BLACKSVILLE — Seth Casino didn’t do a lot of thinking as he chucked up a near half-court buzzer beater to end the first quarter against Valley Wetzel Thursday night.
It wasn’t the first time in his career he’s found the ball in his hands with little time remaining to find a shot, and at this point, it’s practically old hat to the senior point guard.
“I did it last year, and I do it all the time in practice. It’s just instinct, I guess,” Casino said.
The shot flew through the air towards the basket, banging off the backboard and falling through the net in unison with the sound of the buzzer. The Cee-Bees didn’t need the shot, in what finished as a 72-40 rout, but the crowd got into it.
It was one of just twelve shots Casino converted in dropping 25 points.
The performance represents a turnaround offensively for Clay-Battelle.
The score was a season-high for the team and marked the second straight game the Cee-Bees tallied 20-plus assists and converted 30-plus shots from the field.
“Knowing they always have the potential to do that, it’s nice to see them execute. The last two games they’ve shared the ball with each other fantastically,” Clay-Battelle coach Josh Kisner said. “We’re moving the ball around, having multiple people score the ball, and we’re just playing basketball together.”
The Cee-Bees outpaced their opponents, running the floor in transition smoothly and finding open shooters on every corner of the floor — areas of the game Kisner has put an increased emphasis on during practice.
“After those first few games, we started playing as a team for awhile,” Casino said. “Now we’re finding the open guys, and shots are starting to fall.”
Following the win, Kisner is optimistic as his team heads into the final month-long stretch of the regular season.
“If we continue to play like this together. If shots continue to fall and our shooting percentages stay where their at, we can make a run and compete with just about anyone.”
Paden City 49, Clay-Battelle 37
Clay-Battelle girls’ basketball had a strong start and a strong finish Thursday.
The rest of the game was a different story, as they fell to Paden City.
“You could reach into a hat and pull out one of the excuses — they were all there tonight,” coach David Joyce said.
The Cee-Bees jumped out to a 16-14 lead in the first period of play, powered by a trio of three-pointers from freshman Alivia Ammons.
For the next 16 minutes, the Cee-Bees stumbled, as the Wildcats took the lead and outscored their host 21-5 to extend the gap to double digits to start the final quarter of play.
“In that first quarter, we hit about four threes. We couldn’t get inside and they packed the lane real well, but if we’re going to hit the threes we’re going to win the game,” Joyce said. “In the second quarter, we didn’t make any. We played right into their hands. They said go ahead and shoot the three, and we did, but we didn’t make the three.”
The Cee-Bees battled back, finding their rhythm offensively and attempting to cut into the Paden City lead, but the effort was too late to make a difference.
“We tried at the end of the ballgame a little bit to penetrate and get to the basket, but at some point, you have to make a basket,” Joyce said.