LEES CREEK – The East Clinton girls basketball team hadn’t beaten cross-county and South Central Ohio League rival Clinton-Massie in 10 years, until Saturday when the Astros fought off a furious Falcon comeback to win 47-42.
It also was EC’s first SCOL win this season.
“We executed well. We took care of the ball, only 11 turnovers. We made some shots today that we missed in the past. Our guards played excellent,” EC head coach Steven Gerber said. “But it was it a lot more about our execution and playing together that got us this win.”
Clinton-Massie trailed by as many as 13, and by 11 with 4:30 left in the game, before whittling East Clinton’s advantage to 44-42 with a little less than a minute to go in the contest.
“We realized we were down 11 points and were like, ‘Oh boy. We need to play now.’ The first three quarters, there was no sense of urgency, whatsoever.” CM head coach Tim McGraw said. “Give a lot of credit to East Clinton. It is a much improved basketball team. They hit a lot of big shots today.”
The Falcons (5-6, 1-5) had a chance to tie the game at 44 when they stole the inbound pass after cutting the margin to 44-42. EC immediately stole it back and Paige Lilly stepped to the line to hit a free throw, the last of her 10 points. EC’s Kaitlin Durbin blocked a shot at the other end, which Bre Davis recovered. Lacey Peterman then hit a free throw, the last of her game-high 14 points. Durbin hit another free throw and then a Mackenzie Campbell steal sealed the victory.
“We wanted to stay aggressive (down the stretch), but I wanted good shots. If we can get to the rim, get to the rim, and that’s why we went to our weave offense. If we get downhill and score, fine. If not, keep running it and move the basketball,” Gerber said. “I wanted to stay aggressive, because I’ve seen in the past when you get a little lackadaisical…they did a good job coming back on us. We forced some shots. They were beating us to loose balls and getting rebounds.”
The Astros (4-9, 1-6), which jumped out to an early 8-2 lead behind bombs by Peterman and Lilly, trailed just three times, 12-10 early in the opening quarter and during a series of lead changes midway through the second quarter.
Another Lilly three gave the Astros the lead for good, 22-19, which they took into the intermission.
Lilly’s third trey of the day started the 11-2 spurt that helped EC build its biggest cushion of the day, 39-26, with 6:41 left in the game. Peterman had a pair of buckets during the run.
Faith Cottrell and Madilyn Newton led the Falcons with 11 points each.
January 7, 2017
@East Clinton High School
East Clinton 47 Clinton-Massie 42
(42) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-ft-tp) Ireland 0-1-1, Theetge 3-0-6, Cottrell 4-2-11, Newton 5-1-11, Myers 4-1-9, Rose 0-0-0, Conley 0-0-0, Leary 1-2-4. TOTALS 17-7-42. 3-point goals: 1 (Cottrell). FTM-FTA 7-14, 50 percent.
(47) EAST CLINTON (fg-ft-tp) La. Peterman 6-1-14, Campbell 2-4-9, Lilly 3-1-10, Durbin 1-1-3, Davis 2-0-4, Christian 0-2-2, Hall 2-1-5. TOTALS 16-10-47. 3-point goals: 5 (Lilly 3, Campbell, Peterman). FTM-FTA 10-20, 50 percent.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01