Clinton seniors focused on mentality heading into end of season

·6 min read

Jan. 27—CLINTON — The Clinton River Queens picked up another Mississippi Athletic Conference loss on Wednesday night at home, falling to Davenport Assumption in Yourd Gymnasium.

The game was a makeup game, originally scheduled for Jan. 14 but postponed due to inclement weather.

To start the game, the Knights came out and scored on four of their first five possessions to jump to a 9-0 lead quickly. On the other side, the Queens only were able to get up a shot on two of their first five possessions thanks to turnovers.

The first basket was an offensive rebound by Emma Reissen, who put the ball back up with a short jumper from the lane. By then, the Knights had cruised to an easy 14-2 lead.

Assumption kicked off the second quarter with a swish of a three-pointer, and by the time the clock ticked to 3:29, a steal and layup put the Knights ahead 26-7. At the end of the half, it was 32-7.

The River Queens came out of the locker room with renewed energy. Their cuts were sharper and their offense quicker, and the likes of Ali House and Veronica Ramirez found extra aggression on pulling down boards.

Even so, the Knights went on a 6-0 scoring run that was only broken up by a free throw by Veronica Ramirez, extending the spread to 30 points.

Alex Tucker hit a three with 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but that basket plus the Ramirez free throw were the only four points the Queens put up in the eight minute time.

The River Queens fall to 1-16 on the season and will travel Friday night, heading to Eldridge to take on North Scott. The Lancers are ranked No. 8 in Class 4A.

The wins and losses aren't necessarily the focus of a hard-working group of seniors on the River Queen roster this season.

"They bring a lot of leadership and a lot of institutional knowledge to the game," head coach Cathy Marx said. "They're instructing always. Peer-to-peer relationship is important, and we have to look at who is coming up, too."

"It may not be the goal what the people see on the scoreboard," Coach Marx said. "In the locker room, we have our goals. Here's what we want to achieve tonight. As long as we keep picking away and making improvements, that's what I ask every game of every player."

"We just wanted to make sure that we all have that family mentality," Ali House said. "It doesn't matter win or lose, we're a family and we care for each other. I treat these girls like my sisters and I want to have fun no matter what I do. I want to come to practice every day and say 'Oh my God, I'm so happy to see my friends, I'm so happy to play basketball with these teammates', no matter the outcome."

"I just want to leave knowing that I have taught the underclassmen how to work through adversity and fight the battles," House said. "Even when the battles seem impossible. Keep going no matter what. You can't give up because things are hard."

"The hardest part is just finding a rhythm," House said. "We have our plays and we have the standards of basketball, but we have to figure out how those standards fit our team and how the puzzle pieces can fit together to be the most successful team we can be."

"Growing up, we've always played basketball together," Greenwalt said. "Since then, we're down to three seniors now. We know that when our senior group gets down it affects the rest of the team. We try to stay up as much as we can, talk to our teammates and find ways to be successful on the court."

"It's hard to get through it sometimes," Greenwalt said. "We know we're not the greatest team in our conference. We come out, though, and we set goals for ourselves. If we reach that goal we find our own success."

"We're trying to show them that we're trying to work through adversity," Greenwalt said. "We have to deal with the situation we're in and go day-by-day and play your heart out, give it your all. That's all you can really do sometimes.

RIVER KINGS FALL SHORT IN HOME THRILLER

CLINTON — The Clinton boys had the game in their hands on Tuesday night at home, but fell on a late three to Davenport Central 57-54 in Mississippi Athletic Conference competition.

"Happy with our effort," head coach Andy Eberhart said. "Just executing a couple times offensively we wish we could take back."

The River Kings came out with a one-point lead at the half. A few back-and-forth baskets kept the scores even. Clinton would score, then Central would score.

Isaiah Struve helped open the game up. With four minutes left in the third, he hit a three to give the Kings a four-point lead.

A few possessions later, Struve took a baseline drive in and gave them a six-point lead.

"I thought our defensive effort was outstanding," Eberhart said. "For a team we were just trying to keep out of the lane, I thought we did a great job."

The Blue Devils kept working back, but Clinton held on to a 42-39 lead after three quarters.

Even with that advantage, North tied the game at 42 with five minutes to play. The game was still tied with just a minute left to play. Knotted st 51-51, the River Kings turned it over in the backcourt and gave the Blue Devils a wide open court. By a stroke of luck, the fast break was fumbled and the Kings got the ball back.

But then, another turnover.

A Blue Devil drive was made and they picked up the foul, finishing off the three-point play to take the 54-51 lead.

Clinton took the possession, and Seth Dotterweich drained a three from the corner right in front of his own bench. Tie game again.

"They all feel like they could do it," Eberhart said. "They all feel comfortable if it came to them."

The Blue Devils responded, hitting their own three. With the clock ticked down to 5.2 seconds Clinton trailed 57-54.

The throw in attempt went long and that's where the score remained through the final buzzer.

Clinton managed a good distribution of points on Tuesday night. Their big man, Lucas Weiner, finished the night with 12. Jai Jensen had 14 and Isaiah Struve led the point totals with 15.

"For a while, it's been just a few guys," Eberhart said. "The more we can get scoring, the more it's going to help things."

The River Kings (2-12) are back in action on Friday night, traveling to North Scott for more MAC action.

The Clinton girls traveled Tuesday night, and fell 59-26 in their own MAC competition to Davenport Central. The River Queens only managed three points in the first quarter, falling behind quickly. They trailed 32-11 at the half.

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