Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- Sometimes the key to earning a win on the basketball court is the determination and energy you play with until the final buzzer. On Monday night it was the undermanned North Central Ladybirds, missing a number of former starters due to injury, pulled together for a 47-33 win over the Eels in a Tri-River Conference tussle.
With as much energy as Clay City played with in a double overtime loss against a rugged Linton squad on Dec. 10, the Eels seemed listless at times on Monday. North Central stuck with their five starters the entire 32 minutes and was able to pull away in the fourth quarter of the victory.
The Ladybirds got a game-high 28 points from 5'10 senior Jocelyn Boyll, who hit 10-of-11 shots from the field and eight-of-10 from the free throw line. All of Boyll's points came from short-range and the forward added 10 rebounds while dominating the paint.
Clay City coach Chris Ames agreed that his team struggled to play with energy on the defensive end for much of the game.
I told them after the game, showed them the shot chart after the game and I think (North Central) hit five shots outside the lane all night and one of those was a banked in 3-pointer," Ames said. "All it comes down to is mental approach. Defense to me is 90 percent mental and the other 10 percent is having the physical ability. Some of our girls just refuse and when things don't go their way they don't want to play."
Clay City trailed 12-7 after the opening period as Boyll scored seven points to offset a pair of field goals by Drelick and a 3-pointer from Carmela Roeschlein.
"We stood up a lot defensively and our guards refused to "T" any cuts, they stood up and let (North Central) cut by them and we have to help some," Ames added. "Your trying to stop a pretty good player in (Jocelyn) Boyll and we never got it accomplished all night."
The field goal by Roeschlein was the sophomore's last field goal of the game and she shot just twice in the middle two periods. In the second quarter it was North Central's Amber Kemp, who took over and knocked home four consecutive short-range jumpers to lead the Ladybirds to a 26-15 lead at halftime.
Clay City showed a spark in the third quarter and got within 27-22 on a three-point play by Drelick and a bucket by the Eels' Kelly McCullough. From there however, Boyll finished with three late field goals to extend the lead to 32-25 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Eels closed to within 36-30 on back-to-back offensive rebound baskets by Drelick and Allie Miller. North Central controlled the rest of the game however, finishing on an 11-3 run as Maria Drake scored five points late to seal the win.
Drelick led the Eels with 13 points and five rebounds while McCullough added six points and four rebounds. Allie Miller tallied six points for Clay City as well.
The loss drops Clay City to 4-5 overall and 2-2 in the TRC. Clay City travels to Union (Dugger) on Thursday evening in a varsity-only contest. North Central is now 6-2 overall and 3-0 in the TRC.
At Clay City
North Central (47)
Brown 0-4 1-2 1, West 2-6 0-0 5, Kemp 5-10 0-1 10, Drake 1-4 3-4 5, Boyll 10-11 8-10 28. Totals: 17-34 12-17 47.
Clay City (33)
Roeschlein 1-10 0-0 3, Drelick 5-8 2-3 13, Reed 1-7 0-0 3, A.Miller 3-4 0-0 6, McCullough 2-8 2-4 6, Dayhuff 0-2 0-0 0, S.Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Booe 1-6 0-0 2, Riggs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-45 3-5 33.
3-point fieldgoals -- NC 1-8 (West 1-3, Brown 0-2, Drake 0-2, Kemp 0-1), CC 2-15 (Roeschlein 1-4, Reed 1-4, McCullough 0-5, A.Miller 0-1, Booe 0-1). Total Rebounds -- NC 27 (Boyll 10, Kemp 6), CC 22 (Drelick 5, McCullough 4). Total Fouls -- NC 9, CC 17. Turnovers -- NC 11, CC 9.