The North Clay seventh- and eighth-grade girls' basketball squads played two games Thursday night against the St. Patrick Irish, each with completely different outcomes. The seventh-grade lost 58-12, but the eighth-grade won their game, 33-23.
Things could not have started out worse for the seventh-graders in the first game.
They committed nine turnovers in the opening period and didn't score their first point until 13 seconds into the second quarter.
North Clay did score eight points throughout the second period, but gave up 18 to go into halftime down 30-8.
As poor as the first half was, the second wasn't much better for the Knights.
However, they did cut down their turnovers in the latter half, from 17 down to five, but the Knights couldn't fend off the swarming Irish defense.
Although they lost, North Clay head coach Jennifer Smith had positive words for her team.
"We've seen a lot of improvements. We've been working a lot on fundamentals," Smith said. "We hit free throws tonight that we haven't hit in the past. The girls have been working really hard."
The Knights' leading scorer was Faith Wells, who had six points. Brooklyn Fagg scored four points to help her team, and Hannah Reason scored two in the loss.
The Knights' second game was a much different story.
It was North Clay this time that had the fast start, leading after the first quarter, 10-4. Assisting the lead was Abbey Timberman, who scored four of her seven points in the opening period.
The Knights kept the pressure on throughout the half, with four different players scoring in the second quarter alone.
North Clay also played well defensively, allowing only seven points in the game's opening half.
In the latter half of the game, the Knights had some defensive breakdowns, giving up 16 points to the Irish.
The final quarter was partially redeemed by Mikayla Rowan, who scored the Knights' only six points in the period to secure the 33-23 victory.
Rowan ended the game with 16 points.
"Mikayla also had her good game," North Clay head coach Kevin Kumph said. "She's always good for us."
McKenzi Kumph scored six points to contribute to the Knights. Emily Conrad and Mallory Smith each scored two points in the win.
The seventh-grade next plays on Jan. 31, against Otter Creek at 6 p.m. The eighth-grade plays at Cascade on Feb. 1, at 5:30 p.m.
At North Clay
|North Clay||0 8 0 4 -- 12|
|St. Pats||12 18 22 6 -- 58|
|North Clay||10 8 9 6 -- 33|
|St. Pats||4 3 6 10 -- 23|
Next Games -- The seventh-grade will face Otter Creek Jan. 31, while the eighth-grade faces Cascade Feb. 1.