BY MATT MCKINNEY
Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- Although they started out hot, the Clay City boys' basketball team couldn't finish a tough game against the unbeaten Eastern Greene Thunderbirds and were defeated Friday night, 50-30.
In the first quarter, the Eels quickly showed they weren't going to lie down against Eastern Greene. Not only did Clay City connect on its own shots by making a pair of three-pointers, but they also capitalized on eight Eastern Greene turnovers to take a 12-7 lead going into the second quarter.
After the sluggish first quarter, Eastern Greene showed just why it hasn't lost a game all season. The Thunderbirds came out of the break and scored four straight points before Clay City junior Ben Denker made a free throw for the Eels' first points of the period halfway through the quarter. Denker led the Eels with nine points Friday night.
"I don't think it was adjustments," Eastern Greene head coach Andy Igel said. "I think it was more our kids decided to step up and make it difficult for (Clay City)."
"I thought (Denker) played well," Clay City head coach Vance Edmondson said. "He had to do a lot of the ball handling tonight and he led us in scoring."
With two minutes to go and up by a point at 17-16, Eastern Greene scored five unanswered points to close out the half at 22-16.
Coming out of halftime, Clay City gave maximum effort, but they had a crucial scoring drought in the third quarter that lasted over three minutes.
The Thunderbirds' senior Ray Darnell led the quarter with seven points to extend the lead for Eastern Greene.
In the fourth quarter, the Eels came out determined to fight hard, but couldn't get much going offensively. After scoring 25 points in the first three quarters, Clay City scored just five in the final quarter.
"I'm pleased with our effort," Edmondson said. "I thought our guys played hard tonight. They did a good job of putting pressure on us and taking away the things we wanted to do."
Junior J.T. Yoho led Eastern Greene in scoring for the game with 19 points. Second for the T-Birds was Darnell with 12. Darnell also led Eastern Greene in rebounding, collecting five boards Friday night.
Seniors Justin Rodgers and Tyler Bridgewater each scored six points for the Eels. Junior Jake Tiefel contributed with three points Friday. Juniors Koby Rhodes and Tyler Allen, as well as junior Josh Decker, scored two points each in the loss.
The Clay City junior varsity also lost on Friday, 51-23.
The Eels'(4-8) next contest is tonight against Cloverdale.
At Clay City
Clay City (30)
Denker 3-8 2-4 9, Decker 1-5 0-0 2, Rodgers 2-5 0-0 6, Tiefel 1-4 1-2 3, Bridgewater 2-10 2-2 6, Rhodes 1-1 0-0 2, Allen 1-1 0-0 2, Jones 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 11-36 5-8 30.
Eastern Greene (50)
Igel 1-2 2-2 5, Russell 1-6 1-2 3, Darnell 5-9 2-3 12, Yoho 8-13 0-2 19, Johnson 2-9 0-0 4, Cobine 1-3 0-0 2, Crowe 0-1 0-0 0, Ingram 1-2 3-4 5, Hutchinson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-46 8-13 50.
3-point field goals -- CC 3-12 (Denker 1-4, Decker 0-3, Rodgers 2-3, Bridgewater 0-2), EG 4-11 (Igel 1-1, Russell 0-3, Cobine 0-1, Crowe 0-1 Yoho 3-4, Johnson 0-1), Total Rebounds -- CC 23 (Denker 3, Decker 6, Smith 1, Rodgers 4, Tiefel 2, Bridgewater 6), EG 20 (Russell 1, Darnell 5, Yoho 4, Johnson 4, Ingram 3 Hash 1). Total Turnovers -- CC 26, EG 15. Total Fouls -- CC 11, EG 7.