Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- The Clay City Eels clawed back from a double-digit first half deficit before falling short against White River Valley on Monday night, 31-26.
The Eels nearly dug itself out of a 19-8 hole caused in part by 13 first half turnovers. A 3-pointer by Kylee Truax with 2:34 left in the game got the Eels within 25-24, but the Wolverines worked the clock down to 50 seconds before sophomore Allison Wininger nailed a clutch 3-pointer.
After the 3-pointer by Wininger, the Eels turned the ball over on a five-second violation and were then whistled for an intentional foul. Shannon Pittman hit a pair of free throws and Madison Hockman added another to seal the win.
The teams were tied at 8-all in the second quarter before the Wolverines took control with Wininger providing five of her eight points in the period. Seven turnovers in the quarter by the Eels allowed WRV to extend its lead to double-digits before Clay City got a 3-pointer by Logan Ellinger to get within 19-14 at halftime.
Opening the third period, WRV got a bucket by Maddy Dyer and the Eels' responded with a score off an offensive rebound by junior Alex Wolfe.
Neither team had much offensive luck in the third period, combining for just four points apiece on 3-of-19 shooting.
Improved rebounding helped the Eels as Wolfe scored off another offensive board to get within 23-20 with 4:37 remaining. Wolfe had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Eels.
"Alex Wolfe tonight was just really big. We had her for 11 boards, a couple offensive ones there at the end," Ames said. "I thought she played pretty well and by far that's the best she's played all year. Coach Graves does a great job. WRV plays extremely hard and they are really scrappy and they play a lot of girls. They made the plays at the end that really cost us."
The Eels added a free throw by freshman Alisha Steward to get within 23-21, but the Wolverines answered with a fast break lay-up by Pittman. Truax followed with her lone hoop of the game, a clutch 3-pointer, but the Eels weren't able to get any closer as WRV hit three late free throws to hold on to the SWIAC victory.
The Eels (2-3 overall) travel to Class A No. 8 ranked Riverton Parke on Thursday at 6 p.m.
At Clay City
Lemmons 0-0 0-0 0, Wininger 3-10 1-1 8, Hockman 1-3 2-4 4, Dyer 3-12 0-0 6, Resler 1-2 0-0 2, Br. George-Fisher 0-5 2-3 2, Ragle 0-1 0-0 0, Pittman 2-6 2-2 6, Graves 1-4 0-0 2, Pearson 0-2 1-2 1. Totals: 11-45 8-12 31.
Clay City (26)
Steward 2-10 2-3 6, Dayhuff 0-4 2-2 2, Wolfe 4-7 0-2 8, Truax 1-4 0-0 3, Ellinger 3-5 0-0 7, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Decker 0-1 0-0 0, Durga 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-31 2-5 26.
3-point fieldgoals -- WRV 1-7 (Wininger 1-2, George-Fisher 0-1, Hockman 0-1, Dyer 0-1, Graves 0-1, Ragle 0-1), CC 2-10 (Truax 1-3, Ellinger 1-2, Dayhuff 0-2, Steward 0-3). Total Rebounds -- WRV 29 (Pittman 6, Wininger 5), CC 26 (Wolfe 11, Steward 5). Total Fouls -- WRV 9, CC 13. Turnovers -- WRV 15, CC 20.
JV game: Clay City lost