CLINTON — Davenport North came in and swept the River Kings and Queens in a varsity double header at home, but it wasn’t a night without excitement.
The girls came back from a 12 point deficit to tie it in the fourth quarter, but ultimately fell 55-48.
“That was a great effort again and I’m proud of how they battled,” Clinton Coach Andy Eberhart said following the game. “They got after it to get it back to a winnable ballgame.”
The girls lost 55-26 the first time they met the Wildcats earlier this season.
The Queens found themselves down by 12 to stat the final quarter of play. Sarah Goldensoph came out of the gates and grabbed an offensive board to draw the foul, sinking both free throws.
Just a few possessions later Megan Gandrup found Goldensoph with good position on the block for another two. Gandrup set the Clinton High School record for career assists in the second half of the game.
“We threw Megan into the fire as a freshman right away at the point guard position and put a lot of things on her shoulders and she’s done a great job of running our system and relishing that position,” Eberhart said. “I’m proud of her. The team has got to have that type of person.”
Eberhart called a timeout immdiately after cutting the lead to eight points, and Clinton came out in a fullcourt man-to-man press. On the Davenport North end, Goldensoph jumped into a passing lane and then found Molly Chapman down the floor. Chapman made the basket and drew the foul for the three-point play and the lead was cut to 46-41 with just under six minutes remaining.
“We’re not a deep team so their energy level isn’t always the highest at the end of the ballgame,” Eberhart said about the press the last eight minutes. “They battled through it.”
North scored again, but Goldensoph forced it up from the block again for two.
The next possession she drew a foul, sinking both shots to put the Queens within three.
“They’re executing a lot better,” Eberhart said. “I think we’ve been opening Sarah up a little more in the post and the guards are doing a good job of looking in. I’m proud of the effort.”
Defensively, Kiah Guidry drew a charge. That turned into an offensive chance for Clinton, where Madi Eberhart drew a foul and put in one free throw.
“We told them defensively we were going to get after it,” Eberhart said. “We wanted to see if we could make plays, get out and try to force a turnover or make a steal.”
The defense continued to be Clinton’s saving grace, and Chapman drew another charge. Chapman then drew a foul and put in both free throws to tie the game up at 48-48 with three and a half minutes remaining.
North would finish with a 6-0 run.
“We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” Eberhart said. “Hopefully we learn from that but I hope the girls want to be in that position next time.”
The first half was an evenly matched contest with the score changing hands. Clinton led 24-23 at halftime. The Wildcats outscored the Queens 22-11 in the third quarter. A lot of the points came on offensive rebounds for the Wildcats, who had a clear size advantage over the River Queens.
“We got on them at halftime about showing heart on rebounding,” Eberhart said.
Goldensoph and Eberhart led the River Queens in scoring with 15 a piece. Eberhart hit five three-pointers for the Queens.
“It’s good to see her get on a streak,” Coach Eberhart said. “She’s hot and cold some nights, but it’s good to make them down the stretch here.”
The Clinton boys varsity team lost their matchup with Davenport North 59-40 on Tuesday night in game two of the double header.
The boys lost their first match up with the Wildcats 78-52 and had only won one game so far this season.
The Wildcats went on a 5-0 run to start before LJ Henderson put one in for the Kings. North followed that up with another 7-0 run.
Bret Myli picked up a foul and sunk both free throws to cut it to 12-4. North scored again, then DeVonte McGee drained a three pointer for Clinton.
The Wildcats responded with a three of their own. Ty McGruder found a loose ball and put it in, but the River Kings found themselves down 17-9 by the end of the first quarter.
The River Queens fall to 5-13, and the Kings fall to 1-15. Both teams play again on Friday in another varsity doubleheader at Yourd Gymnasium against Burlington.