BETHEL — Right from the start of the season, the East Clinton girls basketball program has been faced with adversity like few others.
In the wake of the unexpected death of their head coach, Jeff Craycraft, East Clinton began the season with four losses in its first six games.
But just as in Monday’s season finale with Bethel-Tate, the Lady Astros were fighters.
Down 18-3 late in the first quarter, East Clinton battled back for a 64-59 SBAAC National Division win.
“Girls never gave up and played hard like they have all year,” said EC head coach Bill Bean. “Faced a lot of adversity and fought through it all year.”
East Clinton finished in third place in the league with an 8-4 record. They were 13-10 overall, winners of 11 of the final 17 games.
The Astros were 32 for 42 at the free throw line with Libby Evanshine making 12 of 16 and Jayden Murphy swishing through seven of eight. East Clinton was 11 of 12 at the line in the fourth quarter.
The Astros first lead of the game came with three minutes to play in the fourth, 55-54. Kami Whiteaker led EC with eight points in the fourth quarter.
For the game, Murphy finished with 17 points and Evanshine had 16. They two combined for 15 rebounds.
Ashley Bee led Bethel-Tate with 16 points, 14 of those coming in the second half. Alli Stolz added 13 but was held scoreless in the second half. Hailey Sampson had all 11 of her points in the second half while Abbie Dunn had nine of her 11 in the first half.
East Clinton seniors Gracie Evanshine, Jericka Boggs, Lane Clark and Gracie Boggs dressed for their final game in the Astros red and gray.
“Very important parts of the girls basketball program; they will be missed,” Bean said.
Feb 23, 2021
@Bethel-Tate High School
East Clinton 64 Bethel-Tate 59
(64) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Collom 1-0-4-6 L. Evanshine 2-0-12-16 Whiteaker 4-1-4-13 Runyon 1-1-4-7 G. Evanshine 0-0-0-0 Lilly 1-0-0-2 Murphy 4-2-7-17 Clark 1-0-0-2 G. Boggs 0-0-1-1 TOTALS 14-4-32/42-64
(59) BETHEL-TATE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Dunn 3-1-4-11 Miracle 0-0-0-0 Bingamon 1-0-0-2 Stolz 6-0-1-13 Johnson 0-0-4-4 Sampson 3-0-5-11 Bee 5-0-6-16 Tolliver 1-0-0-2 Krem 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 19-1-20/38-59
REBOUNDS: Murphy 8, L. Evanshine 7
STEALS: L. Evanshine 3