Times Sports Editor
The North Clay eighth-grade basketball team used a pressure defense in both the 'A' and 'B' contests to roll past visiting West Vigo on Wednesday night.
The Knights' 'A' team fell behind by a point after one quarter as West Vigo's Jordan Schaffer scored all seven of his points from the perimeter. However, North Clay turned up the heat to outscore the Trojans 16-6 in the second period on the way to a 50-35 victory.
North Clay's second quarter rally was paced by its transition offense as Tucker Stewart scored four of his 15 points in the period. The post game got a boost from Sam Grimes, who sank a pair of free throws and had four points and five boards in two quarters of work.
With a 26-17 lead at halftime, North Clay's Nathan Thomas contributed six of his seven points in the third quarter as the Knights extended its lead to 36-22.
The fourth period proved to be evenly played as West Vigo's David Fiddler and Nick Parker poured in a combined 11 points to counter five points from the Knights' Stewart and four from Quinton Hayes, who had 10 for North Clay. Hayes also had a pair of 3-pointers in the win.
Hunter Ragan had five points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Knights with Ethan Linton adding four points, Ben Girton had three and Thomas had seven points with three boards. Liam Jones had three rebounds and Grimes added five rebounds.
North Clay forced 10 turnovers in the opening period to create its lead with Gavin Johnson tallying four of his 11 points to go with five rebounds. Both Girton and Cam Brown had four points apiece in the first quarter.
The Knights dominated the boards in the opening half as Blake Bennett, Caleb Simmons and Preston Pinnick each had three rebounds in the second quarter as the lead grew to 23-5 at halftime.
Opening the third quarter, it was Lance Rector that took over the scoring load from the guard spot with Brown taking control of the paint.
Rector nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the third period on the way to an 11-point game and Brown had 10 points with five rebounds in two quarters of action. Simmons had five points and three boards. Bennett had six rebounds and six points.
In the fourth quarter, Blake Hill scored on a pair of lay-ups to complete a four-point effort to finish off the victory.
The Knights (1-1 overall) travel to St. Pats tonight for a 6 p.m. contest.
At North Clay