By Steve Fields
For the Brazil Times
CLINTON -- The Clay City Eels can "chalk up" their 45-43 loss to the South
Vermillion Wildcats on Wednesday night to a poor shooting.
The Eels shot just 31 percent (14-45) from the floor in their opening
high school boys basketball game at South Vermillion High School.
"I told the kids in the locker room, we made our mistakes, but chalk
this one up to just not playing well offensively, to not shooting the
ball well tonight," Clay City Coach Grant McVay said.
But the coach couldn't be too disappointed. Despite that poor shooting,
if Roger Harden's open 3-point shot, with approximately five seconds on
the clock, had fallen, the Eels might be celebrating.
And if the officials had whistled South Vermillion's Zach Williamson
for travel when he grabbed the rebound and ran to mid-court, without
dribbling, with more than two seconds showing on the clock, the Eels may
still have pulled this one out.
"I think [the Eels] played with a lot of heart," McVay said of his
club's opening performance. "Now, offensively, we just didn't play well."
Harden led the Eels with 14 points and six rebounds and a no-look,
over-the-shoulder pass to Brock Roberts for a layup that tied the game
43-43 with 1:40 to play.
"[Harden] has got to be that type of player for 32 minutes. He's very
difficult to defend," McVay said.
South Vermillion, shooting 39 percent (19-48), was led by forward Todd
Byram with 13 points.
The Wildcats, who led by as many as nine points in the third quarter,
scored the winning bucket with 10 seconds to play. Tyler Walker, who
scored six of his nine points in the fourth quarter, floated a hook shot
over the front of the rim to put South Vermillion ahead for good.
South Vermillion led at every quarter stop, first at 8-7, 22-16 at
halftime and 33-27 going into the final period.
Harden scored seven of his 14 points in leading Clay City's fourth
Clay City had a chance to take the lead with 45 seconds left in the
game, but turned the ball over without getting off a shot.
The Eels had 14 turnovers in the contest. "We had some turnovers that
were just a little but jittery, a little bit in a hurry. Those are things I think we'll take care of as we play together more at the varsity level," McVay said.
The Eels don't have much recovery time, as Tuesday night they host Clay
County rival Northview.
Clay City (43)
Tucker 1-5 4-7 6, Harden 5-12 45- 14, Roberts 4-10 0-0 8, Jones 1-2 0-0 3, Defore 3-12 2-2 9, Wells 0-1 1-2 1, Vansickle 0-3 2-2 2, Dyer 0-0 0-0 0, Roeschlein 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-45 FG, 13-18 FT, 43 TP.
South Vermillion (45)
Walker 4-6 1-3 9, Byram 5-13 2-3 13, Williamson 5-16 0-0 10, Dunham 3-7 0-0 6, Bogetto 0-0 2-4 2, Russell 0-2 1-2 1, Nickels 2-2 0-0 4, Lynn 0-2 0-0 0, Overpeck 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-48 FG, 6-12 FT, 45 TP.
3-Pt. Goals: CC 2-11 (Jones 1-1, Defore 1-6, Roberts 0-2, Harden 0-1,
Vansickle 0-1), SV 1-6 (Byram 1-4, Dunham 0-1, Lynn 0-1). Total fols: CC 15, SV 15. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: CC 29 (Tucker 7, Harden 6, Defore 6), SV 35 (Walker 9). Assists: CC 5 (Defore, Jones, Roberts, Harden, Tucker), SV 9 (Dunham 4). Turnovers: CC 14, SV 13. JV game: South Vermillion 43 (Capps 13), Clay City 29 (Johnson 11). Next game: Clay City (0-1) will host Northview on Tuesday.