The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

February 22, 2014

Ernst makes return on senior night

CLINTON — Brady Ernst wasn't ready to call it a season quite yet.

The Clinton junior sat out six games because of a hand injury but started on senior night against Muscatine in a 54-36 boys basketball win Friday.

Ernst scored 14 points along with 11 rebounds in his first game back since Feb. 1 in the Ottens Shootout against Timothy Christian (Ill).

"It was definitely good to get him back into the mix," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "He looked a little rusty at times, but that's what happens when someone sits out for a long period of time, but he played a really solid game tonight."

Ernst was more than eager to get back out onto the floor with the River Kings.

"It just felt good to be playing again," Ernst said. "I missed being out there on the floor, but I've felt good all week."

Lawrence had no hesitation turning to Ernst heading into postseason play.

"There was no decision to be made; he changes the whole game," Lawrence said. "He's our security blanket. He's a game changer for us; all we needed to know is if he was comfortable in going and we were ready to put him back into the mix."

While on the bench, Ernst realized he saw a lot more about the game off the floor, which he says was a great learning experience.

"It was tough watching the guys struggle and not being able to do anything about it," Ernst said. "It made me a better player seeing things from that perspective."

Friday night also was Senior Night in Yourd Gym, and the three seniors Robbie Thacker, Jon Cady and Jalen Jones were honored before tip-off.

Jones put in a good performance in his final regular-season home game, scoring 14 points and hauling in 16 rebounds.

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