CLINTON — Ty McGruder put up 15 points in the fourth quarter to help blow open a close game and the Clinton boys took down Burlington 62-37 in Yourd Gymnasium Friday night.
The boys picked up their second win of the season, there first also coming against Grayhounds. That means the River Kings haven’t seen a W since Dec. 19.
“It feels good to win at home and clear the bench with the win, get everybody some playing time here in front of the crowd,” Clinton Coach Chris Powers said. “It was good to see us back in the win column.”
The Kings had a comfortable lead going into the fourth, but Ty McGruder almost single handedly ensured the win. Ahead 39-26, McGruder sunk a pair of free throws then found himself with a layip again to extend it to 43-26.
Burlington would score, and then Brennen Lemke drew a foul and nailed both free shots. McGruder took a baseline drive on the next possession to extend it to 47-28.
On free throw from Burlington and then McGruder scored on two consecutive possessions. All of a sudden the Kings had a 20-point lead.
“He was the difference maker in the second half,” Powers said. “He brings so much energy and enthusiasm and he covers so much ground. He’s been a great addition and has been playing really well for us.”
McGruder finished with 17 points, while Bret Myli added 10 and Lemke put up another nine.
“The kids just stayed with it,” Powers said. “They defended well and offensively they executed. We stressed patience tonight and attacking inside out and we did that for the most part and had success with it.”
Powers was also happy with the defense, holding Burlington to just 37 points.
“We talked about switching our screens a lot because we thought we had some favorable match ups defensively and the kids just did a good job,” Powers said. “It was nice to see.”
This is the River Kings’ second win this season. They improve to 2-15.
“They played well as a team,” Powers said. “They moved the ball, they looked for each other, I think it was our season high in assists too. They shared the ball and it was fun to watch.”
The Kings will take on Davenport Assumption in a home matchup on Tuesday.
Queens edged by Grayhounds
The River Queens battled back from a deficit but fell 33-29 to the Grayhounds. They beat Burlington already once this year.
A lot of the frustration came from shots just not finding the basket.
“This time, our shots just weren’t dropping,” junior Megan Gandrup said. Gandrup led the River Queens with nine points,six of them coming in the second half. “We were taking good shots but they weren’t falling. They were going in and out but we have to keep shooting and taking our shots.”
The Grayhounds ran a bunched up zone that kept traffic in the lane and the River Queens had trouble finding Sarah Goldensoph in the middle.
“Sometimes we miss her and our opportunity to get it in,” Gandrup said. Gandrup runs the Queens’ offense and just recently broke the school record for career assists as a junior. “We need to make our split second decision to get it in to her sooner so she can get the ball.”
The River Queens had a lot of momentum to start the game. Gandrup found a cutting Molly Chapman on the far weak side for an easy two, then Chapman grabbed an offensive board. She kicked it out to Gandrup who drained the three to make it 5-0.
Burlington finally put points on the board with just under three minutes left to play in the first quarter.
The River Queens kept rolling. McKenna Eberhart put in a baseline jumper and Molly Chapman started off the second quarter with a drive and bucket to give them the 9-3 advantage.
Burlington then went on a 16-0 run. The River Queens wouldn’t score again until six minutes into the third quarter when Macy Mulholland put in a layup. Then they had a hole to dig out of.
Like usual though, they battled and pulled within two.
“We did a lot on the defensive end,” Gandrup said. “We started a full court press and forced some turnovers, we got some easy baskets that way.”
The bad bounces off the rim continued to haunt them and they couldn’t put enough points on the board to pull ahead.
“It gets frustrating when you can’t make a shot,” Gandrup said. “We’ll be fine, we’ll bounce back.”
Gandrup led the scoring with nine, while Chapman added eight and Sarah Goldensoph had six.
Clinton falls to 5-14 on the season.