By MATT MCKINNEY
Times Staff Reporter
SWITZ CITY - Although they put up a tremendous effort, the Clay City boys' basketball team was defeated by the undefeated Eastern-Greene Thunderbirds Friday night, 58-43 in a thrilling contest in the semifinals of the Greene County Tourney.
Clay City senior Josh Decker got the Eels off to a good start by making the game's first shot a few minutes into the game. Decker finished with two points in the game.
Throughout the rest of the first quarter, the lead was constantly changing between the teams. The period ended with Clay City down, 18-14.
In the second quarter, the Eels were putting up points, but so were the Thunderbirds. Clay City simply couldn't match Eastern-Greene point for point in the period.
However, Eels' senior Justin Rodgers certainly did his best to match the scoring. Rodgers went 4-of-5 from three-point range for 12 of his 18 points in the game.
Clay City head coach Vance Edmondson was proud of Rodgers' results Friday night.
"That's the Justin I've been looking for all year," Edmondson said. "If we can get that out of him consistently, then we'll be a tough team down the stretch."
After two hard-fought quarters, Clay City was down but not out with the score 32-25 in favor of Eastern-Greene.
A telling statistic in the game was the number of turnovers and mistakes for both teams. Eastern-Greene kept their turnovers down to just three in the first half, while Clay City committed seven in the same two quarters.
Clay City continued to battle in the second half, including senior Tyler Bridgewater, who scored eight of the team's 18 points in the latter half of the game. The Eel's offense started to become dependent on him. Bridgewater, who finished with 12 points, also grabbed nine boards Friday night.
Things got worse for the Eels offensively in the final quarter. After scoring an average of 12 points in each of the first three quarters, Clay City only scored six in the final period.
Although they lost by 15 points, Edmondson was pleased with his team's performance.
"Very proud of our guys," Edmondson said. "I thought we played hard, executed our game plan. We didn't have much time to prepare for them and we just kind of wore down in the second half."
Junior Ben Denker scored six points Friday night. His classmate, Jake Tiefel contributed five in the loss.
The Eels will play this evening in the third-place game at 6 p.m. against Linton, an overtime loser to Vincennes Rivet.
At White River Valley
Clay City (43)
Denker 2-8 1-2 6, Decker 1-2 0-0 2, Rodgers 7-11 0-0 18, Tiefel 2-8 1-2 5, Bridgewater 5-12 1-2 12, Jones 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 17-42 3-6 43.
Igel 4-8 2-2 12, Martin 1-2 0-0 3, Russell 2-7 2-2 7, Darnell 5-8 0-0 10, Yoho 10-21 1-4 22, Johnson 1-6 2-4 4. Totals 23-57 7-12 58.
|Clay City||14 11 12 6 --||43|
|Eastern-Greene||18 14 16 10 --||58|
3-point field goals -- CC 6-11 (Denker 1-3, Decker 0-1, Rodgers 4-5, Bridgewater 1-2), EG 5-13 (Igel 2-4, Martin 1-1, Russell 1-4, Yoho 1-4). Total Rebounds -- CC 25 (Denker 1, Decker 2, Rodgers 7, Tiefel 1, Bridgewater 9, Allen 4), EG -- 28 (Igel 1, Martin 1, Russell 1, Cobine 1, Darnell 6, Yoho 9, Johnson 3, Ingram 2, Hutchinson 3). Total Fouls -- CC 14, EG 12. Total Turnovers -- CC 11, EG 11.