Times Staff Report
ELNORA -- The 2012 edition of the Graber Post Buildings Classic Tourney at North Daviess High School might not have started quite the way that the Clay City Eels wanted it to, but they came away with a positive finish on Monday afternoon.
The Eels finished with a flourish after dropping two tough decisions in the first pair of games and came away with seventh-place after knocking off South Knox by a 70-56 count. Clay City outscored the Spartans 20-7 in the final period to overcome a slow start, which led to a 23-15 deficit in the second period. After the Eels had knotted the score at 7-all early on, South Knox ran off the next seven points on a pair of 3-pointers and a free throw.
The Spartans still held a 35-33 lead at halftime thanks to some sharp free throw shooting (11-of-12) in the second period, but the Eels were just starting to warm up.
Clay City chipped away at South Knox before finally taking a lead in the final minute of the third period. The Eels began to amp up their defensive pressure and South Knox began to wilt under the heat.
The Spartans got the opening bucket of the fourth quarter as Nick Burke snagged an offensive rebound and a put back for a 51-50 South Knox lead. However, the Eels forced four consecutive turnovers and took advantage. Blake Cesinger scored nine of his game-high 20 points in the final period and Evan Rogers added seven of his own as the Eels built a 64-54 advantage on their way to the victory.
Clay City dominated the boards and had 20 offensive rebounds and got 15 points and 10 rebounds from Josh Miller. Blake Cesinger added 11 rebounds and Easton Booe added nine points in the win.
Earlier in the tourney, Clay City lost a 70-62 decision to Class A No. 5 ranked North Daviess in the opener before falling 70-67 to North Posey in the second game.
Barr-Reeve went on to top the Cougars, 44-42 in double-overtime to claim the championship.
Blake Cesinger was named to the all-tourney team along with Micah Bullock (MVP), Addison Wagler and Logan James of Barr-Reeve. Nick Crays and Kelby Byrer of North Daviess were also on the team along with North Posey's Michael Bender, Forest Park's Joel Weyer, Brett McCrory of Brownstown Central and Trey Bradley of Orleans.
The Eels (4-4 overall) take on Eastern Greene at White River Valley High School Thursday evening in the Greene County Tourney at 6 p.m.
CLAY CITY (70)
Trevor Singer (g) 1-6 0-0 2, Evan Rogers (g) 3-8 6-8 15, Blake Cesinger (g) 7-17 6-7 20, Steven Phillips (g) 1-2 0-0 3, Logan Cesinger (g) 1-6 2-8 4, Josh Miller 7-11 1-2 15, Easton Booe 4-13 1-1 9, Kurtis Yocom 1-2 0-0 2, Paiden Myers 0-1 0-0 0, Joshua Arcenal 0-0 0-0 0, Parker Ames 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-66 16-26 70.
SOUTH KNOX (56)
Tucker Welton (f) 2-8 4-4 9, Cameron Engstrom (f) 4-8 2-2 10, Nick Burke (c) 3-5 2-3 8, Isiah Stafford (g) 4-12 4-4 15, Andrew Scott (g) 2-4 0-2 5, Colton Houchin 0-3 2-4 2, Adam Johnson 2-3 0-0 4, Austin Sievers 1-2 0-0 3, Adam Elkins 0-0 0-0 0, Chad Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Mason Gay 0-2 0-0 0, Ethan Schutter 0-0 0-0 0, Cameron Derouin 0-1 0-0 0, Grant Gardner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-46 14-19 56.
3-pointers: Clay City 4-16 (Rogers 3-7, Phillips 1-1, L. Cesinger 0-1, Booe 0-1, Myers 0-1, B. Cesinger 0-2, Singer 0-3), South Knox 6-15 (Stafford 3-6, Scott 1-2, Sievers 1-2, Welton 1-3, Houchin 0-1, Gay 0-1). Rebounds: Clay City 41 (B. Cesinger 11), South Knox 29 (Engstrom 8). Turnovers: Clay City 15, South Knox 25. Fouls: Clay City 17, South Knox 21.