Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- A frustrating season reached a new peak for the Clay City boys basketball team Friday, as a 70-52 defeat at the hands of North Daviess sent the Eels to their 10th consecutive loss.
Clay City (3-11) was competitive for much of the first half, even taking a two-point lead on two separate occasions in the second quarter. Things quickly got away from the Eels however, as North Daviess was able to dissect their press defense and score several easy fast-break lay-ups.
The Cou-gars ended the half with a 7-0 run, and started the second half with another 6-0 run to open up a 15-point lead. Eels' coach Vance Edmondson said the quick play of their opponent helped put his team in a hole they were unable to crawl out of.
"We were making good plays early on, but I think they ended up figuring us out," Edmondson said. "They made plays and we didn't."
The Eels struggled to contain the explosive guard play of Kendall Wittmer and Nick Crays, who scored 24 and 17 points respectively. Wittmer handed Clay City its most devastating blow of the evening, as his buzzer-beating 3-pointer as time expired in the third ended a 7-0 run by Clay City and seemingly killed any hopes they had of mounting a fourth quarter comeback.
For Clay City, D.J, Newton led the way with 12 points, while Logan Higgins added 11.
Though they were outplayed in many aspects, the biggest discrepancy came on the glass, where the Cougars held a staggering 37-16 advantage. All told, four North Daviess players out rebounded Clay City's top rebounders (Higgins and Tyler Jenkins, who both had four). Edmondson said film study did not depict how rugged a rebounding team North Daviess was, calling their players "deceptively athletic."
After a promising 3-1 start, the wheels have fallen off for Clay City, resulting in a difficult double-digit losing streak. Despite their struggles, Edmondson says frustration has not played a negative effect on his team's play. Though he acknowledged their troubles have been grueling for everyone involved, the Eels neophyte coach said his players desire to win hasn't decreased despite their lack of success.
"The guys are not rolling over," Edmondson said. "We're all trying to stay positive and the fact that we're still playing hard is encouraging."
Friday night wasn't any kinder to the Eels' JV squad, who fell by the score of 44-29. After cutting a first quarter deficit of seven down to two at the half, a turnover happy Clay City looked flat in the third quarter, as they were outscored 14-3.
Colten Harbour led the Eels with 12 points, while Kole Smith added nine.
Clay City returns to action tonight with a homecoming game against WRV. JV tip-off is at 6:30.
At Clay City
North Davies (70)
M. Miller 1 0-0 2, Wittmer 9 3-5 24, Graber 1 2-2 4, Crays 6 4-4 17, Riggins 0 2-2 2, T. Miller 4 4-5 12, Townsend 3 3-4 9. Totals: 24 18-22 70.
Clay City (52)
Newton 5 0-0 12, J. Decker 2 0-0 5, B. Decker 2 0-0 5, Jenkins 3 0-0 8, Higgins 3 4-6 11, Bridgewater 3 1-2 7, Moore 1 0-0 2, Johnson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 5-8 52.
3-point field goals -- ND 4-12 (Wittmer 3-6, Graber 0-1, Crays 1-4, Riggins 0-1) CC 7-22 (Newton 2-6, J. Decker 1-2, B. Decker 1-6, Jenkins 2-5, Higgins 1-1, Evans 0-1, Tiefel 0-1, Bridgewater 0-1). Total Rebounds -- ND 37 (Crays and Townsend both with 10, T. Miller 6), CC 16 (Higgins and Jenkins both with 4, Newton 3). Team Fouls-- ND 5, CC 16. Turnovers -- ND 14, CC 8.