the arc), but said he can’t be “so mad” at a squad that lost eight seniors from a season ago.
DuVal’s seventh man off the bench, Chad Dickerson, led the Tigers in scoring with 18 points, including three 3-pointers while forward Edward Polite contributed a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort.
“I was very proud of him,” Dublin said of Dickerson, a transfer. “I know he can do it. It looks like he’s working to get in that first five. I know he can do that kind of stuff, so I expect those kinds of things from him.”
Charles H. Flowers 69, DuVal 65 (OT)
Charles H. Flowers 16 14 9 19 11 69
DuVal 15 11 17 15 7 65
Charles H. Flowers (1-0): Brandon Green 17, Dontae Holloway 16, Clint Robinson 16, Kofi Andoh 8, Kenny Pedeway 8, Mykal Johnson 2, Kyle Jones 2
DuVal (0-1): Chad Dickerson 18, Mike Cunningham 14, Edward Polite 11, Charles Ekeanyanwu 8, Paris Jones 8, Mallin Sellers 6