LEES CREEK — Fourth quarter comebacks are becoming a way of life for the East Clinton Astros boys basketball team.
After playing a mediocre first half against Williamsburg Saturday night, the Astros responded with a big second half en route to a 56-50 win over the visiting Wildcats.
“We played really bad in the first half, relied too much on the three-point shots, plus we kept missing layups … at least four or five easy ones,” said Astros head coach Phil Shori.
Thanks to the outside shooting of Landon Runyon, a trio of second half three-pointers, and a 10-for-14 effort from the free throw line, the Astros salted away their 10th victory this season.
Dakota Collom was money at the free throw line, connecting on seven of his eight attempts in the second half. Collom also hit on a fourth quarter trey in the win.
Shori spoke of his kids, each one making special contributions. “Jared Smith, he gives us so much energy when he is out there, he fouled out again but his hustle, his desire it’s always there. Quinten (Tolle) and Branson (Smith) their leadership, plus Landon (Runyon) with those big threes, plus Justin Arnold with a basket off the bench, It was a total team effort. Like I have said before, they play with a lot of heart, it never stops.”
Branson Smith scored three buckets in the third quarter and ended with 14 points. He ignited an 8-0 run to start the second half, prompting Williamsburg to call time out after EC jumped in front, 25-24.
Collom led the Astro scoring attack with 15 and Runyon, on the strength of the four treys, added 13 points, 10 coming in the second half.
East Clinton will play at Hillsboro Tuesday. East Clinton graduate Clyde Snow is the junior varsity coach of the Indians.
Jan 6, 2021
@East Clinton High School
East Clinton 56 Williamsburg 50
(50) WILLIAMSBURG (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jones 5-0-2-12, Sunderman 3-2-3-15, Heffner 0-0-0-0, Earley 1-0-0-2, Ervin 1-0-0-2, Canter 0-1-0-3, Selm 0-0-0-0, Klofstein 6-0-4-16.TOTALS 15-3-9-50.
(56) EAST CLINTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Branson Smith 5-1-1-14, Dakota Collom 1-2-7-15, Jared Smith 1-0-2-4, Landon Runyon 0-4-1-13, Quinten Tolle 2-0-3-7, Justin Arnold 1-0-1-3, TOTALS 10-7-15-56
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.