North Clay sixth grader Kelsey Oehler (with the ball) looks for an open teammate while Clay City's Michaela Riggs guards her.
The North Clay sixth-grade Lady Knights couldn't find an answer for Clay City point guard Carmela Roeschlein Monday night.
In addition to Roeschlein's 19 points, she stole the ball at will and came up with a key blocked shot in the final minutes to stave off a late North Clay run. North Clay Coach Mandy Smith didn't see much of a silver lining in the Knights' 29-20 loss.
"We need to work on getting our offense down and utilizing it properly," she said. "And we need to play some good solid defense. I feel like good defense wins games."
Clay City surged to an early lead, building a 7-2 advantage with just over a minute to play in the first quarter. But North Clay responded, as Knights point guard Dallas Butts scored on back-to-back possessions to narrow the Eels' lead to one at the end of the first.
An offensive rebound and putback by the Knights' Samantha Montague gave North Clay an 8-7 lead with 3:35 to play in the first half. But Clay City responded with a 10-0 scoring run that put them up by nine at the half. North Clay would trim that lead to within five late in the fourth quarter, but Roeschlein contributed two late scores that effectively ended the Knights' rally.
Butts and Alyssa Conrad led North Clay with eight points each, followed by Montague with four. The Eels, Brielle Drelick added six points to Roeschlein's 19, with Abby Reed and Allie Miller contributing two apiece.
North Clay's B-team also lost Monday, succumbing to Clay City's fifth-graders 14-12. Callie Dayhuff scored 10 of the Eels' 14 points, while Loren Anderson had six points for North Clay.