Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Cee-Bees fall to defending state champs

BLACKSVILLE — Wednesday was a night to remember for the Cameron Dragons as star center Ashlynn Van Tassell scored 44 points in a blowout, 74-23, win over Clay-Battelle, giving her exactly 1,000 in her high school career.

“She’s a bright kid, she has a big future ahead of her,” Cameron coach Holly Pettit said of Van Tassell. “I’m so proud of her, so excited for her and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid.”

Usually an achievement reserved for senior ballplayers, Van Tassell reached the 1,000-point plateau in just the sixth game of her junior season.

“This means a lot in my junior year,” she said. “We’ve had some struggles early on (this season) so this just means everything.”

With the win Cameron, the defending Class A state champions, improve to 4-2 while Clay-Battelle drops to 2-1.

Van Tassell’s 44 points came on 14 made field goals and 16-of-21 shooting from the free throw line. C-B coach David Joyce said he simply did not have an answer for her.

“She’s probably the best player I’ve ever played against,” Joyce allowed. “We don’t have any tool, any single player who can stop her. We tried to double-team her a few times and she still got the ball. In a good way, she’s a beast under there.”

The homestanding CeeBees put forth a valiant effort against their overpowering visitors, holding a 7-6 lead early on and only trailing 12-9 after the first quarter. Cameron scored the first 20 points of the third quarter, however, to pull away 35-13 at the half.

“After the first quarter, we felt great,” C-B coach David Joyce said. “And then when they go on a 24-0 run, all of a sudden the good feeling isn’t there anymore.”

Van Tassell scored throughout the contest, but what turned the tide was Cameron’s outside shooters finally getting shots to fall.

Cameron led 51-20 after another dominating quarter in the third and then Van Tassell fully took over in the final frame. Knowing the junior was closing in on 1,000 career points, Cameron made a concerted effort to feed her the ball every time down the floor. Van Tassell poured in 18 of her 44 points during the fourth quarter. She also pulled down 17 rebounds in the dominating effort. 

“We told her each game everyone’s going to be out for her,” Pettit said. “She’s going to be double-teamed, triple-teamed and she knows to not force it. If it’s not open inside she’s going to kick it back out. She just has a good head on her shoulders.”

Kenzie Clutter finished second for the Dragons with 12 points and a pair of treys.

Reagan Darling finished with 13 points to lead Clay-Battelle.

“You know there are chinks in their armor here or there but we don’t have every weapon we need to go against them,” Joyce said. “I would have loved to go man-to-man for a while, I can’t do that.”

C-B returns to action tonight with a road game at Notre Dame.

Cameron 74, Clay-Battelle 23

Cam 12 20 19 23 — 74

CB 9 4 7 3 — 23

Cameron — Van Tassell 14 16-21 44; Clutter 4 2-3 12; E. Dobbs 1 0-0 3; A. Dobbs 1 0-0 3; Neely 2 0-0 5; Littleton 1 0-0 2; Bertram 2 0-0 5.

CB — Darling 5 1-3 13; Dalton 1 2-4 4; Elyse Moore 1 1-2 4; Statler 1 0-0 2.

3 Pt. Goals — Cameron 6 (Clutter 2, E. Dobbs 1, A. Dobbs 1, Neely 1, Bertram 1). Clay-Battelle 3 (Darling 2, Moore 1).

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