Times Staff Report
NASHVILLE -- The North Clay eighth-grade basketball team lost a hard fought contest in the opening round of the Western Indiana Conference tourney at Brown County on Saturday. The see-saw affair went to Sullivan, 39-36, as Payton Santus' shot banked as time expired for the Arrows.
The Knights got off to a slow start in the contest as Nate Newton hit a pair of free throws nearly four minutes into the game to get North Clay on the board with 2:10 left in the opening quarter. After opening sluggishly, the Knights closed the quarter with a flurry as Connor Ganly sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to get his team within 7-6.
The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair with the lead trading hands a couple of times before Sullivan went into the locker room with a two-point lead.
In the second half, Ian Hefner's three-point play with 1:15 to go put the Knights in front at 34-33, but Sullivan added a tying free throw with eight seconds left in regulation.
The Arrows went to Brooks Weszely for the game-winner, but the Knights' Daniel Kimball blocked the shot and the game went to overtime.
In the extra session, North Clay took the lead on a Nate Newton score with 1:13 left to play and the game looked like it might go to a second overtime. North Clay locked down the Arrows top scorers, but the ball wound up in Santus' hands and his shot found the net for a Sullivan win that kept them unbeaten at 14-0.
Ethan Whitson led the Knights with 16 points followed by Ganley with nine. Both Newton and Kimball tallied four and Hefner added three.
The Knights' season concludes with a 12-4 overall record.