By Nate Smith
North Daviess dined on eel for the second time this season to win its homecoming, 62-47 at the Cougar Den Friday night.
The Cougars (12-4, 3-1 SWIAC) feasted mainly in the second and third quarters as they kill their two-game winning streak from the weekend before. North Daviess scored 40 of its 62 points in the middle quarters, including a 23-point second quarter that put the Eels (8-7, 2-2 SWIAC) on their collective heels.
North Daviess coach Brent Dalrymple said after the key to that second quarter was to play with more tempo.
“We decided to be more uptempo,” Dalrymple said. “We ran a couple different offenses in the first quarter, decided which one was best and stuck with it and did it. We clamped down defensively as well.”
After a slow start, the Cougars were down 12-5 to Clay City. Senior Wes Lengacher led the North Daviess comeback and hit the game-tying three with 4:40 to go in the second. On the next possession, forward Kelby Byrer put back a rebound and was fouled. He hit the extra freethrow and North Daviess never looked back.
Lengacher led all scorers with 19 points. Dalrymple said it was the best game he has played all season due to his overall game, not just the offensive output.
“Wes found something in the Barr-Reeve game. He took the ball off the dribble and posted up a little bit,” Dalrymple said. “You saw more of it tonight. He’s just continuing to find stuff. “
North Daviess kept up the pressure to start the second half, beginning on a 9-2 run. Clay City coach Vance Edmondson called time with 4:56 left in the third, finding his Eels down by seven. The Cougars stretched the lead to 10 a minute later and never looked back.
“It was nice to see our kids bounce back and play the way we know we are capable of,” Dalrymple said about ending the losing streak.
Senior point guard Nick Crays showed no signs of the ankle injury that hampered him a week before. He scored eight of his 18 points in the third to put the game away. Scoring contributions also came off the North Daviess bench, mainly in the name of Dusten Cook. The junior did not seem to miss on the way to scoring 15 on the night.
Byrer also contributed heavily with six points, all in the first half. Missing from action Friday was junior Alex Wittmer, still down with a groin injury. Clay City was led by Trevor Singer with 12 points, Blake Cesinger and Josh Miller with eight and Steven Phillips and Evan Rogers with five.
Cook also had a big night in the JV game, leading North Daviess with 11 points. The Cougars won, 35-30. The Cougars take today off, but will be back on the SWIAC campaign with a trip to Bloomfield next Friday.
Clay City 12 11 8 16 - 47
North Daviess 5 23 17 17 62
Clay City (47)
Logan Cesinger 1 0-0 2, Blake Cesinger 3 1-4 8, Evan Rogers 2 0-1 5, Trevor Singer 4 1-2 12, Josh Miller 4 0-0 8, Easton Booe 1 0-2 2, Steven Phillips 2 0-1 5, Kurtis Yocom 1 0-0 2, Paiden Myers 1 0-0 3. Totals 19 2-11 47.
North Daviess (62)
Nick Crays 7 3-4 18, Wes Lengacher 7 4-4 19, Nick Woodruff 0 0-0 0, Adam Wagler 0 0-0 0, Kelby Byrer 2 2-3 6, Tyler Hostetter 1 1-2 3, Dusten Cook 6 1-1 15, Brady Helms 0 1-2 1. Totals: 23 12-16 62.
Three-point goals: CC; B. Cesinger, Singer 3, Rogers, Phillips, Myers. ND; Crays, Lengacher, Cook 2.
Junior Varsity: North Daviess 35 (Cook 11), Clay City 30 (Denker 15).