News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

November 28, 2013

Clay City hits 13 first-half treys in downing Wildcats

CLINTON — Clay City junior Evan Rogers hit his first 3-pointer of the night 45 seconds into the season opener at South Vermillion.

By the time another 2 minutes, 15 seconds passed on the scoreboard, he had hit a fifth 3-pointer, putting his Eels ahead 17-2.

Heat check? That time had already passed.

Rogers hit a sixth 3-pointer to put the Eels up 25-4 then finally missed one with 2:20 on the first-quarter clock.

In the opening quarter, he had 20 to lead the Eels to a 33-8 lead.

Despite a big third-quarter effort, the Eels’ 13 3-pointers in the first half were too much to overcome, sending South Vermillion to a 85-59 defeat in Wednesday’s boys high school basketball game.

“After the first one, I just started feeling it. Guys kept looking for me and I kept knocking them in,” said Rogers, who finished with 28 points, hitting 8 of 13 from beyond the arc. “It was good to see everyone knocking them down.”

Rogers’ first-half shooting became infectious. Trevor Singer, Paiden Myers, Easton Booe and Logan Cesinger also contributed to the 13 first-half trifecta total.

The Eels are heavy on returnees from a team that went 15-9 and won a sectional last year. They don’t lack for confidence or on-court chemistry.

“A lot of it, I hope, has to do with, they have some freedom,” Clay City coach Vance Edmondson said. “They know if they miss a shot or two, they’re not gonna get yanked out. Hopefully, I instill a little confidence in them that they can shoot it. I think it’s just playing together for so long, making shots early and getting off to a good start.”

Clay City cooled in the second half, hitting just 3 of 12 from long range to finish with a 17-for-36 performance. The only senior is 6-foot-4 big man Josh Miller, one of the only regulars who didn’t attempt a 3-pointer Wednesday night.

Cesinger finished with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists and two steals for the Eels.

South Vermillion coach Michael Byrum attempted to help his team maintain composure in the first half, but the Eels were tough to contain after building such momentum early on.

“Any time you let an opponent come into your gym — or any game really — and start off the way they did, that puts you in a hole,” Byrum said. “Our goal coming out of halftime was to win the third quarter. Small battles. Clay City is very good.”

South Vermillion played some inspired basketball in the third quarter, attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line in bulk.

With the increased aggressiveness, the Wildcats pulled within 21 points at one point during the third quarter.

The Wildcats made 17 of 22 at the stripe for the game, helping them outscore the Eels in the second half. Jordan Branz had 15 points, and Logan Waldrop posted 14 for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats were without Nathan Luft, a 6-2 forward, as well as Adam Crouch, who suffered from an injury during the football season.

From Edmondson’s perspective, the Eels have to continue to work hard in all aspects of the game.

“I was a little nervous coming in, you’ve got a lot of expectations. But I was proud of the way they came out strong and maintained,” Edmondson said. “I didn’t want [the Wildcats] to come out and have a 24-point quarter like they did, but all in all pretty pleased. We’ve just got to sure up that defense.”

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