Clay City's Tyler Moon attempts to hit an acrobatic shot in the lane around Sullivan's 6'7 Donnie Abrams (#50).
SULLIVAN -- A Sullivan squad that was hungry for a win after being blasted by Vincennes Lincoln a week earlier, played tough defense in the first half and the Eels went nearly seven minutes without a point in the first half on the way to a 66-48 defeat by the Arrows.
The Arrows put together a hard nosed defensive effort during the first two periods, forcing the Eels into off balance shots and away from open jumpers. Sullivan meanwhile beat the Eels down the floor and got a handful of easy transition baskets off the Eels' missed shots and raced out to a 30-9 lead before Josie Vansickle hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Eels.
Clay City missed all eight of their shots from the field in the first quarter and scored all five of their points from the free throw line. While the Eels hit just two-of-17 shots before halftime, Sullivan got to the hoop from high percentage opportunities and made the most of them. The Arrows hit 10-of-17 (59 percent) from the field to take the 18 point lead at halftime.
However, Clay City opened up their offense a bit in the second half and were able to get the ball into Garrett Thatcher who came into the game averaging over 16 points a game, but was held scoreless in the first half.
Thatcher got to the line to open the half for one free throw and Tyler Moon scored on a putback basket to get the Eels within 30-15. But as was the case all night, Sullivan headed them off at the pass, halting the run with a pair of Evan Baker hoops around another basket from Thatcher.
Twice the Eels got the lead down to 13 in the period on scores from Vansickle who had a game-high 19 points, but Sullivan always had the answer.
Heading to the final quarter, the Eels trailed 42-27, but Clay City had no quit in them.
Thatcher scored the first four points of the quarter and the Eels were within 42-31, but Sullivan countered with Justin Ridge scoring on two inside looks. Clay City responded with two free throws from Stephen Johnson who hit all seven of his free throws in the final quarter and a basket from Vansickle to narrow the lead to 46-35.
Once more however, Baker scored on a layin and drew the foul for a three-point play and another 14 point advantage.
The Eels actually got within 54-45 with just under two minutes left in the game, but the Arrows were able to run the clock a bit and hit their final six free throws to hold off the Eels.
Baker led the Arrows with 16 while Ridge had 15 and DeMoss 14 points. The Eels got 13 from Thatcher and nine from Johnson.
Clay City's junior varsity squad improved to 7-2 overall with a 46-29 victory over Sullivan.
Fred Modesitt had 12 points to lead the Eels and Kyler Rhodes added eight. Both Jordan Defore and Tyler Moon had six apiece.
The Eels are now 6-6 overall and will host North Daviess on Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Sullivan 66, Clay City 48
Clay City (48)
Griffith 0-2 1-2 1, Vansickle 6-14 4-6 19, Johnson 1-5 7-8 9, Farmer 0-0 0-0 0, Thatcher 5-9 3-5 13, Bettenbrock 0-2 0-0 0, Moon 1-1 2-2 4, Schroer 0-1 2-2 2, Modesitt 0-0 0-0 0, Cook 0-0 0-0 0, B.Griffith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-37 19-25 48.
DeMoss 4-7 6-8 14, Dudley 2-2 2-4 6, Baker 5-6 7-8 16, Abrams 0-1 1-2 1, Ridge 6-8 3-4 15, Landes 1-3 0-0 2, Smith 2-4 2-3 8. Totals: 22-33 23-31 66.
3-point fieldgoals -- CC 3-13 (Vansickle 3-6, Johnson 0-2, Bettenbrock 0-2, Griffith 0-1), SL 1-5 (Baker 1-1, Landes 0-2, Ridge 0-1). Total Rebounds -- CC 21 (Thatcher 4), SL 18 (Ridge 6). Total Fouls -- CC 25, CC19. Turnovers -- CC 18, SL16.
JV -- Clay City (Modesitt 12) 46, Sullivan 29.
Clay City (6-6 overall) takes on North Daviess on Friday at 6:30 p.m.