Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- There was plenty of strategy at hand during the annual girl's county basketball match-up between Clay City and Northview.
The Knights had the goal of limiting the Eels' leading scorers, Carmela Roeschlein and Brielle Drelick while Clay City looked to shut down Northview guard Lauren Webster.
While Northview did an admirable job in holding the Eels' top two scorers to six-of-17 combined shooting from the field, Clay City got help from the rest of their starters in scoring a 42-28 decision.
For Clay City coach Chris Ames, holding Webster to just four points in the game was a pivotal point in scoring the Eels' second straight win over their Clay County rivals.
"That was a key for us, to keep (Lauren) Webster from penetrating and they were still able to get (Chelsey) Sampson the ball. She finished very well at times for them. I thought our guards did a very good job of not overextending, but just putting enough pressure on the ball to keep (Northview) from getting open looks."
The Eels took an early lead as Roeschlein nailed an early 3-pointer, but it was five points from Allie Miller and three more from Michaela Riggs that allowed Clay City to build a 14-9 after one quarter of play.
"I thought Michaela Riggs, at the end of the first quarter, did some good things and made a nice pass to Allie Miller," Ames said. "I know they were trying to shut down Brielle (Drelick) and Carmela (Roeschlein), but it's good that other girls can step up, we just need to be a little more patient at times."
The Knights looked to slow the game down at times during the first half, but the score remained very close as Roeschlein was held scoreless in the quarter and missed several minutes after picking up her second foul. After scoring five points in the first quarter, Northview's 6'0 center, Chelsey Sampson, scored a bucket as the Knights crept closer in the waning moments of the half.
The Eels opened the second half with a jumper from Roeschlein and two free throws by the junior guard, sandwiched around a score by Taylor Carter.
Sampson followed with a bucket to narrow the score to 26-17 and an Eels' turnover gave the Knights a shot to cut into the lead even more. However, Northview came up empty and Roeschlein got free for a spot up 3-pointer to push the gap to 29-17. Her bucket to end the quarter moved the lead to 31-21.
"We got into a little bit of a cat and mouse game with (Clay City)," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "We had the game right where we wanted it at the end of the third quarter. There was a loose ball and if we would have gotten that, we had a lay-up at the other end. If we get that then it's a six-point game heading to the fourth quarter, instead, they get a bucket and it's a 10-point game. That was a huge swing."
Ames keyed on the fact that the Eels had Miller step up and tally 10 points to go with a 3-pointer from Callie Dayhuff that helped offset the fact that the Knights held Drelick scoreless until the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter, Abby Reed opened the scoring before Sampson scored two of her 15 points. A string of turnovers by both teams left the door open, but Miller scored and Drelick added four straight points to bump the lead to 39-24.
The Eels were able to cruise to victory the remainder of the way to improve to 13-7 overall with the Knights dropping to 3-13 overall.
"If you would have told me before the game, we hold (Roeschlein and Drelick) to 19 points, I'd have told you that I like our chances. Give Clay City credit, they had other girls step up and make huge shots," Buell said. "They hit three 3-pointers at the end of the second quarter that were huge. Coach (Chris) Ames is a great coach and (Clay City) is a very good team. They are definitely a sectional favorite for the next two years."
The Eels are back in action for a shot at the outright SWIAC championship on Thursday at Eastern (Greene) and the Knights play Sullivan at 6 p.m. on Friday.
At Clay City
Clay City (42)
Roeschlein 5-11 3-3 15, Drelick 1-6 2-2 4, Reed 1-2 0-0 2, Miller 4-6 0-0 10, Booe 1-5 0-0 2, Dayhuff 1-1 0-0 3, Riggs 2-3 1-3 5, Gossage 0-0 1-2 1, Wolfe 0-0 0-0 0, Decker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-34 5-8 42.
Knight 0-0 0-0 0, Webster 1-7 2-2 4, Hughes 0-4 0-0 0, Carter 2-7 3-4 7, Sampson 7-12 1-3 15, Girton 0-0 0-0 0, Berry 1-1 0-0 2, Lummis 0-0 0-0 0, Potter 0-0 0-0 0, Weddle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-31 6-9 28.
3-point fieldgoals -- CC 5-10 (Roeschlein 2-5, Dayhuff 1-1, Miller 2-4), Nv 0-1 (Hughes 0-1). Total Rebounds -- CC 21 (Drelick 6, Miller 4, Booe 4), Nv 23 (Sampson 5, Carter 6). Total Fouls -- CC 10, Nv 11. Turnovers -- CC 10, Nv 14.
JV -- Clay City wins 20-15.
The Clay City Eels didn't have a match-up for Sullivan's 6'2 Rhagen Smith on Saturday night as she racked up 27 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Arrows to a 66-41 victory.
Aiding Sullivan's cause was a 3-point outburst that included seven 3-pointers to complete the inside-outside combination.
The Eels got 15 points from Carmela Roeschlein and 10 from Brielle Drelick while Abby Reed had nine for Clay City.
CLAY CITY (41)
Roeschlein 4 7-9 15, Drelick 4 1-2 10, Reed 4 1-2 9, Miller 1 0-0 3, Booe 1 1-2 4, Riggs 0 0-0 0, Dayhuff 0 0-0 0, Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Decker 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 FG, 10-15 FT, 41 TP.
Jones 3 0-0 8, Burr 0 0-0 0, Mann 2 0-0 6, Benningfieild 2 0-1 4, West 0 0-0 0, Gadberry 2 2-3 6, Chapman 1 0-0 2, Smith 11 5-6 27, Whitlock 0 0-0 0, Walters 5 0-0 13, Harrison 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 FG, 7-10 FT, 66 TP.
3-point goals -- Drelick, Miller, Booe, Walters 3, Jones 2, Mann 2. Total fouls -- CC 9, Sullivan 14. Fouled out -- none.
JV -- Sullivan 38, Clay City 25.