Clay-Battelle girls shoot poorly in second half in loss to Valley-Wetzel

BLACKSVILLE — Clay-Battelle girls’ basketball coach David Joyce needs some advice, and he has an idea about who could help him.

“I’m going to talk to Bob Huggins and see what he does. You have the guy who makes millions per year to get these girls better at shooting, and maybe we’ll play better,” said Joyce with a laugh Wednesday night.

Joyce found himself troubled with the Cee-Bees’ inconsistent shooting performance Wednesday, which turned a halftime lead into 64-50 loss to Valley (Wetzel).

Clay-Battelle jumped out to a first half lead with a strong performance from the field, as it converted seven of its 20 total made shots in the second quarter alone. After the break, the Cee-Bees struggled to rekindle the momentum offensively, allowing Valley to slip back into the lead late in the third quarter.

“Our shooting percentage was good in the second quarter, and it wasn’t in the rest of the game,” Joyce said.

“I think it’s evident when you look at our shooting percentage when we were in the lead and their shooting percentage when they were in the lead that it’ll make a difference in a ballgame. If you can’t score, you can’t win.”

As its shooting performance lagged, Clay-Battelle failed to find methods to get closer to the hoop for higher percentage shots. Meanwhile, Valley found their rhythm offensively, scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter.

We just weren’t hitting shots, and we’re not hitting our shots we have to find a way to get to the basket and make up for that, and we didn’t,” said point guard Rylee Burnette, who led the Cee-Bees with 19 points.

“They couldn’t miss in the fourth quarter and that killed us.”

As the Cee-Bees faltered offensively, they performed increasingly reckless and deviated from the game plan, according to Joyce. The lack of focus from the Cee-Bees gave Valley a chance to widen the gap, putting the final nail in the coffin.

“It was like our feet were in concrete, and our sloppiness fed them and they started making some buckets. Other than that, is was a pretty good contest,” Joyce said.

“They played into our hands, I thought, because we can play against a man-to-man defense. But when they switched to a man-to-man late in the game, I don’t know if they got panicky or what, but we didn’t run what we were supposed to.”

The Cee-Bees move to 5-3 with the loss, and will return to action Friday at Tygarts Valley. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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