Eagles still searching for first victory after 57-45 loss to Skyline

Posted: December 1, 2012

Special to The Winchester Star

Clarke senior Davey Hardesty gets a shot to the face on a drive to the basket during the Eagles’ 57-45 loss Friday. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — Hoping to register a historic first victory in their brand-new gym, the Clarke County boys’ basketball team found the going a bit tough Friday night facing its second Group AA team of the young season.

The Eagles dug themselves a first half double-digit deficit and, though they were able to close the gap to eight several times and even to six at one point, they were never able to get over that final hump and the end result was a 57-45 non-district setback to visiting Skyline.

Never able to find their stride offensively, the Eagles had more turnovers and missed shots then made baskets and overall looked out of synch most of the evening.

“We just didn’t have any flow to our offense, we haven’t had any all year,” said Clarke County coach Brent Emmart. “We've just got to try to get better. Get a better flow and rhythm on offense and ourselves. Early in the year we’re just not cohesive right now.

“We’ve opened up with two good teams, Handley and Skyline, you’ve got to give Skyline credit. We just didn’t play well tonight. Nothing really went our way tonight any way you cut it. It was just one of those basketball nights that no matter what you try you can’t find the right answer.”

Skyline (1-0) finished the first quarter on an 8-3 run thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Hunter Stewart and Kylmen Breeden to build a 14-7 lead after the first eight minutes of play.

The Hawks scored the first five points of the second to push the lead to 12 (19-7). After another 3-pointer, this time by Marcus Turner midway through the quarter, again pushed the lead to 12 at 24-12, the Eagles started to mount their first comeback of the evening.

Sophomore Sean McDonald’s 3-pointer was followed by a free throw from Colton Chrane and a short jumper from Cody Taylor to cut the deficit to 24-18, but that’s as close as Clarke would get the rest of the evening.

With an opportunity to cut into the lead even more the Eagles turned the ball over once and missed a pair of shots. Skyline took advantage and closed the half with three free throws to push the lead back to nine at 27-18 at the break.

Midway through the third the Hawks pushed the lead to 13 on three different occasions, the last being 37-24 on a pair of free throws by Dayvon Haight with 3:27 left in the quarter.

Clarke County (0-2) again responded with five straight points, all from Taylor, to close the gap to 37-29, but each time the Eagles got within striking distance the Hawks were able to answer and extend the lead back to double figures.

Another mini-run at the end of the third pushed the lead back to 42-31 with just eight minutes left to play. The Hawks added to that by scoring the first four points of the fourth to take their biggest lead of the game at 46-31 and force a Clarke County timeout.

Over the next three minutes the Eagles answered with a 10-3 run to once again cut it to eight (49-41) but they just couldn’t come up with enough plays down the stretch and Skyline was able to salt away the game with a pair of easy layups and some free throws.

“We’re very disappointed in our effort tonight,” Emmart said. “Bottom line is I’ve got to do a better job of coaching, the players have got to do a better job of playing and we’ve got to get better as a team and stay together.

“Right now our morale is a little low and after this game there’s only one way for us to go. We’ve just got to get back to the drawing board and execute a little bit better.”

Skyline had three players in double figures, led by Breeden’s team-high 11 points. Turner and Nick Helmick added 10 each for the Hawks. Taylor led the way for the Eagles with a game-high 20 points. Todd Benton, Davey Hardesty, and McDonald all added six points for the home team.