Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City girls' basketball team took a trip to Spencer on Friday night to get a sneak peak at Class 3A 11th-ranked Owen Valley.
What they saw was a quick and athletic team that gives teams fits on both ends of the court.
On Monday, the Eels saw first hand what the Patriots can do as Owen Valley forced nine first quarter turnovers and put the game out of reach early on the way to a 65-36 win.
"They just kept coming," Clay City coach Chris Ames said of the Patriots. "We ran into a buzz saw. I was looking for someone to step up and say, 'Not on my watch.' It was pretty obvious which team was the aggressor."
Clay City came out and got a 3-pointer from freshman Carmela Roeschlein and a free throw from Britney Glass to take a brief 4-2 lead. But it was short lived.
Owen Valley threw a full court, trapping defense on the Eels that forced a rapid succession of turnovers and led to Patriots' turnovers.
The Eels turned the ball over in the backcourt four consecutive times and the Patriots scored on each one of them, quickly opening a double-digit lead.
"The thing with Owen Valley is that, sitting in the stands, you don't understand how long and athletic they are," Ames said of his team's scouting trip. "At one stretch we turned the ball over 10-out-of-11 times."
When the whirlwind has relaxed its grip on the Eels after the opening eight minutes, the Patriots had salted away a 26-7 lead and had hit 11-of-18 shots from the field. Nickole Gonser had hit for 11 points on just six shots from the field, mainly lay-ups, and Heather Gonser had scored another six.
The Eels got seven first half points from Brielle Drelick, but got little else offensively as they trailed 41-14 at halftime.
In the second half, Clay City seemed to get over its nerves a bit and played the Patriots within 24-22 as several reserves got minutes, but the Eels were decidedly better. Owen Valley didn't press the remainder of the game, but Clay City was more aggressive on offense.
Drelick added six more points on the way to a team-high 13 points while Glass had six points and seven rebounds. Danielle Gossage came in late to score four points and Devyn Bridgewater had seven points.
The Patriots built as much as a 37-point, 61-24 lead before the Eels outscored Owen Valley 12-4 the remaining few minutes.
Nickole Gonser led the way with 19-points with Heather Gonser adding 13-points and eight rebounds. Both Adrian Gillaspy and Mack Evans tallied seven.
In the JV game, Clay City fell 35-23 with Haley Bryan scoring eight and Shaya Stevenson scoring seven.
The Eels (5-8 overall) travel to Bloomfield on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Patriots (13-2 overall) travel to Brown County on Friday.
At Clay City
Owen Valley (65)
Gillaspy 2-6 3-3 7, Sweatman 4-8 2-2 10, Cooper 2-6 0-0 5, H.Gonser 5-14 2-2 13, N.Gonser 9-11 1-3 19, York 2-3 0-0 4, Evans 3-8 1-2 7, Marsh 0-0 0-0 0, Kinnick 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-56 9-10 65.
Clay City (36)
Roeschlein 1-7 1-2 4, Drelick 6-11 1-4 13, Glass 2-3 2-6 6, A.Miller 1-1 0-0 2, McCullough 0-2 0-0 0, Bridgewater 3-9 0-0 7, Reed 0-0 0-0 0, S.Miller 0-0 0-2 0, Stevenson 0-2 0-0 0, Gossage 1-1 2-2 4. Totals: 14-35 6-16 36.
3-point fieldgoals -- OV 2-9 (Cooper 1-3, H.Gonser 1-2, Gillaspy 0-3, Evans 0-1), CC 2-12 (Bridgewater 1-5, Roeschlein 1-4, Drelick 0-2, Stevenson 0-1). Total Rebounds -- OV 26 (H.Gonser 8, N.Gonser 5), CC 28 (Glass 7). Total Fouls -- OV 13, CC 11. Turnovers -- OV 14, CC 28.