LINTON -- Ask nearly any coach or television analyst and they will tell you that every basketball team makes a run and Clay City and Linton were no exception in Tuesday night basketball action.
Unfortunately for the Eels, Linton made two of them and the second one capped off a 52-47 victory in a contest that counted in Tri-River and Southwestern Indiana Conference standings.
Linton had the better of the first half action, holding a 20-16 lead and used a trio of Evan Herndon 3-pointers in the third quarter to extend their lead to double-digits at 35-24. But from there, the Eels' Josey Vansickle came out of his shooting slump.
After being held scoreless in the first 17 minutes of play, Vansickle came to life for three hoops and a pair of free throws during the third quarter. Brock Dyer completed an 8-2 Clay City run to end the quarter. The Eels were within 37-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter the Eels kept the pressure on as Vansickle nailed a 3-pointer to open the scoring in the period and TL Roeschlein recovered a loose ball at the other end to give the ball back to the Eels. At the other end, Vansickle tied the score when he hit another jumper at the 6:38 mark. Clay City's defense forced another turnover from Linton
Vansickle continued the Eels run with another 3-pointer as part of his 18 point second half. The Eels stole the ball back at the midcourt line and Roeschlein drove to the basket for a 42-37 Clay City lead.
Linton went nearly the first four minutes of the fourth quarter before they finally took their first shot and their first points didn't come until a Caleb Fischer three-point play at the 3:19 mark. Meanwhile, the Eels completed a 20-2 run to turn an 11-point deficit into a 44-37 lead with 3:45 remaining in the game.
But from there it was all Linton.
The Eels turned the ball over four times in the second half of the quarter and Herndon nailed a 3-pointer and hit three free throws down the stretch.
Clay City led 47-44 before Herndon hit a final 3-pointer and was fouled with 1:08 left in the game. He completed the four-point play and the Miners took a 48-47 lead.
The Eels wouldn't score again and the Miners finished the game on a 15-3 run that finished off Clay City.
With the loss, the Eels fall to 7-11 overall and will host West Vigo on Friday night and Turkey Run on Saturday evening.
Clay City (47)
Vansickle 6 4-4 18, Dyer 3 0-0 7, Thatcher 4 4-7 12, Knox 1 0-0 2, Roeschlein 2 0-0 4, Griffith 1 2-4 4, Bettenbrock 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 10-15 47.
Fischer 2 3-3 7, Miller 2 0-0 5, D.Dunkerly 2 0-0 6, Beach 1 2-2 4, Herndon 5 3-3 17, Austin 0 0-0 0, Simmons 2 0-0 4, Sutherland 3 3-6 9. Totals: 17 11-14 52.
3-point fieldgoals -- Clay City 3 (Vansickle 2, Dyer), Linton 7 (Herndon 4, D.Dunkerly 2, Miller). Total Fouls -- Clay City 17, Linton 18.