Clay City was unable to handle the versatile interior duo of Malott and Jacci Martin as Eminence pulled away in the second half for a 54-34 victory in a game that goes down in Tri-River Conference play.
Malott was the fuel behind Eminence' fire in the early going, providing nine first quarter points as her squad controlled a 12-3 advantage in the opening stanza.
Clay City countered in the second quarter with their own weapon in senior Whitney McWilliams who rebounded from a scoreless opening period to tally 12 of her 20 points to get the Eels started. Clay City erased nearly the entire deficit, getting within a point late in the period at 19-18 as Mardi Steiner knocked down a 3-pointer. However, Eminence countered with a 5-0 run to end the half and continued their hot streak in the second half.
Clay City was unable to find a consistent offensive rhythm and Eminence' aggressive defense forced 23 Eels' turnovers and Malott put another 10 points on the board in the third period. She would score 25 in the game and add eight rebounds and effectively take the Eels out of any interior game. The six-foot Martin also had her way inside, scoring 10 and pulling down seven boards and block several shots.
Eminence steadily pulled away in the third quarter as Clay City hit just two-of-10 shots from the field in the period while Eminence hit five-of-nine of their own to take a 42-26 lead into the final quarter and held on for an opening victory.
Up next for Clay City (0-1 overall, 0-1 TRC) is a Tuesday road trip to Shakamak for a game that counts towards both the TRC and SWIAC conference races beginning at 6 p.m. with the JV game.
In the JV game, Clay City dominated the contest, holding Eminence without a point for nearly eight minutes stretching from the first through third quarters on the way to a 30-8 victory.
Clay City shutout Eminence in the second quarter and due to a shortage of players with enough practices to play, the Eels played with just four players on the court in the fourth quarter.
No matter, Clay City maintained their lead and picked up their first win of the year on the strength of 15 points from sophomore Emily Reed. Both Angie Camp and Steiner contributed six points in the victory.
At Clay City
Kreamer 1-3 5-6 7, Malott 8-12 9-11 25, L.Burns 2-8 1-1 5, K.Burns 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 4-10 0-1 10, Sinclair 3-3 0-0 6, Garrett 0-1 1-2 1, Bridges 0-1 0-0 0, Person 0-0 0-0 0, Harrison 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-38 16-21 54.
Clay City (34)
McWilliams 5-15 9-11 20, Collins 1-6 0-0 2, Gerber 0-3 0-0 0, Tyler 1-5 1-2 3, Kennedy 1-5 0-0 2, Steiner 2-6 0-0 5, Camp 1-3 0-0 2, Riggs 0-1 0-0 0, Reed 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-44 10-13 34.
3-point fieldgoals -- Eminence 2-8 (Martin 2-5, L.Burns 0-2, Kreamer 0-1), Clay City 2-12 (McWilliams 1-7, Steiner 1-3, Collins 0-2). Total Rebounds -- Eminence 25 (Malott 8, Martin 7), Clay City 27 (Kennedy 5, Tyler 5). Total Fouls -- Eminence 16, Clay City 15. Turnovers -- Eminence 19, Clay City 23.