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  • Val T.

Clevenger scores 12, but Lady Zs can’t slow down streaking Clinton Central


Sports Editor, RTC

Rylee Clevenger

MICHIGANTOWN — The Rochester girls basketball team made six 3-pointers against host Clinton Central Wednesday.

They held Clinton Central to a season-low in points. They held them under 50 points for the first time in 12 games. They held leading scorer Sara Parkison to four points under her average and second-leading scorer Carly Davison to three points under her average.

It still was not enough to stop the Lady Bulldogs, who won their eighth straight game with a 47-31 triumph over the Lady Zs.

Clinton Central, who came in ranked No. 12 in Class 1A, improved to 13-1.

They held Rochester to just four field goals in the first half, and they went on a 12-0 run covering the second and third quarters to build a 28-9 lead.

Rochester got as close as 34-22 in the third quarter, but the Lady Zs could not overcome 21 turnovers. Meanwhile, they forced just nine Clinton Central miscues.

Parkison, who came in averaging 20 points per game, scored a game-high 16 and grabbed seven rebounds. Fellow senior Erika Robbins added 14, and Davison, a sophomore point guard, added 11.

The 16-point margin of victory was Clinton Central’s second smallest of the season and their smallest during their winning streak. Their average margin of victory is 28 points per game.

Rylee Clevenger hit three 3-pointers and scored 12 points for Rochester, who dropped to 7-7. Ella McCarter added seven, and Mia Howdeshell hit two treys in the fourth quarter and had six.

Clinton Central, who sprinkled in some possessions of a 1-3-1 zone with its man-to-man, ranks seventh in the state in defensive scoring average at 29.7.

“I don’t feel like we played to their best of our ability, but I think Rochester had a lot to do with that,” Clinton Central coach Don Helmick said.

Rochester coach Joel Burrus said there are no “moral victories” but said this game was a sign of progress.

“They beat us, but a month ago, they probably would have boatraced us,” Burrus said. “I mean, they’re a good team. I don’t think anybody’s been within 25 of them in eight games.”

With Clinton Central already leading 16-9, Robbins hit a 15-footer, Davison turned a steal into a transition basket at the other end, and Parkison hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 23-9 at halftime.

Another Parkison 3-pointer, and two Davison free throws in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the second half extended the lead to 19.

“Five, she’s a load,” Burrus said of Davison, referring to her by uniform number. “Somebody’s going to pay for her college. I know she’s only a sophomore, but she’s going to play college basketball. I can tell you that. … She’s extremely strong. She’s probably the strongest guard we’ve seen to this point.”

At that point, a McCarter driving banker, a Clevenger 3-point play, a McCarter 3-pointer, an Aubrey Wilson left baseline driving layin and a Clevenger 3-pointer cut the deficit to 12.

Burrus said Rochester had rarely seen a man defense like Clinton Central’s in its last three games after facing 1-3-1 zones against Argos, Wabash and North Miami.

“I thought there were positives,” Burrus said. “When we attacked, we got some good things. But there were also times we attacked and got our shoulders by our initial defender, and we didn’t shoot. McCarter, she’s getting to the point where she’s strong, and she knows what move to make; she’s just got to shoot it.”

Rochester was allowing only 21 points per game in its previous two games with their 2-3 zone. Clinton Central’s previous season low was also 47 against Southmont on Nov. 4. They scored 68 against Clinton Prairie on Tuesday.

“We didn’t get a lot out of their 21 turnovers,” Clinton Central coach Don Helmick said. “That’s one of the things we’ve been relying on was a lot of transition, and we knew tonight with the way they play that defense and as much time they take off the clock offensively moving the ball, we had to get something out of our transition and really didn’t get a lot out of it.”

Said Burrus: “Our goal coming into this game was to hold them to 35.”

Clinton Central 47, Rochester 31

ROCHESTER (31) (7-7)

Aubrey Wilson 1 0-2 2, Rylee Clevenger 4 1-1 12, Ella McCarter 3 0-0 7, Jadyn Field 2 0-0 4, Audrey Bolinger 0 0-0 0, Brailyn Hunter 0 0-0 0, Mia Howdeshell 2 0-0 6

TEAM: 12 1-3 31


Carly Davison 4 3-3 11, Landree Whiteman 0 0-0 0, Erika Robbins 5 2-2 14, Kortney Surber 1 0-0 2, Sara Parkison 6 2-4 16, Riley Dellinger 0 0-0 0, Emily Long 2 0-0 4

TEAM: 18 7-9 47

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 6 (Clevenger 3, Howdeshell 2, McCarter),

Clinton Central 4 (Parkison 2, Robbins 2)

Total fouls: Rochester 11, Clinton Central 11

Fouled out: Field (RHS), 1:50, fourth

Turnovers: Rochester 21, Clinton Central 9

Score by quarters

Rochester 4 5 13 9 31

Clinton Central 10 13 13 11 47

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