LEES CREEK – East Clinton survived cold shooting and a valiant McClain comeback Friday to emerge with a 39-36 victory in South Central Ohio League action at the EC gym.
McClain trailed 32-24 with 5:56 left in the game after a 9-0 Astro run and led 36-35 with 1:08 to go in the contest, taking the lead on a Dalton Mischal free throw, the last of his six points in the spurt.
The Tigers (6-12, 3-8) called on Mischal, one of two Tigers in double figures with 11 points, to win the game at the buzzer, but his heave from just behind the arc missed the mark.
After McClain took the lead, EC (4-13, 3-8) reclaimed it with Matt Mitchell converting both ends of a 1-and-1 after being fouled 22 feet from the hoop with :43.2 remaining in the contest.
McClain had possession for the next 40 seconds and called two timeouts but couldn’t score.
A pair of Brendan Jenkins free throws with 1.7 seconds left assured the Astros of at least overtime.
Before EC’s 9-0 run and 32-34 lead, there were two ties and 10 lead changes. East Clinton’s largest lead before then had been 14-10, after a 5-0 spurt. McClain’s largest lead had been 6-3, which EC erased with a 6-0 run.
Both teams went scoreless during a six-minute stretch of the first quarter. Neither team scored the final two minutes of the first half.
Jacob Starkey led the Tigers with 14 points.
JT McCarren led the Astros with 16 points. Wyatt Floyd chipped in with 15.
February 3, 2017
@East Clinton High School
East Clinton 39 McClain 36
(36) McCLAIN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Duncan 0-0-0-0 O’Conner 0-0-2-2 Dean 0-0-0-0 Starkey 6-0-2-14 Barton 1-1-4-7 Knaff 0-0-0-0 Mischal 3-0-5-11 Gray 1-0-0-2 Beatty 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 11-1-13/19-36
(39) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jenkins 0-0-2-2 McCarren 4-0-8-16 Pence 1-0-0-2 Z. Mitchell 0-0-0-0 Floyd 6-1-2-15 Conner 1-0-0-2 Olds 0-0-0-0 M. Mitchell 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 12-1-14/16-39
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01