LEES CREEK — The often-told tale of two halves haunted the Lady Astros Saturday afternoon in South Central Ohio League action.
After hanging tough for the first two quarters, leading after one and trailing by a mere bucket, 20-18, at halftime, East Clinton saw visiting McClain bum-rush the home team after the break. Greenfield outscored EC 44-11 in the final two quarters en route to posting a 64-29 victory.
“I thought the experience Greenfield has really took over in the second half,” East Clinton head coach Steven Gerber said. “I told the girls at halftime that we would need to come out and match their intensity because I knew they [McClain] would come out fired up after the break.”
The Lady Astros came out of the gates with passion as the home team took it to McClain in the opening frame. East Clinton hit on 6-of-10 shots in the quarter led by a perfect 3-for-3 start by freshman Lacey Peterman. Peterman scored 6 of her team-high 12 points in the period as EC staked claim to a 12-7 lead.
“I was very proud of the effort our girls gave and the passion they played with, especially early in the game,” Gerber said. “The first half was played at our pace and the second half was played at their [McClain’s] pace.”
As well as things went for EC in the first two quarters, the third and fourth frames saw the opposite. The Lady Astros went ice cold shooting the ball after halftime, connecting on a mere 2-of-26 shots over the final 16 minutes. The home team went 0-of-13 shooting in the fourth quarter and committed 11 turnovers in the final frame alone. For the game, East Clinton turned it over 29 times, while McClain had 15 miscues.
“I give Greenfield a lot of credit. They have a very good team,” Gerber said. “They have size and can shoot the basketball.”
McClain utilized a balanced scoring attack as 5 different players scored at least 7 points, paced by junior Lexi Barton. Barton tallied 5 points in each of the first 3 quarters before dumping in 7 in the fourth to round out the afternoon with 22 points and 4 rebounds.
Junior Taylor Polley had an all-around effective contest with 12 points and 6 steals, while classmate Beth Montgomery also netted 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Freshman Maddy Stegbauer came off the bench to chip in 8 points and 5 rebounds, and junior Malea Montavon had 7 points and swiped a game-high 12 rebounds.
On East Clinton’s side, the offensive output came to a halt after the halftime break. Peterman hit 1 of EC’s 2 baskets in the second half, a 3-pointer, but tallied only 3 of her team-high 12 points in the second half.
Fellow frosh Kaitlyn Durbin had a solid performance for the Lady Astros with 6 points and 5 rebounds. Sophomore Sierra Christian came off the bench to contribute 4 fourth quarter points on 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
East Clinton gets back to action on Wednesday night with a road contest scheduled at Chillicothe.
Reach Blake via email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BeeLakeH