Times Sports Editor
The North Clay outgoing eighth-grade girls have won plenty of games during their three years in junior high so it was only fitting that they capped the home portion of their slate with a victory, defeating Clay City by a 39-23 score.
For the seventh-grade Clay City girls, the Eels finished their season by moving over the .500 mark with a 39-5 victory against the Knights.
In the eighth-grade contest, North Clay got a five-point outburst from Mikayla Rowan to start the second half and was able to pull away over the final minutes to claim the win.
The Eels held Rowan mostly in check during the first half, using solid defense in the paint, but Rowan stepped out to hit a 3-pointer to push North Clay ahead 9-6 in the opening frame. However, it was North Clay's defense that stood out during the second quarter, holding Clay City scoreless to gain a 19-6 lead at halftime.
Rowan scored nine points and pulled in six boards to go with three blocks before halftime. Rowan was joined by Whitney Halfhill, who scored a pair of buckets in the second quarter, and Brittany Fagg added four rebounds in the period.
The lead grew to 24-6 with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter on Rowan's 5-0 run and she went to the bench.
McKenzi Kumpf gave the Knights the other fieldgoal in the third quarter as Clay City's Logan Ellinger began to warm up.
The Eels had clawed back within 30-20 with 3:30 remaining in the game, but it was North Clay's response that sealed the game.
Fagg scored off an offensive rebound and an Eels' turnover led to a three-point play by Mallory Smith of the Knights. Ellinger hit another jumper, part of a 13-point game, but Fagg and Sydney Buell finished off a 9-3 run to finish off the victory.
Fagg had nine rebounds to go with eight points and Rowan compiled 14 points and six rebounds. Halfhill had four points and three rebounds for the Knights and Abbey Timberman added two points and two boards. Kumpf had six points and five rebounds for North Clay.
For the Eels, Whitney Milner had seven rebounds and two points with Ashley Linton adding five rebounds. Kylie Booe tallied two points and Morgan Booe had three points with Caitlin Fry adding one.
In the seventh-grade game, Clay City jumped out front 9-3 after the first quarter as Alisha Steward scored eight of her 15 points. She would add another five points before halftime as the Eels held North Clay scoreless in the second period to claim a 21-3 advantage. Raven Allender had six of her 10 points in the quarter for Clay City
Over the final six minutes of the game, Clay City's Chaela Minor added four points and finished with six points and eight rebounds. Steward added 10 rebounds and Allender had seven in the victory. Courtney Brown tallied four points and six rebounds and Haleigh Villain added two points and two caroms. Rogers also had three rebounds.
For North Clay, English had four points and two rebounds with Hannah Reason leading the way with six rebounds. Brooklyn Fagg had four, Baylee Secrest grabbed three along with Reagan Rose. Hannah Stagg had the final point for North Clay and had two rebounds.
The eighth-grade Knights improve to 10-1 this season while Clay City falls to 6-8 overall. The seventh-grade Eels are now 7-6 while the Knights remain winless. North Clay hits the road at Owen Valley on Tuesday while the Eels end their season.