Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- A lack of size has been an Achilles heel for Clay City for a number of years and on Monday night, visiting Rockville was able to take advantage with 6'3 senior Beth Mahurin.
The Rox, Wright State-bound center scored 18 of her 24 points in the first and last quarters to propel Rockville to a 58-48 win over the Eels.
Clay City was unable to pressure Rockville's guards enough early on in the game and Mahurin took advantage with eight points in an opening 17-6 rush by the Rox. The senior also was a force in the paint, disrupting a number of shots to go with three blocks and four rebounds in the opening quarter alone.
"Rockville did a great job tonight. They got off to a good start and that's our inability to get stops early. We got down 9-2, 11-2 and (Rockville) spreads you out and you don't stop the ball and they get it to (Beth) Mahurin and it's game-set-match," Clay City coach Chris Ames said. "We made some runs at them, I don't fault our effort, I fault our lack of intensity at times. We didn't play smart at times."
Facing a double-digit hole quickly, trailing 24-10 with 5:40 left in the first half, the Eels mounted a comeback with some pressure that forced eight turnovers in the second quarter.
Opening the second half, Clay City looked as if it was back on track offensively as a drive by Booe cut the lead to 30-22, but Rockville responded with a 6-0 run.
Jenifer Lee hit a jumper, Mahurin added a score and a turnover by the Eels led to two free throws by Jerica Carrington.
Suddenly the Rox lead was back to 36-22 after the run.
Clay City's Allie Miller knocked down a 3-pointer to answer and Rockville turned the ball over, which led to a trifecta by Roeschlein, who had a team-high 20 points. The Eels clawed back within 36-30 after a jumper by Drelick.
The Eels were in some foul trouble however and Drelick picked up her fourth foul with a minute remaining in the quarter and Rockville added four late free throws to boost the gap to 40-30 heading into the final quarter.
The Eels weren't able to mount much of an inside threat with Mahurin guarding the basket, but Clay City began to find the range in their jumpers. Unfortunately, so did Rockville.
Drelick opened the final period with back-to-back jumper just inside the 3-point line to get Clay City within 40-34, but Mahurin answered with a short jump shot. Miller came back with one of her own for the Eels. Mahurin followed for Rockville, but Roeschlein came right back to keep Clay City within 44-38, but time was getting away from the Eels.
"We were always two or three possessions behind, we did hit some shots and (Rockville) hit their foul shots, which helps," Ames said. "We just got beat because they played better than we did. I hope it's a learning lesson."
Rockville was clutch down the stretch and in the entire game from the free throw line, hitting 16-of-23 from the line. The Rox were also six-of-eight in the final period to keep Clay City at arms' length.
Roeschlein converted a three-point play with 5:04 remaining, but Mahurin came back with a bucket. Miller nailed another 3-pointer to get the Eels within 48-44 with 3:08 left.
Rockville however, would get two free throws from Hillary Woodard, who had 15 points and she would score on an uncontested drive to push the gap to 54-46. Carrington followed with two more free throws to put the game out of reach.
"It's just tough to drive the ball against (Rockville). With Beth (Mahurin) protecting the middle for them," Ames said. "We were out of gas at times, I won't say we weren't. Again, I think if we play a little smarter, we wouldn't be in that situation at the end.
"I was disappointed in not getting enough pressure on their guards," Ames added. "It's very difficult for us to get a high-hand on them because they can just lob it over the top. We just didn't have enough pressure on the ball and they were able to make wide open passes to (Mahurin) and it made it very easy."
Mahurin had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the game and Carrington hit eight-of-nine shots from the free throw line for 11 points. Drelick added 12 points for Clay City, but struggled from the field, hitting just four-of-17. Roeschlein was five-of-19 from the field as Clay City was forced to settle for contested jumpers for much of the game.
In the junior varsity game, Clay City won 24-9 paced by nine points from freshman Alex Wolfe. Kaleigh Decker added five points and both Callie Dayhuff and Danielle Gossage had four points.
The Eels drop to 3-2 overall and are off until a Nov. 29 conference tilt with White River Valley.
At Clay City
Carrington 1-1 8-9 11, Lee 1-4 2-4 4, Sutherlin 1-3 0-0 2, Mahurin 11-18 2-2 24, Woodard 5-11 4-6 15, Gordon 0-1 0-2 0, Donovan 0-1 0-0 0, D. Kelley 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 19-41 16-23 58.
Clay City (48)
Roeschlein 5-19 8-9 20, Drelick 4-17 4-4 12, Reed 3-8 0-0 6, Miller 2-5 0-0 6, Booe 2-4 0-2 4, Dayhuff 0-0 0-0 0, Riggs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-53 12-15 48.
3-point fieldgoals -- Rv 2-5 (Woodward 1-2, Donovan, 0-1, Carrington 1-1, Gordon 0-1), CC 4-20 (Roeschlein 2-11, Drelick 0-1, Reed 0-4, Miller 2-4). Total Rebounds -- Rv 39 (Mahurin 12, Woodward 7), CC 24 (Miller 5, Drelick 5, Roeschlein 4). Total Fouls -- Rv 15, CC 18. Turnovers -- Rv 20, CC 9.
Next game: Clay City (3-2 overall) hosts White River Valley on Nov. 29. Rockville (2-3 overall) travels to Southmont on Nov. 30.