EC NOTEBOOK: Murphy law, road warrior, up next

By Shawn Robinson - WNJ Sports Writer

East Clinton’s Jayden Murphy rained down a trio of three-pointers at the most opportune times for the Astros in their 50-47 win over Madeira in a Division III girls tournament game at Wilmington High School Saturday.

She ended a Madeira 8-0 run, which came during a nearly 12-minute stretch where EC had just one field goal, with a pair of bombs that pulled the Astros within 20-19 entering the break.

She hit another late in the third quarter to tie the game at 34-34.

In addition to finding the hoop, she also did a good job finding teammate Jozie Jones, assisting on her basket that put the Astros up 38-34 with 7:11 left in the game.

“She is a good player for us, had a good year for us last year, but started struggling this season with her shot. It wore on her,” EC head coach Bill Bean said. “The last three or four games, she’s started to shoot the ball better. That’s made a big difference when you have a kid who can step out there and shoot like she can, (opponents) have to honor that and defend her, and that helps open up some other things. She did a great job for us today.”

ROAD WARRIOR: Immediately following the game and postgame interview, around 1:45 p.m., East Clinton head coach Bill Bean had to hustle to Western Brown High School to watch his son, Mitchell, in the East Clinton boys tournament game versus Cincinnati Taft that was scheduled to tip at 3 p.m.

And theennnn, Bean headed to Covington to scout the East Clinton girls’ next opponent in a game that was slated to tipoff at 7:30 p.m., giving Bean little time to waste. In that game, Camden Preble Shawnee defeated state-ranked Arcanum 70-62 to set-up EC’s next opponent. If you’re scoring at home, that’s about 225 miles of driving, according to Google Maps.

WHO’S GOT NEXT?: The Astros will play Preble Shawnee (17-6) at Springfield High School Saturday, Feb. 26, at a time to be determined for the district championship.

During the regular season, Preble Shawnee beat Versailles 66-55 and New Paris National Trail 58-44. Arcanum and Preble Shawnee, both from the Western Ohio Athletic Conference, met Dec. 2, with Arcanum winning 67-43.

Preble Shawnee has won 15 of its last 16, with the only loss coming to WOAC champion Tri-Village (66-48), the state’s second-ranked team in Division IV. “I’ll get a good look them,” EC head coach Bill Bean said. “I think it will be a decent game up there. You take who you get.”

HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS: Bean said Madeira perhaps was the biggest team East Clinton faced this season, but a makeup game between East Clinton and Western Brown on Thursday that some questioned why they’d even play it may have provided the Astros a little help preparing for Madeira’s size.

“Western Brown has a big girl or two. I thought maybe that helped us a little bit (Saturday),” Bean said. “I had some people asking, ‘Why are you playing that makeup game in between your tournament games?,’ but I honestly thought we got more out of that than a practice. That was good for us, I thought.”

By Shawn Robinson

WNJ Sports Writer