For the Brazil Times
BLOOMFIELD -- Four Bloomfield players scored in double figures Friday night, as the host Cardinals downed Clay City 55-34 in a Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys' basketball game.
Kurt Schulte paced the Cardinals with 12 points, while Andy Cochrane tallied 11 and Rick Tally and Gavin Thompson each posted 10 points.
"I thought at times our offense executed really well tonight," Cardinals head coach Ron McBride said. "Not too bad of a night to have four players in double figures."
Braxton Griffith gave the Eels their only lead of the game when he connected on a trey from the top of the key with 7 minutes and two seconds left in the opening stanza -- the Eels led 3-0.
Graham Helms found the bottom of the net with a shot from long range to put the Cardinals up 4-3 with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter and the Cardinals never looked back.
Turnovers would plague the visiting Eels throughout the first eight minutes of play. They committed four turnovers while only scoring five points as they trailed 12-5 at the end of the period.
"When you score on just two of 11 possessions in the first quarter, it puts a lot of stress on your defense to stay in the game," Eels head coach Grant McVay said. "We just failed to convert on some good opportunities as well."
Helms would make good on his second triple of the game, this time from the left corner to cap off the Cards second 9-0 run of the game. The shot put the Eels in a 21-8 hole with just under five minutes remaining in the half.
The Cardinals gradually pulled away from the Eels as they outscored the visitors in each quarter. Bloomfield carried a 25-15 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The Eels would not fair much better to start the second half, as Bloomfield put the clamps down once again on defense -- this time holding Clay City to just four points in the third frame.
"It's good to hold a team to four and five points in two separate quarters," McBride said of his defense. "I thought we executed much better tonight defensively."
The Eels' offense showed some vital signs in the fourth quarter as they scored 15 points. The outburst came too little too late, as the Cardinals would once again continue to stretch their lead by scoring 19 points.
"We have to be able to attack the basket with more strength," McVay said. "We did a better job of that in the fourth quarter.
"But on the other hand, we let them score too easily as well. They scored on 9 of 11 possessions. At some point we need to get some stops in there."
McBride mentioned he was not too pleased with his team's defense on the perimeter.
"We should not be giving up five 3-pointers in a game," McBride said. "If they hit tough contested shots that's one thing, but the shots they hit tonight we failed to get a hand in their face."
Although the final score on the scoreboard reflected a lopsided loss for the Eels, McVay was pleased with his short-handed teams effort.
"The first thing I wrote on the board tonight was effort," the Eels coach said. "Without question I felt our effort was an 'A', that is not to be faulted. But in the same token, the grade on our execution was not as high."
Jordan Defore was the only Eel to reach double figures in scoring with 12 points to go along with six boards. Griffith and Orry Heffner each posted nine points, while Levi Seymour chipped in with four points. Seymour also led the Eels on the boards with seven.
McBride lauded McVay's team.
"They are a little short-handed right now and are forced to use some different combinations in their line-up that I am sure they are not comfortable with," the veteran Cards coach said. "But they are going to be a very solid team. They are very well coached and will be a good ball club."
The Eels were without the services of last season's leading scorer Will Kennedy and Logan Higgins for the second straight game.
For the game the Cardinals dished out 15 assists while only committing four turnovers.
"That is the kind of production we want each and every game," McBride said. "I am really happy that everyone is starting to learn their roles. Now that we have that established we can start working on fine-tuning things."
Clay City (1-2, 0-2 SWIAC) will return to action Saturday when they travel to Eminence for a Tri-River Conference battle.
Bloomfield will entertain Class 3A power Edgewood. The Mustangs are No. 5 in the latest polls.
CLAY CITY (34)
Braxton Griffith 3-6 0-0 9, D.J. Newton 0-3 0-0 0, Levi Seymour 1-6 2-2 4, Kyler Rhodes 0-3 0-0 0, Orry Heffner 3-3 2-2 9, Jordan Defore 4-12 3-8 12. Totals 11-33 7-12 34.
BLOOMFIELD (55) -- Mitch Hobson 1-1 0-0 2, Holden Hamm 0-0 0-0 0, Graham Helms 2-6 0-0 6, Jordan Arford 0-00 0-0 0, Rick Tally 3-4 4-7 10, Andy Cochrane 4-9 3-5 11, Chris Babcock 2-2 0-0 4, Gavin Thompson 4-8 1-1 10, Kurt Schulte 5-6 2-4 12. Totals 21-36 10-17 55.
Clay City 5 10 4 15 -- 34
Bloomfield 12 13 11 19 -- 55
3-Pointers -- Clay City 5 (Griffith 3, Heffner, DeFore), Bloomfield 3 (Helms 2, Thompson). Rebounds -- Clay City 20 (Seymour 7), Bloomfield 19 (Tally 10). Steals -- Clay City 1 (Defore), Bloomfield 8 (Helms, Tally, Thompson 2). Turnovers -- Clay City 14, Bloomfield 5. Fouls -- Clay City 18, Bloomfield 15. Fouled out -- None.