Top: Clay City celebrated Senior Night on Thursday. (From left to right) Whitney McWilliams, Ashley Collins, Chelsea Riggs and Kristen Tyler.
Bottom: Angie Camp (#20) goes up for a shot attempt in Thursday's game against Eastern. Camp had seven points.
CLAY CITY -- Eastern (Greene) and Clay City each came into the game looking to halt losing streaks before sectional time arrives and the T-Birds were the ones who got a bit of a reprieve from the loss column.
Clay City was a frigid nine-of-38 (24 percent) from the field for the game and Eastern knocked down 12-of-17 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off the Eels 49-37.
"I can't fault the effort," commented Clay City coach Keith Jones. "We just couldn't buy a basket. (Eastern) did a good job of keeping us out of our offense. We had plenty of opportunities, but couldn't score."
The Eels got off to a slow start in the game, hitting just one-of-six from the field and the T-Birds got a pair of 3-pointers, one from Jesse McLennan and another from Alyssa Nicholson to take a 12-4 lead through the first quarter.
Clay City got one of those points back in the second quarter by holding Eastern to 18 percent shooting (2-of-11), but were only able to dent the scoreboard for six points themselves.
Sophomore Angie Camp would work on getting the Eels back into the game after the break as she scored on back-to-back possessions early in the period. The hoops would narrow the Eastern advantage to 19-14, and after a jumper from Sarah Kennedy and a basket from Chelsee Gerber on a pass from senior Whitney McWilliams.
Within 21-18, the T-Birds put together a six point run to extend their margin to nine points.
"Angie and Chelsee really did some things to help us stay in the game tonight," commented Jones.
The Eels got one-of-two free throws apiece from Kristen Tyler and Gerber, but Eastern answered with a 6-1 run to end the quarter on a basket inside from Sanders, two free throws from the center and a basket from Alyssa Ray in the paint. Suddenly the Eels looked like they might be put away early.
To the Eels benefit, Eastern was in foul trouble early in the fourth quarter and Clay City was able to get to the line early and often to climb back into contention.
Following a free throw from Sanders, McWilliams knocked down two free throws and Gerber scored one-of-two before a drive by McWilliams got the Eels within 34-26. But as was the case for much of the remainder of the game, Clay City wasn't quite able to get over the hump.
Five separate times over a four minute span, the Eels narrowed the gap to within eight or seven points, but each time Eastern answered the bell.
The Eels best opportunity might have come with four minutes remaining when Kennedy got a putback to get the Eels within 38-30. The defense would force a turnover and draw a foul but missed a pair of free throws at the 4:06 mark. Eastern would again turn the ball over and Camp hit one of two free throws. From there, Lindsey Stevens hit a free throw, the Eels turned the ball over and Brittany Sparks scored to push the lead back to double-digits. From there Sanders hit six consecutive free throws to close out the game for Eastern.
Clay City celebrated Senior Night before the contest as McWilliams, the school's all-time leading scorer, along with Ashley Collins, Tyler and Chelsea Riggs were honored.
The Eels drop to 8-11 overall and will take on South Putnam on the road Tuesday night.
Eastern (Greene) 49, Clay City 37
At Clay City
Clay City (37)
McWilliams 2-15 9-10 13, Collins 0-2 0-0 0, Riggs 0-0 1-2 1, Tyler 0-1 1-4 1, Kennedy 3-8 0-0 6, Gerber 2-6 2-6 6, Steiner 1-1 0-0 3, Camp 1-5 5-6 7, Farmer 0-0 0-0 0, Reed 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-38 18-28 37.
Eastern (Greene) (49)
Erwin 1-3 0-1 2, Sparks 3-9 2-2 9, Fager 1-5 1-4 3, McLennan 3-5 2-2 9, Sanders 3-4 11-12 17, Ray 1-2 0-0 2, Nicholson 2-4 0-0 5, Stevens 1-3 0-0 2, Patterson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-35 16-21 49.
3-point fieldgoals -- E 3-7 (McLennan 1-1, Nicholson 1-1, Sparks 1-4, Stevens 0-1), CC 1-4 (Steiner 1-1, McWilliams 0-3). Total Rebounds -- E 28 (Sanders 13), CC 24 (Kennedy 9). Total Fouls -- E 22, CC19. Fouled out -- CC (Camp). Turnovers -- E 18, CC 20.
JV -- Clay City's JV won.