By MATT MCKINNEY
Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City boys' basketball team hosted a tough South Vermillion team in the highly anticipated 2010 season opener Wednesday night. South Vermillion was also Clay City's first opponent in the 2009 season. In last year's opener, the Eels fell, 61-46. This time was much different for Clay City as the Eels came away with the victory, 58-43.
In the opening quarter, Clay City jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead, giving it the momentum to begin the game. With 1:30 left in the first quarter, Eel senior Tyler Bridgewater made a crucial lay-up to increase Clay City's lead to 11-7. That lead didn't last long, as the resilient Wildcats connected on two quick shots to secure the first quarter lead, 13-12.
Bridgewater had a very productive night, leading Clay City in scoring with 21 points.
"Bridgewater obviously had a good game with 21 points," Eel head coach Vance Edmonson said. "He's just a force to stop in the inside and we try to get it to him as much as possible."
It was clear that neither team would concede a single basket in the game. There were a total of 32 fouls given out between both teams, and that amount could have easily been more.
In the second quarter, Clay City started to pull away with excellent defense. After scoring 13 points in the first quarter, South Vermillion only put five points on the board during the second period. The Eels went into halftime with a 26-18 lead.
The penultimate quarter was more of the same great play from Clay City.
Junior Ben Denker upped his play in the third, scoring six points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the period. His final totals on the night were 12 points and four rebounds.
Clay City's excellent defense continued into the fourth quarter to close out the game, 58-43.
Senior Justin Rodgers scored eight points Wednesday, and another senior, Josh Decker, seven. Juniors Jake Tiefel and Tyler Allen had five and four points, respectively. Sophomore Colten Harbour contributed late in the game with a point.
Clay City's next game is at Union(Dugger) at 7:30 p.m.
At Clay City
Clay City (58)
Denker 3-9 4-4 12, Decker 3-8 0-2, Rodgers 4-10 0-0 8, Bridgewater 6-14 7-10 21, Tiefel 2-6 1-2 5, Allen 2-5 0-1 4, Harbour 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 20-52 13-27 58.
South Vermillion (43)
Reyher 6-13 2-2 20, Haltom 2-8 1-2 6, Scott 1-3 4-4 6, Vaughan 3-6 0-2 6, Harpenau 0-4 1-2 1, Lawson 1-4 1-2 3, Johansen 0-2 1-2 1. Totals: 13-40 10-16 43.
3-point fieldgoals -- CC 3-12 (Denker 2-4, Decker 1-3), SV 2-10 (Reyher 1-4, Haltom 1-3, Chambers 0-2, Harpenau 0-1). Total Rebounds -- CC 20 (Denker 4, Decker 5, Rodgers 6, Bridgewater 3, Allen 1, Harbour 1) SV 15 (Haltom 2, Lawson 2, Johansen 2, Chambers 1, Scott 1, Vaughan 6, Harpenau 2) Total Fouls - CC 13, SV 19. Turnovers -- CC 7, SV 13