LEES CREEK — In a battle of former Kenton Trace Conference rivals, Waynesville defeated East Clinton 62-37 Friday night in a non-league game.
The Spartans used a big second half — 39-19 — to claim the victory.
“We were outcoached and outmanned tonight,” said EC coach Tony Berlin. “They were disciplined and very well prepared. That’s how basketball is supposed to be played. They take no bad shots.”
The Astros had a hard time getting going offensively in the first quarter. The Spartan defense held the Astros to just seven points in the opening stanza. Coach Berlin’s Astro defense was solid, keeping them in game.
Berlin commented, “Quinten Tolle did an outstanding job defensively, holding their best player well below his average.”
Despite the slow start the Astros trailed by just 12-7 at the end of one.
The Astros started out the second quarter strong, on the strength of a beautiful pass from Branson Smith to Colten Vadnais and a drive to the bucket and finish by Smith. That field goal cut the Spartan lead to 16-15. This prompted a timeout from the Spartans. The timeout seemed to stop the Astro run as Waynesville ran off 7 straight points to regain control. A timely Gunner Neanover three pointer gave East Clinton some momentum as they headed to the locker room, trailing by 5 at 23-18.
The third quarter belonged to the Spartans, as they were hitting on all cylinders offensively. This was highlighted by 3 field goals from long range by Paul Dotson. Smith contributed most of the offense for the home team in the quarter, but the Astro defense that held up well in the first half, gave up 17 third quarter points to allow the Spartan lead to grow to 14 (40-26) entering the final quarter.
It was more offensive fireworks for the Spartans as the lead swelled to 25 points midway through the fourth. That lead remained intact for Waynesville as the buzzer sounded to close out a 62-37 victory for the visitors.
Dotson led four Spartans in double figures with 13 points. The lone offensive bright spot for the Astros on this night was Smith who totaled 20.
Waynesville move to 5-2 with the win, while the Astros fall to 1-6. East Clinton will have time to regroup, as they don’t play again until Jan. 3. It will not be an easy task as they travel to Blanchester to take on Brayden Sipple and the 5-1 Wildcats.
In the junior varsity game, East Clinton was defeated 67-27. Dakota Collom had 10 points. EC is 2-5 on the year.
In the freshman game, East Clinton lost to WHS 61-20. Cody Chaney and Evan Stewart had eight points each for the Astros, now 0-2 on the season.
Dec 20, 2019
@East Clinton High School
Waynesville 62 East Clinton 37
(37) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Smith 9-0-2-20 Collom 0-0-0-0 Runyon 1-0-0-2 Tolle 1-0-1-3 Peterman 1-0-0-2 Neanover 1-1-0-3 Hall 0-0-0-0 Mitchell 0-0-0-0 Vadnais 3-1-0-7 TOTALS 16-2-3-37
(62) WAYNESVILLE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Todd 4-2-2-12 Lowe 1-0-0-2 Papanis 6-0-0-12 Miller 1-0-0-2 Dotson 5-3-0-13 Greely 5-0-1-11 Drew 0-0-0-0 Layne 2-1-0-5 Mitchell 0-0-0-0 Bloom 1-0-1-3 Warren 1-0-0-2 TOTALS 26-6-4-62
Brian Georges covers high school sports for the News Journal.