Lynchburg-Clay’s varsity boys basketball team opened their season on Friday in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic at Southern State Community College with a 73-56 loss to Frontier Athletic Conference (FAC) rival the Ripley Blue Jays.
The Mustangs were led by Damin Pierson who finished with 21 points and shot 8/10 from the free throw line.
Lynchburg also got a good contribution from Eric McLaughlin who scored 16 points on the night and provided the highling of the game with a vicious put back dunk late in the third quarter.
The first quarter was a back and forth affair featuring four ties with neither team taking a lead of more than two points.
Ripley’s Dearing gave the Blue Jays an 11-10 lead by making one of two free throws late in the quarter.
The Blue Jays hit the floor in the second quarter on a roll and built a 23-15 lead on the Mustangs halfway through the quarter.
Lynchburg-Clay refused to go quietly and quickly cut the lead to two at 23-21 after the third consecutive offensive rebound and put back by Ray Connor.
Ripley went on to close out the half with an 8-3 run to take a 33-24 lead as both teams headed for the locker room.
Both teams entered the third quarter on a roll as the score quickly climbed to 40-29 with the Blue Jays expanding their halftime lead to 11.
Lynchburg-Clay roared back with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to three points at 40-37.
The Mustangs were able to get to within one at 43-42 thanks to McLaughlin’s previously mentioned put back dunk.
The Blue Jays refused to let Lynchburg take the lead as they were able to take a 47-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
With the score 54-49 the Blue Jays turned up the intensity and went on a 16-7 run to to end the game.
Following the game, Lynchburg-Clay head coach Matt Carson said, “The kids played hard. We have to do a better job with transition defense. I thought Eric did some good things for us just some shots didn’t fall for him tonight. This is probably the best team we have played up to now, preseason included. We will get better, we hit a little road block tonight. We have four days to get ready for our next game.”
The Mustangs will be back in action on Friday December 8 when they welcome FAC rival the Peebles Indians to Lynchburg-Clay High School.
Ripley: Dunn 2(1)-7/7-14; Rigdon (2)-6; Dearing 5(2)-1/2-17; Harney 5(1)-13; Staggs 3-0/1-6, Royal 6-0/3-12; King 1-0/2-2; Fyffe 1-1/2-3
Lynchburg-Clay: Walker 1-2; Pierson 5(1)-8/10-21; McLaughlin 7-2/2-16; Hilt 1(1)-0/1-5; Connor 4-1/2-9; Smith 1-1/2-3
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.