Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- As the junior high girls' basketball season nears its end, the Clay City Eels tangled with the North Clay Knights in a seventh --and-eighth-grade dual on Thursday evening.
The Eels came out on top of the eighth-grade tussle to wrap up a 9-7 overall record this with a 41-14 victory. North Clay opened up the evening by capturing a 28-4 decision over the Eels in the seventh-grade contest.
The eighth-grade game was close during the early stages as North Clay held a narrow 6-4 lead after the opening quarter as Hannah Reason scored a bucket and both Brooklyn Fagg and Hannah Stagg added a pair of free throws. Clay City's Alisha Steward stuffed the stat columns earlier on as she scored both all four of the Eels' points to go with four rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot in the first period.
The Eels began to take charge in the second quarter as Steward added two more of her 13 points. She would have some help in the scoring column as Nakisha Cass had two points, two rebounds and a steal for the Eels. Courtney Brown added four of her six rebounds to go with a field goal and Raven Allender controlled the boards. Allender had two points, but was a force with five of her game-high 13 rebounds in the second quarter.
In the second half, the Eels kept the pedal down as they closed the third period on a 8-0 run after North Clay got a jumper from Baylee Secrest.
The Eels got a three-point play from Emily Rogers, a 3-pointer from Allender, who had seven points, and Chaela Minor scored in transition for a 22-8 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Clay City knocked down 11-of-13 from the free throw line led by six of Emily Rogers' nine points. Steward had five points in the quarter and the Eels got two free throws apiece from Brown, seventh-grader Chelsey Smith and Allender to wrap up the win.
Stagg had five points for the Knights, who also got four boards from Faith Wells and Hannah Reason.
In the seventh-grade game it was the Knights who threw a shut out on defense against Clay City to open the contest.
North Clay jumped out to a 6-0 lead at the first stop as Stacy Payton had four points and two rebounds and Kenzie Stearley had a field goal and two boards.
The Knights continued to add to their lead in the second period as Megan Sampson got into the scoring column and Payton added five of her 11 points in the game. Emily Conrad knocked down one of her two field goals in the game as the Knights opened up a 15-3 advantage. The Eels got a free throw from Smith and a bucket by Harley Sinders before halftime.
After intermission, North Clay continued to add to its lead as Conrad added back-to-back scores and Lindsay Clark made it a 21-3 lead. Clay City missed a pair of free throws and the Knights wrapped up an 8-0 run with a lay-up by Payton off a turnover.
In the fourth quarter, North Clay got a free throw from Chelsea Vanatti to open the period and the Eels' Lindsey Steiner added one of her own. The Knights finished the game strong with a score by Allison Herrick and Cassie Ronaldson to close out the victory.
North Clay's seventh-grade improves to 13-8 overall while Clay City dropped to 5-11 to end the season. The eighth-grade Knights fell to 2-16 while the Eels finish at 9-7 overall.
North Clay returns home to host Owen Valley on March 6 at 6 p.m.
At Clay City