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March 15, 2014

Clay City wins regional title game thriller

Eels earn first semistate berth since 1974

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — Resilient and determined, after trailing for three and a half quarters, Clay City rallied to nip Greenwood Christian Academy 66-65 and win the Class A boys high school basketball regional championship game at Martinsville High School on Saturday night.

A controversial call with :00.8  seconds left sent Trevor Singer to the free throw line and the junior hit both to give the Eels their first regional championship since 1974.

"The right call. It was the right call. If it's a foul in the first second ofthe game it's a foul in the last second of the game. You got to give the official credit for making the right call," Clay City coach Vance Edmondson said.

Singer led Clay City with 21 points, followed by Evan Rogers with 20, hitting a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Easton Booe had 10 points for the Eels.

Greenwood Christian (19-6) was by Lucas Peters, a 6-1 senior guard, with 21 points. Peters got off a good half-court shot at the buzzer but it bounce off the backboard, sparking the Clay City celebration.

Greenwood Christian, dominating the rebounding 34-21, controlled this game through three quarter and led 46-36 going into the fourth period.

"They're a big strong physical team and controlled the boards in the first half. I thought our boys did a better job of boxing out and going after the ball, giving ourselves a chance [in the second half], Edmondson said.

Led by Rogers and Singer, Clay City opened the final eight minutes with a 9-1 run, close the game to 47-45 with 6:08 to play.

A three pointer by Singer gave the Eels their first lead since the second quarter at 52-51 with 4:41 to play. The lead changed hands six times over the five times over the final four minutes.

A basket by Singer with 1:39 to play puts the Eels up 60-59 and Rogers hit two free throws for a 62-59 edge with 1:14 left.

Greenwood’s Morgan Booher hit two free throws with 25 seconds left to keep Clay City’s lead at one, 64-63. When Clay City’s Singer missed two free throw it gave Greenwood an opportunity and Booher hit a driving layup that put the Cougars on to 65-64 with 7.7 second to play.

Clay City got the ball inside and got the shot off, Singer rebounded and was fouled going back up for the shot with eight-tenths of a second on the clock. With Greenwood fans booing the call and Clay City fans holding their collective breath Singer hit both shots.

When the clock sounded, Clay City partied like 1974.

"It's a pretty good feeling. I'm just happy for the ball, happy for the community and fans. It's been a long time coming," Edmondson said.

GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN (65) – Stephenson 3-5 10-12 16, Brown 1-1 0-0 2, Rastenburg 2-7 1-2 5, Peters 6-13 6-6 22, Booher 2-6 6-8 10, Tyra 0-2 0-0 0, Thompson 4-8 1-1 10. Totals 18-42 FG, 24-29 FT, 65 TP.

CLAY CITY (66) – Rogers 4-14 11-12 20, Singer 6-10 7-1021, Miller 1-3 1-2 3, Cesinger 1-6 0-1 2, Booe 5-7 0-0 10, Denker 2-5 2-2 7, Myers 1-3 0-0 3, Yocom 0-0 0-0 0, Wolfe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 FG, 21-28 FT, 66 TP.

Greenwood Christian    18    15    13    19    —    65

Clay City    15    10    11    30    —    66

3 Pt. Goals: GC 5-17 (Peters 4-8, Thompson 1-3, Rastenburg 0-1, Tyra 0-1, Booher 0-3), CC 5-20 (Singer 2-5, Myers 1-2, Denker 1-4, Rogers 1-6, Cesinger 0-1, Boo 0-2). Total fouls: GC 20, CC 21. Fouled out: Stephenson, Thompson, Cesinger, Booe. Turnovers: GC 12, CC 4. Rebounds: GC 34 (Rastenburg 16), CC 21 (Singer 6). Steals: GC 2 (Peters, Thompson), CC 5 (Singer 2).

Next — Clay City (20-6) will play Barr-Reeve at either Richmond or Seymour on March 22.

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