LEES CREEK – East Clinton ended the game on an 11-3 run to race past Clinton County and South Central Ohio League rival Clinton-Massie 59-52 Friday.
The Astros (6-12, 2-10) chipped away at a 10-point early third-quarter deficit, eventually catching the Falcons (5-12, 3-10) 43-43 with 5:09 left in the contest.
There were seven lead changes in the little more than three minutes after that. Josh Moskal muscled in a score down low, drawing the foul and converting the free throw to give EC a 52-49 lead with 1:58 remaining.
East Clinton then salted way the game at the free throw line. The last of Wyatt Floyd’s game-high 22 points and Johnny Blair’s last two of his 11 sealed East Clinton’s victory.
“That was a great team effort,” EC assistant coach Roger Earley said. “We are starting to come together as a team and do what coach (Tony) Berlin put into place when he first came here. I’m very proud of the kids.”
The Astros had to play catch up most of the night as the Falcons jumped out to an early 11-5 lead. EC caught CM at 13-13 and stayed within a possession of the Falcons until the visitors reeled off nine of the last 11 points of the half to take a 30-23 advantage into the break.
Nick Chowning, Massie’s leading scorer with 16 points, eight of them in the first quarter, scored the first three points of the second half to give CM a 33-23 cushion.
“We have to make better decisions. I have to do a better job of getting the boys in positions to get easy buckets. We tried to do that a little more tonight, but we weren’t successful,” CM head coach Dustin Eads said. “Hats off to East Clinton. They played a whale of a game. They came out really aggressive.
“We just let them stick around. If you give them an opportunity to stick around on their home floor, they’re going to find that energy.”
In the JV game, Clinton-Massie came back from 16 down to win 50-48 in overtime. Griffin Laake led the Falcons with 23 points. Alex Pence had 10 for the Astros.
Massie also won the freshman contest, 52-27. Falcon Zach Chowning and Astro Seth Garrison led their teams with 12 points each.
Feb 5, 2016
@East Clinton High School
East Clinton 59 Clinton-Massie 52
(52) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-ft-tp) Chowning 5-5-16, Greathouse 2-2-8, Uetrecht 4-4-12, Myers 3-1-7, Demler 2-0-4, Boyd 1-0-2, Wolfe 1-0-2, LeForge 0-1-1, Total 18-13-52. 3-point goals: 3 (Greathouse 2, Chowning). FTM-FTA 13-21, 62 percent.
(59) EAST CLINTON (fg-ft-tp) Barnes 0-2-2, Jenkins 1-0-2, Blair 4-2-11, Floyd 8-4-22, McCarren 1-0-2, Moskal 2-0-4, Mercer 0-0-0, D.J. Luttrell 2-5-9, P. Luttrell 0-0-0, Campbell 3-1-7, Total 21-14-59. 3-point goals: 3 (Floyd 2, Blair). FTM-FTA 14-19, 74 percent.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.