By MATT MCKINNEY
Times Staff Report
The Greencastle Tiger Cubs eighth-grade boys' basketball team traveled to Clay County to take on the Knights. North Clay split the series with Greencastle as the "A" team lost 42-30 and the "B" team won 44-15.
The first game was exciting for the first three quarters. North Clay was tied with Greencastle after playing three tight periods, 25-all. The Knights were playing well, as Joe Ball and Jacob Harden tied for the team lead in points with nine each. They both ended the game with 11 a piece.
However, somewhere in the fourth quarter, everything fell apart. After scoring about eight points in each quarter, Greencastle exploded offensively, scoring 17 points in the final period to get the victory.
"We need to learn not to take any team lightly," North Clay head coach Shawn Hughes said. "We can't lob passes if people are just running-and-gunning the whole time. They'll just pick those lobs off as fast as they can."
Cade Newton scored six points and Gabe Rogers had two points in the North Clay loss.
If the Knight fans were disappointed with the first game, then the "B" game brought their spirits back up.
Similar to the first game, the second game started out close for North Clay. After two hard-fought quarters, the Knights had a slim three-point lead, 16-13.
After not scoring a point in the first half, Knight Nick McCollum hit six field goals in the third quarter to propel his team.
McCollum ended the night with 12 points.
North Clay's defense also stiffened up in the second half, not allowing a single point in the entire third quarter to take a 30-13 lead to go into the fourth.
Much to the away fans chagrin, North Clay continued its great play into the final period, scoring 15 points while only allowing the Tiger Cubs two.
"I was extremely proud of that 'B' team tonight," Hughes said. "I'm just proud of those guys. That second half was the best second half I've seen them play this year."
Although McCollum led the way with 12 points, North Clay's scoring was very evenly distributed.
Seth Payton had 11 points, and Antony Bryan scored five. Mitch Thomas and Kurtis Yocom each contributed with four points. Finally, Keegan Roembke, Kade Carter, KJ Thomas, and Austin Russell added to the total with two points each in their victory.
The eighth-graders' next match-up is on December 13 at home against North Central High School-Farmersburg at 6 p.m.
At North Clay