North Clay's Brooklyne Myers goes up for a shot in the third quarter of Monday's contest with South Vermillion.
The North Clay eighth-grade girls basketball team improved to 2-1 on the season with a victory over South Vermillion Monday.
The Knights parlayed a big first-quarter performance by guard Hannah Pond, who recorded five points and four steals in the opening six minutes, into an authoritative 44-16 win. North Clay Coach Anita Miller said she likes to see her team challenged early in the season, but was pleased with the poise they exhibited when playing with the lead.
"(The Wildcats) weren't as strong as I thought they were going to be," she said. "But defensively, we got some good pressure on the ball and forced some turnovers pressure."
North Clay opened the game with a 11-0 run, capitalizing on fast break opportunities and limiting South Vermillion's chances at the offensive end with a sticky transition defense. Wildcats guard Allie Milam made a free throw with 1:05 remaining to put South Vermillion on the board, but another North Clay run, capped by an Ali Sharton three-pointer in the final seconds, gave the Knights a 19-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
North Clay would nurse that lead for the rest of the game. A balanced offensive attack-- 11 of the 16 players on their roster scored in the game-- allowed the Knights to coast to an easy win.
Pond led all scorers with nine, followed by Brailyn Whitson with six. Sharton and Shelby Sands each chipped in five for North Clay.
The sixth-grade girls also notched a win Monday, dispatching Chauncey Rose 46-4 on the road. Dallas Butts and Alyssa Conrad led the Knights with 12 points each. The sixth-grade B-team won 16-4.
Next up for the eighth grade squad is a home matchup against Chauncey Rose beginning at 6 p.m. The sixth grade team travels to West Vigo on Monday at 6 p.m.