Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- The annual girls' basketball battle between Clay City and Northview High School had a little bit of an extra edge this season after the Eels claimed a victory on the Knights' home court last season.
Northview came in with a little extra fire in its eyes this year and was able to utilize its depth and a heavy dose of senior Spring Raines to claim a 71-54 victory over the Eels.
Raines came out with guns blazing, scoring a career-high 43 points on 14-of-27 shooting from the field and hit 11-of-12 from the line to pace the Knights to the win.
"We were on a mission to defend the pride for Northview," coach LuAnne Anderson said.
Northview favored a fast-paced contest from the opening tip and made it work while forcing seven first quarter turnovers from the Eels. Several of those miscues directly fed transition baskets for the Knights, who got 11 first quarter points from Raines.
Emily Phillips was assigned to shadow Clay City's freshman point guard, Carmela Roeschlein and did admirably according to Anderson.
"Emily did an outstanding job on Roeschlein," Anderson noted. "She made it difficult all night for her to get the ball, but Carmela (Roeschlein) is going to be an outstanding player as she gets older."
The Eels fell behind early behind Raines' barrage and a pair of hoops from Phillips and a 3-pointer from Stormi Raines. However, the Eels responded with a 3-pointer from Devyn Bridgewater and four points from Roeschlein in the opening period.
Northview led 21-15 after the opening eight minutes, but the Eels wouldn't go away as they hit the boards in the second period.
Bridgewater and Britney Glass combined for 11 rebounds in the quarter and scored eight points to remain within 37-29 at halftime.
In the second half, the Eels turned up the fire as Brielle Drelick returned from foul trouble to score off a drive and Roeschlein followed with a bucket. Kirstin Kimball had a free throw and Phillips knocked home a jumper to extend the lead to 40-33. But Roeschlein answered back with a 3-pointer and Bridgewater followed to get the Eels within 40-38.
But the Knights had an answer of their own.
Two free throws from Raines and one from Shelby Colson pushed the lead back to five and the Knights got a 3-pointer from Stormi Raines and back-to-back scores from Spring Raines to push the lead back to 10 at 50-40.
The Eels had used an extensive amount of energy in the third quarter run and Clay City coach Chris Ames felt that his team was somewhat spent after the surge.
"I think we just ran out of gas," Ames said. "When you have a player as good as Spring (Raines). . .She did a great job of keeping her head up and getting everyone involved. She's a lot of fun to watch."
Raines followed up a 21-point first half with eight in the third quarter and was able to keep the Knights ahead down the stretch.
Roeschlein, who had 16 points of her own, opened the fourth quarter with a bucket and Drelick added a free throw for a 52-46 game, but Spring Raines answered back with a transition 3-pointer to bump the lead back to 55-46. The Eels turned the ball over on the next possession and Raines converted for a double-digit advantage.
The Eels got back within 63-54 on a three-point play from Roeschlein, but Raines came back with her fourth 3-pointer and added a jumper to put the game out of reach.
Despite the loss, Ames felt his team played well against a 4A rival.
"I thought Carmela did a good job as a freshman, handling (Northview's) pressure. I hope that helps in the future," Ames said. "Overall I was pleased with the kids, we had to over extend (on defense) and Northview hit some big shots."
Anderson was also pleased with her team's effort in winning its fourth-straight game.
"It was a good all-around effort," Anderson said. "Our bench did a good job filling in when we had some foul trouble."
Phillips had nine points for the Knights with five rebounds and both Kimball and Raines had eight apiece. Drelick had nine points for the Eels with both Kelly McCullough and Glass adding eight points. Bridgewater had 14 rebounds to go with 12 points.
In the JV game, Northview got 13 points from Lauren Webster and nine from Alyssa Conrad in a 33-20 victory. The Eels were led by six apiece from Michaela Riggs and Shaya Stevenson. Danielle Gossage added five.
Northview (10-7 overall) holds Senior Night this evening against Plainfield while the Eels (7-12 overall) host South Putnam for their Senior Night.
At Clay City
Bell 0-0 0-2 0, Phillips 4-9 1-3 9, Kimball 3-7 2-5 8, Sp.Raines 14-27 11-12 43, St.Raines 3-6 0-0 8, Webster 0-1 0-0 0, Searing 0-1 0-0 0, Sampson 1-1 0-0 2, Colson 0-1 1-2 1, Conrad 0-0 0-0 0, Lee 0-0 0-0. Totals: 25-52 15-24 71.
Clay City (54)
Roeschlein 6-16 3-5 16, Drelick 3-6 3-4 9, Glass 3-5 2-7 8, A.Miller 1-7 0-0 2, McCullough 3-4 2-4 8, Bridgewater 5-13 1-5 12. Totals: 21-51 11-25 54.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 6-17 (Sp.Raines 4-11, St.Raines 2-4, Searing 0-1, Webster 0-1), CC 2-13 (Roeschlein 1-7, Bridgewater 1-4, A.Miller 0-2). Total Rebounds -- Nv 37 (Kimball 8, Sp.Raines 7), CC 33 (Glass 8, Bridgewater 14). Total Fouls -- Nv 23, CC 21. Turnovers -- Nv 15, CC18.
JV -- Nview won, 32-20.