Times Sports Editor
An experienced Clay City girls' basketball team got 20 points from senior Brielle Drelick and was able to pull away for a 46-25 victory over the Northview Knights for the Eels' third straight victory in the rivalry.
Four years ago it was a young Clay City squad that started three freshmen against a battle tested Northview squad and came away with a 71-54 loss. On Tuesday night, the roles were reversed as the Knights started three freshmen against an Eels squad that put four seniors on the court to start the game.
In this year's battle, Clay City's defense held the Knights to a 1-of-7 shooting effort in the first quarter and the Eels got a pair of early jumpers from Abby Reed and Drelick imposed her will in driving into the paint. The early result was that the Eels opened up a 13-2 gap after one quarter and the Knights had three starters with two fouls apiece.
"(Northview) tried to take some things away. It looked like they went to a Triangle-and-two (defense) and I thought Abby Reed got us off to a good start. She knocked a couple of open shots down. I was real proud of Abby, she's a very capable shooter and then we had some other girls step up later."
Northview coach Scott Buell admitted that his team had trouble stopping the powerful Drelick, who got to the line 14 times in the game, hitting 12 of those shots.
"We did not have an answer for (Brielle) Drelick getting to the basket tonight," Buell said. "She is so quick and so strong that she was just able to beat us off the dribble and get to the foul line a bunch. Her and (Carmela) Roeschlein are outstanding players and have had great careers. Clay City is a very good basketball team."
The Knights did an admirable job in limiting Roeschlein to just eight shots from the field and seven points, 12 below her average. However, the Eels got some help across the board to make up the difference.
"We thought maybe we could push the ball a little bit and the first thing for us is getting a rebound," Ames said. "We did okay. I thought Allie Miller was really big on the boards for us.
"She was real aggressive and I told her after the game that sometimes it's hard to get kids minutes when things are going well," Ames said of Dayhuff. "Callie did an excellent job tonight. She scored some points for us and drove in and got fouled and got some nice rebounds for her size. She did really well defensively."
The Knights battled into halftime as Cassie Weddle scored four points in the second quarter and Northview subbed in freshman Mallory Smith, who worked the paint for a pair of buckets on her way to eight points on 4-of-4 shooting.
"Mallory had the best game of her career," Buell said of his 5'11 freshman. "We need that out of her. We need her to play like that, being aggressive rebounding the basketball and hopefully she can gain some confidence from that. We're going to need her down the road."
Northview closed the gap a bit to get within 21-12 at halftime, but the Eels' defense turned up the pressure to start the third period. Drelick scored off a turnover and Roeschlein added a bucket that preceded another three-point play for Drelick. A 3-pointer by Roeschlein pushed the Clay City advantage to 33-14 before the Knights answered with a jumper apiece from McKenzi Kumpf and Whitney Halfhill.
With a 33-18 lead heading into the final quarter, Clay City started on a 6-0 run off free throws from Dayhuff and Drelick and a lay-in by Abby Reed off a turnover.
Ashley Hughes broke the Eels' run with two free throws for the Knights and Smith added a bucket, but the Eels finished the contest strong with a pair of interior hoops by Miller, who had seven points.
Buell wasn't disappointed by his team's performance against an Eels' team that improves to 14-6 overall and is ranked 11th in Class A.
"For the most part defensively we were pretty solid tonight," Buell said. "We struggled shooting the ball again tonight. We got a lot of open looks. We missed some easy shots underneath and the ball just wasn't going in for us tonight. Our effort was very good. Coach Ames does a very good job of preparing (Clay City). They are going to make a good run in the tournament."
"Any time you can go on the road and get a win it's a good win," Ames said. "Give Northview credit, they fought and have fought all year. I've seen them several times and they do a good job of getting after it."
In the junior varsity contest, Clay City got a late 3-pointer from Claire Miller to extend a close lead and claim a 26-24 victory.
The Eels got six points apiece from Miller and Jordan Disch with Alex Wolfe, Mahayle Durga and Kylee Truax each scoring four. The Knights were paced by seven points each from Tidy Weese and Mallory Smith. Sydney Buell added six.
The Eels host Eastern (Greene) for senior night on Thursday at 6 p.m. and the Knights tangle with Sullivan on the road Friday at 6 p.m.
Clay City (46)
Roeschlein 3-8 0-3 7, Drelick 4-11 12-14 20, Reed 3-5 0-0 6, A.Miller 3-6 1-3 7, Booe 0-4 0-0 0, Dayhuff 0-2 4-4 4, Wolfe 0-0 0-0 0, Riggs 1-2 0-0 2, Decker 0-0 0-0 0, Ellinger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-37 17-24 46.
Halfhill 1-4 0-0 2, Timberman 2-13 0-0 4, Kumpf 1-2 0-0 2, Hughes 0-3 2-2 2, Girton 0-4 0-0 0, Weddle 2-7 2-4 6, Smith 4-4 0-0 8, Buell 0-0 0-0 0, Fagg 0-0 1-2 1, Barrett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-37 5-8 25.
3-point fieldgoals -- CC 1-7 (Roeschlein 1-3, Dayhuff 0-1, Miller 0-1, Booe 0-2), Nv 0-3 (Halfhill 0-2, Girton 0-1). Total Rebounds -- CC 32 (Drelick 6, Miller 7), Nv 23 (Girton 6, Timberman 5). Team Rebounds -- CC 4, Nv 4. Total Fouls -- CC 14, Nv 19. Turnovers -- CC 13, Nv 16.