Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- Vincennes Rivet reached the IHSAA State Finals last season before losing to Fort Wayne Canterbury and brought the top-ranked Class A team in the state into Clay City Monday evening. The Patriots looked every bit the role of a top team in posting a 55-21 win over the Eels to improve to 7-0 this season.
"We played a very good team tonight," Clay City coach Chris Ames said. "You have to cherish the opportunities to play good teams. So I said after the Bloomington North game, you've got to play teams like that to get yourself mentally tougher and to know how to prepare to be a winning program."
The Eels stayed close over the opening eight minutes as Carmela Roeschlein knocked home a pair of 3-pointers and Allie Miller added one. Clay City was limited by the Patriots 2-3 zone, that denied the ball into the paint and Vincennes' full court press forced the Eels into some tentative turnovers. Clay City turned the ball over six times in the first quarter, but Vincennes struggled to find the basket as well, hitting just four-of-15 shots from the field. Clay City remained within 10-9 after the first quarter before the Patriots turned up the pressure in the second period.
"In the early moments we had some good plays and were flying around," Ames said. "Eventually (Vincennes) really got it going and we've got to try and maintain where we're at and try and stop the big runs they were making at us and we didn't do that."
The Patriots got some easy transition baskets off another six Eels' turnovers and led 27-13 at halftime.
The third quarter was even tougher on the Eels' offense as Vincennes continued to press, forcing seven more turnovers. Rivet was strong at the defensive end and forced the Eels to shoot from the perimeter. Clay City hit just one-of-nine from the field and Rivet senior Chelsea Meeks scored five of her nine points in the quarter. Young added another 3-pointer as Vincennes pushed the lead to 41-15.
"(Vincennes) steps on the gas and goes for it and they did that tonight," Ames said. "Their pressure is outstanding and they can play 10 girls at a time and they do a fantastic job. If they don't turn you over two or three times then they'll try the next two or three times so you have to maintain your composure for 32 minutes and be sharp."
In the fourth quarter, Miller added another 3-pointer for her team-high 11th point and Brielle Drelick added one to go with her game-high nine rebounds. Kelly McCullough added seven rebounds for the Eels.
Despite the lopsided loss, Ames was looking ahead to two important upcoming games against Linton at home on Thursday and a Monday battle with North Central (Farmersburg).
"The great thing is that we play again on Thursday and Monday, two huge conference games so we're going to come out and compete and stick with it," Ames said.
The Eels are now 4-3 overall and play Linton at 6 p.m.
At Clay City
Vincennes Rivet (55)
Meeks 4-12 1-2 9, C.Brocksmith 5-10 0-0 10, E.Wehrheim 1-3 2-2 4, Young 4-7 0-0 11, Montgomery 3-7 0-0 6, V.Brocksmith 0-2 0-0 0, Keller 2-4 1-4 5, Niehaus 1-4 2-2 4, Tucker 1-1 2-2 4, Fowler 0-0 0-0 0, Pratt 1-1 0-0 2, A.Wehrheim 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-52 5-14 55.
Clay City (21)
Roeschlein 2-12 0-0 6, Drelick 1-7 0-0 3, Reed 0-1 0-0 0, A.Miller 4-9 0-2 11, McCullough 0-3 1-2 1, Dayhuff 0-2 0-0 0, S.Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Booe 0-2 0-0 0, Riggs 0-0 0-0 0, Gossage 0-0 0-0 0, Milner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 7-37 1-4 21.
3-point fieldgoals -- VR 3-12 (Meeks 0-4, V.Brocksmith 0-1, Young 3-6, Montgomery 0-1), CC 6-13 (A.Miller 3-5, Roeschlein 2-6, Drelick 1-1, Dayhuff 0-1). Total Rebounds -- VR 32 (C.Brocksmith 7, E.Wehrheim 7), CC 29 (Drelick 9, McCullough 7). Total Fouls -- VR 9, CC 11. Turnovers -- VR 7, CC 26.