Clay City senior Cole Schroer drives the basket during Thursday's scrimmage against Rockville.
ROCKVILLE -- The Clay City Eels and Rockville Rox kicked off the action as a some of the first teams in the Wabash Valley to get some actual game experience when they faced off in a scrimmage on Thursday night.
The teams played a pair of 12-minute periods with a running clock and a final 15- minute period for the varsity squads.
The Eels took two of the three periods from the Rox showing off an experienced, and finally, healthy lineup, in a physical contest.
"Rockville was playing a lot of young kids and we're physically more mature," commented Clay City head coach Grant McVay of his varsity squad comprised of all juniors and seniors. "(Rockville) was playing everyone, freshmen through seniors, and we got the opportunity to move the ball."
The Eels used their advantage in experience, along with Rockville's decision to pressure the ball, to get their transition game going throughout the evening's play and made the most of their chances in taking the first period 19-9. However, Rockville started knocking down some perimeter shots and the Eels couldn't get their inside chances to fall in period number two. The Rox took advantage and pulled off a 21-12 win in the second period.
In the final period, the Eels got a strong performance in the paint from junior Garrett Thatcher to pull out to a 30-17 win.
"My philosophy has always been to have five good ball players out there on the floor," commented McVay. "That means getting high percentage shots, whether that's a close range shot or a 3-pointer where the player is open and can get his feet set."
Leading rebounders in the game for the Eels were Thatcher and Joel Farmer with six apiece and both Stephen Johnson and Dustin Griffith pulled down four each. Johnson also led the team with five assists.
Afterwards, McVay commented on his expectations for the Eels this season. "Our goals are the same as they always are. . .to play with maturity, playing focused basketball all the time and not just when things are going well and communicating all the time."
Clay City gets the opportunity to open the regular season on Wednesday on the road at South Vermillion beginning with JV play at 6:30 p.m.