Times Sports Editor
Clay City and Northview are two teams that appear to be going in different directions as the month of January comes to a close.
The Eels came into Tuesday's girls' county basketball battle on a two-game winning streak while the Knights had lost eight consecutive games.
The trend continued on the Knights' home court as Clay City came out firing from long-range to build a sizable lead and hold off a late rally by Northview.
Slow starts have been a problem for the Knights during the losing streak and the Eels jumped on them quick, getting a pair of 3-pointer from Brielle Drelick in the first period to take a 10-3 lead.
"We've harped all season about coming out ready to play and again we didn't," Northview coach Lu Anne Anderson lamented. "We dig ourselves such a big hole that you have to expect this to happen."
The Eels forced seven turnovers in the first period and continued to stay active defensively in the second quarter.
Clay City was able to extend the lead in the second quarter with point guard Carmela Roeschlein on the bench with two fouls. The Eels got a 3-pointer from Allie Miller, three more points from Drelick and all five of Madison Booe's points off the bench. Meanwhile, the Knights hit just three-of-11 fieldgoal attempts in the first half as Clay City gained a 22-11 lead at the break.
Allie Miller opened the second half with a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a bucket by the Knights' Jessica LaTourette. Abby Reed followed with a lay-in and a jumper and a Kelly McCullough lead pushed the gap to 35-14 for the Eels.
"Tip your hat to Clay City, they shot lights out, everything they put up seemed to go in," Anderson said. "That seems to be the trend for every team that plays us this season. It'd be nice for us to have one of those games."
Trailing by a wide margin, the Knights still had some fight in them as Kelsey Searing added a bucket and Alyssa Conrad ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer to get Northview back to 35-19.
In the fourth quarter, the teams traded scores over the first several minutes as Drelick scored on a drive followed by a put back by the Knights' Carlee Bell. Roeschlein followed for the Eels and Bell came right back with a jumper and a 39-23 score.
Roeschlein completed a three-point play to extend the gap again, but the Knights got a pair of baskets from Chelsey Sampson in the post. The hoops followed three points from Searing to complete a 7-2 run by the Knights to get within 44-30. The Eels rallied back with two free throws from Roeschlein with 1:32 left. However, the Knights finished strong on an 8-2 run.
Webster, Searing and Conrad each had two points in the closing run to get the Knights within 10 points at the final horn.
The Eels got 11 from Drelick, nine from Allie Miller and seven each from Roeschlein, Reed and McCullough, who topped the squad with eight rebounds.
"It's nice to come up here (and get a win), it's kind of a psychological thing for us sometimes, (Clay City) hung in there at the end and Northview didn't quit either," Ames said. "We did some good things at times and we hope to keep getting better heading into February."
Despite the loss, Anderson saw some improvement in her team to build on in practice.
"This was a much-improved game over our last three games so we do still see positive things. We are looking so hard to find Lauren Webster and while she is a great offensive threat, we can't just have one girl scoring. We have to have other girls looking to score because that will open up Lauren more for her scoring chances."
The Eels (10-8) overall, host Eastern Greene on Thursday while the Knights (4-13) overall, take on Sullivan in a WIC tilt on Friday night at 6 p.m.
Clay City (48)
Roeschlein 2-5 3-3 7, Drelick 4-7 1-3 11, Reed 3-7 1-3 7, A.Miller 3-9 0-4 9, McCullough 2-3 2-4 7, S.Miller 0-0 2-2 2, Booe 2-3 1-2 5, Dayhuff 0-0 0-0 0, Milner 0-0 0-0 0, Gossage 0-0 0-0 0, Riggs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-34 10-21 48.
Conrad 2-5 2-2 7, Sampson 4-6 1-2 9, Webster 2-4 0-0 6, Searing 3-8 2-5 8, J.LaTourette 1-3 0-0 2, Bell 2-7 2-2 6, Carter 0-0 0-2 0. Totals: 16-34 10-21 48.
3-point fieldgoals -- CC 6-11 (A.Miller 3-6, Drelick 2-2, McCullough 1-1, Reed 0-2), Nv 2-10 (Conrad 1-3, Webster 1-6, Searing 0-1). Total Rebounds -- CC 31 (McCullough 8, Drelick 7), Nv 25 (Conrad 7, Searing 6). Total Fouls -- CC 16, Nv 19. Fouled out -- CC (Roeschlein, Drelick). Turnovers -- CC 20, Nv 22.