Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City Eels gained another win in Tri-River Conference play on Thursday night, posting a 60-51 win over visiting Linton-Stockton.
The Eels took control over the middle two quarters, hitting 18-of-28 (64 percent) from the field while getting out to a 47-34 lead.
Linton pressed the Eels into five turnovers in the first quarter and Clay City was able to hit just three-of-13 shots from the field. But the second period proved a whole different story.
"We were much better against the press after the first quarter," said Clay City coach Keith Jones. "We got our bigs in foul trouble but we were able to withstand it."
Senior guard Mardi Steiner was a big reason for the Eels success while their post players sat with foul trouble.
Steiner drove to the hoop for two quick baskets to break the Linton press opening the second quarter and scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the quarter.
Lydia Farmer hit a pair of shots on the way to 12 points in the game and the Eels led 30-22 at halftime after a one-point deficit after the first eight minutes.
Despite foul trouble limiting Clay City's Britney Glass and Shelby Targett for most of the middle two periods, the rest of the Eels stepped up to pick up the slack.
Back-to-back jumpers from Steiner and Emily Reed led the Eels on a 9-0 run early in the third quarter that pushed the Eels lead to 41-25.
"(Steiner) played a pretty good floor game for us and broke the press to get to the basket. She can shoot the ball too," said Jones.
Linton's 6'1 Megan Barnes was a handful all night for the Eels in the paint and her three-point play got the Miners back to 41-28.
"She's so strong," said Jones. "Our girls said that she's even stronger than (Casey) Fougerousse," referring to WRV's front court standout.
Barnes would eventually end up with 16 points and nine rebounds, but much of her damage came down the stretch once the Eels had a large enough lead to withstand five late free throws from Barnes.
The Clay City lead grew to as much as 17 in the game and 15 in the fourth quarter when Steiner hit a 3-pointer for the Eels. Linton tried to make a late run as Aubrey Sears made a steal and scored on the break. Barnes followed by hitting three-of-four free throws and freshman Olivia Robison added a final 3-pointer to cap the scoring, but it wasn't enough to overcome four Eels in double-figures.
Camp led the Eels with 10 rebounds to go with 14 points and Glass added nine boards to go with 10 points. Reed tallied eight points and eight rebounds.
In the JV game, Clay City was led by six points from Chantel Narlock, but lost a 35-13 decision.
The Miners drop to 1-4 overall and will play at Shoals on Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m. while Clay City is now 5-3 overall and hosts North Central on Monday at 6 p.m.
At Clay City
B.Beard 1-3 0-2 2, A.Beard 0-11 2-4 2, Mason 4-7 2-2 12, Carpenter 3-15 1-2 8, Barnes 3-6 10-12 16, Riggleman 0-2 0-0 0, Daluga 0-1 0-0 0, Sears 3-5 0-0 6, O.Wells 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16-54 15-22 51.
Clay City (60)
Glass 4-9 2-5 10, Reed 3-12 2-5 2-5 8, Steiner 6-11 2-2 15, Farmer 6-9 0-0 12, Camp 7-12 0-0 14, Targett 0-1 1-2 1, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-51 7-14 60.
3-point fieldgoals -- Ln 4-15 (Robison 1-1, Mason 2-4, A.Beard 0-1, Riggleman 0-1, Carpenter 1-8, CC 1-8 (Steiner 1-5, Reed 0-3). Total Rebounds -- Ln 23 (Barnes 9), CC 34 (Camp 10, Glass 9, Reed 8). Total Fouls -- Ln 15, CC 17. Turnovers -- Ln 19, CC 14.