SWITZ CITY -- The last time Clay City and Union meet on the hardwood was back on December 2 and the result was a 57-47 victory over the Eels.
On Tuesday, the two teams faced off in the first round of the Daily World Greene County Invitational Tournament with a far different outcome than before.
Led by senior Daniel Page's 23 points on 6-of-13 from the field, the Union Bulldogs sent Clay City to Thursday's loser's round with a 71-54 setback.
"We just simply got beat," said Clay City coach Grant McVay. "We got beat on the boards and we got beat on the foul line. They played better defensively than we did. They shot the ball very well tonight and we didn't."
Clay City fell to 4-2 overall on the season and led only once in the first half after Garrett Thatcher hit an inside shot to go up 2-0. The Bulldogs went on to outscore the Eels 15-4 the rest of the quarter to go up 15-6 after the first eight minutes.
"We hit shots and they didn't and a lot of times it comes down to that," said Union coach Doug Boyd. "We were just about to do what we had to do to pull this one off. We've always felt we're going to be there and there's going to be a lot of games for us that's going to be like this. We just hit some shots."
The Eels opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run to cut into Union's lead 15-13 with 6:20 left in the half, but after a Bulldog timeout, Union knocked down the eight points to re-establish a comfortable 23-13 lead halfway into the second.
"You've got to give Union-Dugger credit," said McVay. "They just flat out beat us in every facet of the game. It didn't matter who we put on the floor tonight we had five individuals playing. When we've been playing well this year it's five guys playing as one. They're all on the same page instead of one guy reacting and moving together."
Page hit five of his attempted nine three point field goals on the night, which helped Union build its lead.
"Daniel's had some great practices where he's just shot the ball extremely well," said Boyd. "We're going to turn him loose at times. He shot the ball better tonight than he did the first two nights. Tonight the outside shot was going in for him."
Clay City's Josey Vansickle did all he could in the second quarter as he scored 13 of his team-high 19 in the second quarter after going scoreless through the first eight minutes.
"In many ways this game reminds me of our sectional loss last year to North Central," added McVay. "It wasn't like there was a complete lack of effort. I was just not sharp, focused, and competitive. It's not what we expect and not the way we practice."
Clay City will return to White River Valley high school Thursday where they'll play Shakamak beginning at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs picked up their second win of the season and will take on Linton Friday beginning at 6 p.m. Union lost to the Miners in overtime last Thursday.
CLAY CITY EELS 54
Josey Vansickle, g 8-23 0-0 19; Stephen Johnson; g 3-9 1-3 9; Joel Farmer, c 0-4 0-0 0; Dustin Griffith, f 5-11 0-0 11; Garrett Thatcher; f 6-16 3-3 15; Cole Schroer 0-1 0-0 0; Logan Bettenbrock 0-2 0-0 0; Wayne Jeffers 0-0 0-0 0; Jason Shouse 0-0 0-0 0; Fred Modesitt 0-1 0-0 0
UNION BULLDOGS 71
Ryan Gambill, g 4-12 11-16 20; Logan Chesterfield, g 3-3 3-4 20; Daniel Page, g 6-13 6-6 23; Justin Davidson, f 1-5 4-4 6; Joe VanAlstyne, c 3-3 ! 2-2 7, Eric Medley 1-3 0-0 3, Evan Alexander 0-0 2-2 2, Blane Boyd 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-39 FG, 27-33 FT, 71 TP.
Clay City 6 23 14 11 - 54
Union 15 18 17 21 - 71
Turnovers - Clay City 10; Union 7.
3-point goals - Clay City 7-20 (Vansickle 3-9, Johnson 3-7, Griffith 1-3, Modesitt 0-1); Union 8-14 (Gambill 1-2, Chesterfield 1-1, Page 5-9, Eric Medley 1-2).
Rebounds - Clay City 32 (Thatcher 12); Union 29 (Davidson 9)