CINCINNATI — Playing on a college-sized floor at the new Princeton High School gymnasium against a deep and athletic opponent proved too much for East Clinton to overcome.
The Astros hung around with the Purcell Marian Cavaliers for three quarters Saturday, only to see the Cavs pull away late for a 65-44 victory in the Division III sectional tournament.
“I was very proud of the way my kids played,” EC head coach Tony Berlin said. “You’re never happy getting beat by 21, but they fought the whole time. Scott Kerr is a great coach and Purcell Marian is a great program. He said, ‘Your kids played extremely hard.’”
Besides the strong effort, the highlight of the game was junior guard Wyatt Floyd scoring his 1,000 career point in the third quarter. The game was stopped with 3:54 left in the third, and Floyd was presented with the game ball.
“Think about how many shots he’s shot since he was a little kid,” Berlin said. “He is very skilled offensively. He knows the game. People have thrown all kinds of different defenses at him. Every team comes to stop him, yet he’s averaging 20 a game this year.”
Trailing by just 10 at that point, the Astros were unable to get any closer. Purcell Marian stretched the lead to as many as 21 in the fourth.
Floyd finished with 22 points and five rebounds. JT McCarren added 11 points and five steals.
Javonta Lyons led Purcell Marian with 24 points and seven rebounds. AJ Garrett had 16 points and nine rebounds. The Cavs outrebounded the Astros 38-22 overall and 15-3 on the offensive glass.
Despite the tough end of the season, the future appears bright for an East Clinton team losing just one senior, Cameron Conner.
“He’s a four-year player that has played football, basketball and baseball all four years,” Berlin said. “Those kinds of kids are special. He’s went through tough years in football and basketball.
“You’re going to get knocked down no matter who you are. The ones that fight are the ones that are going to make it. He’s got that kind of attitude. He’s been a big part of our program.”
February 25, 2017
At Princeton High School
Purcell Marian 65, East Clinton 44
(44) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Brendon Jenkins 0-0-1-1, Seth Garrison 0-0-2-2, JT McCarren 5-0-1-11, Dylan Michael 1-0-0-2, Wyatt Floyd 10-1-1-22, Cameron Conner, 1-0-0-2, Jacob Olds 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 19-1-5-44.
(65) PURCELL MARIAN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ace Taylor 1-0-0-2, AJ Garrett 7-0-2-16, Steve Gentry 2-0-4-8, Javonta Lyons 11-0-2-24, Bryan Williams 1-0-3-5, Sam Stainton 4-0-0-8, Michael Little 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 27-0-11-65.
FIELD GOALS: EC 19/44 (Floyd 10/17, McCarren 5/12); PM 27/55 (Lyons 11/14, Garrett 7/9)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: EC 1/6 (Floyd 1/2); PM 0/12
FREE THROWS: EC 5/6; PM 11/18 (Gentry 4/4)
REBOUNDS: EC 22 (Olds 8, Floyd 5, Jenkins 3, McCarren 3); PM 38 (Garrett 9, Lyons 7, Stainton 6)
ASSISTS: EC 8 (McCarren 3); PM 6
STEALS: EC 12 (McCarren 5, Floyd 3); PM 14 (Williams 4, Taylor 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: EC 0; PM 3 (Garrett 2)
TURNOVERS: EC 25; PM 24