PORTSMOUTH — The Clay Panthers defeated the Symmes Valley Vikings Tuesday night by a score of 82-63. Three-point baskets were the theme of the night, as Clay sunk 11 and Symmes Valley hit eight from beyond the arc.
Both teams came out firing but both teams also came out lacking defensive tenacity. By the half, the score was 36-32, with Clay leading. Cameron King, who went scoreless in the first, went on a rampage the rest of the game. He had 13 in the second to lead the Panthers and banked home a pair of threes in the quarter. For the Vikings, Shawn Belville and Payton Hayes both had 11 at the half.
The Panthers amped up the defensive pressure in the quarter. Defenders started collapsing on Viking shooters and forcing them inside. The Panthers showed better hustle getting to loose balls and fighting for rebounds as well. King ended the quarter with 25 points as Clay outscored Symmes Valley 27-14 in the quarter pushing the lead to 63-46 going into the fourth.
The rest of the game highlighted King, who finished with a game high of 33 points, and Cole Gilliland who added in 21 for the Panthers. The Vikings struggled to stop King throughout the night and couldn’t keep up with the Panthers offensive firepower. Bellville would finished with 20, and Collin Webb would add four three pointers and 16 points to the effort.
“I thought our guys really stepped up and shot tonight,” said Clay Head Coach Adam Betten. “Some of them were a bit quick, but they were open. You can’t fault guys for shooting when they are open. Brady and Cole both stepped up and hit big shots for us. Obviously Cameron drew a lot of pressure and was able to both kick it out and find some looks in the game. He does a great job handling the basketball for us. He does a great job taking the pressure off everyone else, too. He knows when to stop penetrating and kick to other guys. Tonight he was able to hit both his free throws and his jumpers. I was extremely proud of him tonight.”
“At the half I told them that we needed to do better defensively. We gave up 63 points tonight, but we gave up way too many offensive rebounds. In the second, we managed to just play better defense. We were just gambling in the passing lanes too much in the first.”
Clay travels to Beaver to face off against the Eastern Eagles Friday. Tipoff is at 7:30.
“We are 10-3 right now, behind East, Notre Dame and Eastern who are sitting at the top. We have to be able to bounce back. When you go through the SOC you are playing all those teams twice. And the second time is always a battle because everyone knows everything you are doing at that point. I think we are right in the thick of things, we have to take care of what we can do and not worry about anyone else. We have to work and get better and get ready for the tournament. We have a huge game on Friday in Eastern. We want to try to get them back for earlier in the year. East is Tuesday. Both teams are ahead of us in the conference and these guys are competitive and will be ready to play. They don’t like to lose, especially not to the same team twice.”
Clay 17 19 27 19 — 82
Symmes Valley 17 15 14 17 — 63
Clay: King 33, Gilliland 21, Riffe 13, Hinze 8, Williams 5, Meade 2
Symmes Valley: Bellville 20, Webb 16, Hayes 14, Shepard 7, Patterson 3, Carpenter 2, Adams 1