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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Knights and Eels look to extend streaks

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

The Clay City Eels will face the Cloverdale Clovers tonight with the junior varsity game starting at 6 p.m.

Northview's girls and Clay City's boys will attempt to keep their success against their Tuesday opponents alive with home contests beginning at 6 p.m.

The Eels have had more consistent success against the visiting Cloverdale Clovers than Northview has had against Terre Haute North, but the intended result is much the same.

Both Clay County schools have one of the best teams they've had in recent years which is why they should each come in as tentative favorites against their visitors.

The Eels come into this evening's game with a 3-2 record overall after a disappointing loss to conference foe and Class A, ninth-ranked Bloomfield, 47-42. But hope is high for the upperclassmen dominated team that has recently been getting votes in the Indiana High School Coaches' Association Poll in the Single A ranks. However, Cloverdale is also off to one of their best starts in recent years.

The Clovers have a 4-1 mark overall and have a season opening win over Class 2A's eighth-ranked Rockville Rox to their credit. Despite a loss this weekend to Putnam County foe Greencastle, the Clovers are a team to be reckoned with this year with just as much experience as the Eels possess.

A certain amount of revenge could be in Cloverdale's mind as well since the Eels own wins over the Clovers in each of the last five seasons including last year's 71-65 barn burner on Cloverdale's home floor. That loss seemed to send the Clovers reeling after opening with a 3-2 mark, Cloverdale proceeded to lose nine of their next 10 games, including three consecutive losses in the Wabash Valley Classic holiday tournament in Terre Haute.

The Eels meanwhile won five of their next six after the win. Their only loss being in overtime to Greene County power White River Valley and will be trying to start a winning streak heading into the Greene County Invitational that starts January 7. With just two games, including tonight's, the Eels don't want to go into the long holiday break (no games from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6) with a loss to think about.

Northview's girls on the other hand have more wins already than they did in the last two seasons combined. At 7-4, the Knights are on a three game winning streak and already own one win against the Patriots in the HI-99 Clabber Girl Classic back on Nov. 16. On their way to a berth in the Championship game, the Knights beat North 60-31 behind Amy Thiemann's 15 point, nine rebound and five assist game. Whitney Medworth also chipped in eight boards and five assists.

Balance has been the key to the Knight's success this year as they have several players who can score in double figures when needed. Over the last three games, Medworth and freshman Julie Whitted are averaging 15 points a game while Thiemann has added double figures in two-of-three. Whitted is also averaging double figures in rebounding. But they aren't the only ones who can do damage on the offensive end.

Ashley Pierce has a 10 point average in the last two with five boards a game and Erica Koehler can also give the team scoring punch on the inside.

On the defensive side, Northview has been getting stronger as the season progresses with Thiemann ball hawking several steals a game and Koehler and Pierce flying to the ball as well. Sara Frazier and Rachel Deal give Northview more ball pressure in the halfcourt and at 6'5," Whitted forces teams to alter their inside shots on a consistent basis.

The Knights and Eels will each face pressure to take the home win for different reasons.

After their early season win over the Patriots, the Knights will be expected to win again. Complacency has a way of making teams lose their focus so Northview will have to have that "killer instinct" that separates decent teams from good ones.

The Eels meanwhile are receiving high marks for their guard play with DePauw recruit Elliott Booe averaging 20-plus points a game and Jared Defore returning to the mix for some excellent play. Their front court will get a lot of pressure against Cloverdale when they face the "Twin Towers" in 6'5" Mitch Oetken and Donnie Cline who both average double figures in rebounds. Oetken also adds about 18 points a game. So Clay City's Matt Farmer, Roger Harden and Steven Schopmeyer will need to be on top of their game to extend their winning streak over the Clovers.

Both junior varsity games will begin at 6 p.m.

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