Times Staff Reporter
The North Clay eighth-grade boys' basketball team hosted the Honey Creek Middle School Wednesday evening in two exciting finishes for the Knights. North Clay fought valiantly, but couldn't come away with a victory in either game, losing 48-45 and 39-25.
North Clay started its "A" game off well as Joe Ball scored eight points in the first quarter alone. Ball's contribution helped the Knights take a 16-12 first quarter lead.
Ball totaled 14 points on the night.
As Ball became the main scorer of the first quarter, Cade Newton was the main scoring option of the second quarter. Newton went 4-of-6 on free throws in the quarter, and added a field goal to bring his second quarter total to six, over half of North Clay's points in the period.
Newton scored 10 total points Wednesday evening.
North Clay came out of halftime with a 27-25 lead, and all the momentum going its way. For five minutes and 30 seconds of the third quarter, the Knights led Honey Creek.
However, in the last half-minute, Honey Creek's Spence Tofaute took over the game.
He made two three-pointers in the last 30 seconds to give his team a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Knights gave it their all in the fourth, but despite a late rally by Jacob Harden, they just couldn't pull off the great comeback.
Despite the loss, North Clay head coach Shawn Hughes was impressed with his team's progression.
"The boys are playing at a much better intensity than they have in the past," Hughes said. "We're starting to get where we need to be. From the first game to now, its just a ton better."
Harden finished with nine points, Gabe Rogers had seven, and Gaddis Baysinger scored three in North Clay's loss.
The Knights' second game was a much different story. Instead of North Clay jumping to a big lead, it was Honey Creek. The Bees outscored the Knights 23-5 in the first half, with 15 of their points coming off three-pointers.
"They came out in the second half a lot more energetic," Hughes said "They started boxing out a lot better, getting rebounds, getting the ball to the hole, and making plays. Which showed on the scoreboard."
The Knights' play was considerably better in the second half, outscoring Honey Creek 20-16. However, the first half deficit was too much for North Clay to fight back from, and they fell, 39-25.
Seth Payton, Blake Mershon and Nick McCollum all tied for the team lead with six points each.
Antony Bryan scored four, and Keegan Roembke added three of his own to North Clay's total in the loss.
The eighth-grade's next challenge is tonight against Greencastle Middle School at 6 p.m.
At North Clay
|North Clay||16||11||8||10||-- 45|
|Honey Creek||12||13||12||11||-- 48|
|North Clay||2||3||11||9||-- 25|
|Honey Creek||12||11||7||9||-- 39|