LEES CREEK — A scrappy defensive effort by Clermont Northeastern Tuesday night propelled the Rockets to a 58-42 win over East Clinton.
The loss was the first of the season for the Astros (3-1 overall, 0-1 SBC National Division). CNE improves to 2-1 overall, 2-0 in the division.
“We got away from what makes us, us,” EC head coach Phil Shori said. “We didn’t defend the way we usually do with a lot of pressure and communication.”
A 17-3 run over an eight-minute period in the first quarter provided the margin the Rockets needed. It turned an early 5-0 deficit into a 17-8 lead early in the second quarter.
CNE’s defense forced 28 East Clinton turnovers, including 11 in the first quarter. The Rockets led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter.
“Hats off to CNE,” Shori said. “They defended the way we wanted to. Teams like us and CNE are dangerous because we are scrappy. The way we’re both going to win a lot of games is by turning it up defensively and making teams uncomfortable.”
East Clinton had a late 9-4 run to pull within 12, 54-42, with 1:46 left, but got no closer.
CNE shot 46 percent from the floor (21 of 46) and outrebounded East Clinton 35-28.
CJ Boothby led the Rockets with 15 points, five rebounds and five steals. Connor Yeager and Austin Yeager each added nine points.
Jared Smith led EC with 13 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Slovakian exchange student Matej Jostak added nine points and three steals before fouling out late in the fourth.
East Clinton has back-to-back home games this weekend, the first being against SBC National Division favorites Georgetown on Friday night. Saturday night, the Astros host Yellow Springs in a non-conference tilt.
“Georgetown is a good basketball team,” Shori said. “They’ve been a good basketball team for the past couple of years. We’ve got good kids that are going to come ready to work tomorrow at practice. I believe in my guys.”
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021
At East Clinton High School
Clermont Northeastern 58, East Clinton 42
(58) CLERMONT NORTHEASTERN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Austin Yeager 3-0-3-9, Jake Mott 2-0-3-7, CJ Boothby 6-3-0-15, Logan Carlier 3-0-0-6, Symon Mattes 1-0-0-2, Bryce Reece 1-0-5-7, Keegan Hopkins 1-1-0-3, Connor Yeager 4-0-1-9. TOTALS 21-4-12-58.
(42) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Dalton McClure 1-1-2-5, Maddix Crowe 1-1-0-3, Jared Smith 5-1-2-13, Landon Runyon 3-1-1-8, Matej Jostak 4-0-1-9, Dameon Williams 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 16-4-6-42.
FIELD GOALS: C 21/46 (Boothby 6/12, C. Yeager 4/4); EC 16/42 (Smith 5/15, Jostak 4/7)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: C 4/14 (Boothby 3/6); EC 4/17
FREE THROWS: C 12/19 (Reece 5/8); EC 6/15
REBOUNDS: C 35 (Yeager 7, Boothby 5, Reece 5, A. Yeager 4, Hopkins 4); EC 28 (Smith 9)
ASSISTS: C 9; EC 8 (Jostak 3)
STEALS: C 18 (Boothby 5, Mott 3, Carlier 3); EC 10 (Smith 5, Jostak 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: C 0; EC 1
TURNOVERS: C 20; EC 28
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.