Times Staff Reporter
SWITZ CITY -- Clay City kicked off their quest for a sectional title with a dominant performance against the overmatched Holy Cross Knights in first round action at the White River Valley Sectional.
The Eels (15-7) scored the game's first six points and never let up, as five different players cracked double figures in scoring. Despite their outright domination, Coach Grant McVay was simply pleased with his squad's advancement, and not their margin of victory,
"In tournament play, you have to win to move on," McVay said. "The kids played well and for the sake of moving on, I'm pleased."
Will Kennedy led the Eels with 16 points, while Braxton Griffith and Levi Seymour added 14. Jordan Defore and D.J. Newton rounded out Clay City's double digit scoring with 10 points apiece.
The lone scare the Eels faced was in the second period, when Kennedy took a shot to the face while driving hard for a lay up. He stayed on the ground for a brief moment, but returned to the court at the start of the second half.
The only problem Clay City faced was the lights out shooting of Holy Cross guard DeJohn Walden, who electrified spectators with a spectacular 35-point performance, including six three-pointers. Even McVay paid respect, calling his play "unbelievable."
Despite their impressive margin of victory, McVay said he planned to make adjustments to his game plan before returning to action Friday night. Without elaborating, he said "We'll do a few things differently on Friday."
The Eels' opponent Friday will be Union, which squeaked by Clay City 46-45 on Dec. 5. McVay stated he was looking forward to a second chance to not only advance deeper into sectional play, but to avenge a tough loss from earlier in the season.
"Our goal every night is to be sharp," McVay said. "This is a good chance to avenge an early season loss and see how far we can take things."
The Eels face the Bulldogs (6-15) on Friday at 6 p.m.
At White River Valley
Clay City (88)
Griffith 4 2-3 14, Newton 3 4-5 10, Seymour 4 6-9 14, Higgins 1 0-2 2, Kennedy 7 2-6 16, Rhodes 4 0-0 8, Heffner 3 2-6 8, Defore 3 4-5 10, Fry 1 0-0 2, Decker 1 1-2 4
Holy Cross (50)
Garner 0 2-2 2, Walden 13 3-3 35, Smith 0 0-2 0, Fuhrman 1 2-2 4, Dietz 1 0-0 2, Brown 1 1-2 3, McLeod 1 0-1 2, Walden 1 0-0 2
3-point field goals- CC 3 (Griffith 2, Decker 1) HC 6 (Walden 6). Total Rebounds -- CC 30 HC 26. Total Team Fouls -- CC 12 HC 23.
Next game: Clay City will face Union in second round action of the White River Valley High School Sectional. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.