Times Staff Reporter
The North Clay Knights split their basketball series Wednesday night against the West Vigo Vikings in two exciting matches. The sixth grade Knights fell, 39-24 due to West Vigo's inside presence. However, the seventh graders won, 37-35, in an exciting game that wasn't decided until the last few seconds.
The sixth graders quickly realized that the Vikings wouldn't just roll over to be beaten, as Jordan Easter made a quick lay-up to open the game for West Vigo. The Vikings continued to pour on the lead, constantly pounding the ball inside with Tyler Kernstein, either drawing a foul or sinking the shot himself.
Free throws were a major part of the sixth grade game, with West Vigo making 10-of-17 attempts for 58-percent. However, North Clay only made three of its 12 attempts, good for just 25 percent from the line.
North Clay brought the score within six in the third quarter at 23-17 with two consecutive shots and drew an offensive foul.
The Knight's offense wasn't pigeonholed through one player, as Kalen Schane, Dylan Hyatt and Thomas Hess combined for 14 of North Clay's 24 points.
Luke Lancaster, Dilan Farris and Mitchell Howald each had a pair of points on the evening.
With the score 26-17 to open the fourth quarter, North Clay needed to make a big stand to get back into the game. However, West Vigo didn't let that happen, going on a 10-3 run to open the final period. Braelyne Compton scored three points Wednesday. Jayden Lindsay helped the Knights with a point.
North Clay's seventh grade was unable to get back into the game afterwards, eventually losing, 39-24.
Even though the sixth grade game put on a great show for the fans, the seventh graders put on an even better show.
The entire first half was very close, as North Clay was down two at the end of quarter number one, 10-8. Coincidentally, they were also down two going into halftime, 20-18.
The Knight's scoring was evenly distributed between the entire team, with no player scoring more than eight points.
North Clay head coach Clay Huffman was pleased with the point distribution Wednesday night.
"It was a good team effort," Huffman said. "Everybody was playing hard."
The game was close throughout all four quarters, but this was never more evident than late in the fourth.
Now up by one, Quinton Hayes saw an opportunity to close the game and steal the ball, and snatched it.
Hayes also sealed the game at 37-35 with a free throw a second later, as West Vigo's final shot fell short.
Hayes also had six points Wednesday. Also scoring six were Tucker Stewart and Liam Jones. Ben Girton led the Knights with eight points, and Nathan Thomas had three.
The sixth-grade plays at Woodrow Wilson on Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. The seventh-grade plays tonight against St. Pats at 6 p.m.
At North Clay