Times Staff Reporter
SWITZ CITY -- The Clay City Eels' boys' varsity basketball squad's season came to a bitter end Tuesday night against the Eminence Eels in an overtime thriller, 68-63.
The game's opening quarter showed everybody both teams were very evenly matched. They traded baskets throughout the first period, as Clay City's senior forward Tyler Bridgewater scoring his team's first six points. Bridgewater ended with 23 points in the game. At the end of the game's opening quarter, Eminence was ahead, 10-8.
The second quarter was more of the same story. Clay City scored four straight to open the period, but Eminence came back to take another lead thanks to its offensive ability. Another leading scorer for Clay City was junior guard Jake Tiefel, who put up 13 points Tuesday. Tiefel's team went into halftime down 22-20.
Coming out of the break, both teams were doing their best to out-do the other, but they were both so evenly matched, neither had more than a four-point lead in the third quarter. That is the exact lead that Clay City had to go into the final quarter at 37-33.
Clay City's junior guard Ben Denker was a vital piece of his team's offense in the fourth, as he scored eight of his 10 points in the quarter.
Clay City fought valiantly, but Eminence's eight-point lead looked to be too much with only 30 seconds left in the game. However, thanks to a couple of lucky breaks and four points each from Denker and Tiefel, they tied the game with 15 seconds left. Eminence scored on a quick lay-up, but Denker responded with a tough field goal with five to go, drew the foul, and made the shot. However, unfortunately for Clay City, Denker missed the go-ahead free throw, sending the game to overtime at 58-all.
"I'm proud of them," Clay City head coach Vance Edmondson said. "They played hard. They followed the game plan tonight, we just kind of ran out of gas at the end."
In overtime, Clay City made only three of their eight free-throw attempts, and ran out of time for another comeback.
Junior Brylan Jones scored eight points in the game. Senior Justin Rodgers scored four, and his classmate Josh Decker added to the total with five points.
Clay City ends its season with a 6-16 mark overall while Eminence improves to 12-9 and faces Shakamak on Friday.
Class A White River Valley Sectional
Clay City (63)
Denker 3-7 3-5 10, Decker 2-2 0-0 5, Rodgers 1-3 1-2 4, Tiefel 5-8 3-6 13, Bridgewater 10-20 3-8 23, Jones 3-9 2-2 8. Totals: 24-49 12-23 63.
Gore 4-8 9-10 20, Shupe 3-11 6-11 13, Szalay 8-12 4-6 22, Wagner 3-10 0-1 7, Peters 0-2 0-0 0, Ford 1-2 0-0 2, Alexander 0-1 0-0 0, Watkins 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 25-48 19-28 68.
3-point field goals -- CC 2-6 (Denker 0-1, Decker 1-1, Rodgers 1-2, Bridgewater 0-1, Jones 0-1), EM 5-11 (Gore 3-4, Shupe 1-5, Wagner 1-2). Total Rebounds -- CC 25 (Decker 3, Rodgers 1, Tiefel 1, Bridgewater 7, Jones 6, Allen 3), EM 27 (Gore 1, Shupe 2, Szalay 5, Wagner 6, Peters 1, Ford 1, Watkins 4). Total Fouls -- CC 21, EM 17. Total Turnovers -- CC 18, EM 19.