Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- Playing in front of energetic homecoming crowd, the Clay City Eels moved above the .500 mark with an emphatic 59-38 victory over Turkey Run Saturday night.
After falling behind by five points at halftime, the Eels dominated the second half, outscoring the Warriors by a decisive 33-7 mark, to secure the victory. The Warriors, who went 6-for-6 from three-point range, had no answers to a smothering Clay City defense in the second half, who forced Turkey Run into 17 turnovers.
Eels' coach Grant McVay said there was nothing magical about the Eels' electric defense in the second half, it was just a matter of execution.
"That was the best job we have done all season," McVay said. "It's not that our kids were playing a million miles an hour, they were just locked in."
Offensively, Clay City got a spark from senior guard Braxton Griffith.
Griffith scored 17 points, and his back-to-back three pointers in the third quarter gave the Eels a lead they would never relinquish. Griffith also had several nicely executed give-and-goes with Will Kennedy, who led all scorers with 18.
Kennedy was also tops on the boards, pulling down nine rebounds. Logan Higgins was also in double digits for Clay City, scoring 14 points.
The win helped McVay's team improve to 6-5 on the season. The coach said he knew his veteran team, which includes six seniors, had more than enough skill to have an outstanding stretch run and put it on his players to bring their game to high levels, so that they can be playing at an elite level when sectional play begins.
"It's totally up to the boys," McVay said when asked how far he felt his team could advance in the post-season. "They're aware that they are capable of sustaining that kind of effort (displayed Saturday). This is their stretch run."
Clay County returns to action on Friday with a home game against Sullivan, with the JV game starting at 6:30.
Turkey Run (38)
J. Davies 2 0-0 6, S. Davies 3, 0-0 8, Karr 1 1-4, 3, Marshall 4 2-3 10, Cook 0 0-0 0, Weaver 4 1-2 10
Clay City (59)
Griffith 5 4-6 17, Newton 0 0-0 0, Seymour 1 0-0 2, Higgins 5 1-2 14, Kennedy 8 1-3 18, Rhodes 0 2-2 2, Heffner 1 0-0 2, Defore 1 2-3 4
3-point field goals- TR 6 (J. Davies 2, S. Davies 2, Weaver 2) CC 7 (Griffith 3 Higgins 3 Kennedy 1). Total Rebounds- TR 16, CC 24. Total Team Fouls- TR 13, CC 11
Next game: Clay City hosts Sullivan Friday at 6:30 p.m.