|By Gaylen Duskey |
Free throws can really help a team, or hurt a team.
Calhoun found out how much they can hurt Tuesday night when it missed six consecutive free throws.
They found out it can hurt even more when the other team (in this case Clay) hits 28 free throws. Both things happened and the result was a 73-68 setback to the home-standing Panthers.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak and dropped Calhoun to 2-8 on the season.
Calhoun scrapped, clawed and fought their way throughout the game but was unable to offset a sizeable Clay effort at the free throw line. The Panthers' made 28 free throws which was two more than the Red Devils shot.
Calhoun started off slowly, showing the effects of a 10-day weather-caused layoff, and were down 12 at the half, as Clay sank 14 of 18 free throw attempts setting the tone for the entire game.
Calhoun struggled a little more in the third quarter as the foul started taking their toll with four Calhoun starters being in foul trouble and Clay had a 58-43 lead heading into the last eight minutes of play.
That's when Calhoun fought back.
The Red Devils blitzed the Panthers offensively while camping on a stout defense despite losing starters Kyle Keesler and Zach Moore to personal fouls.
Calhoun's rally was so ferocious that when Moore, and his 32 points and 15 rebounds went out, it continued to whittle away at Clay's lead.
But the Panthers were deadly at the foul line and they had a lot of attempts - 37 - along the way, including several in the final quarter.
Calhoun outscored Clay in the fourth period 25-15 but ran out of time before completing the comeback.
Moore, who also had six assists, went over 1,000 points for his career - he has 1,008 - combining his points at Calhoun and Wirt.
He had help in the scoring parade as Justin Gerwig put together his best game of the season with 24 points and eight rebounds. It was Gerwig's top scoring performance of the season.
Chucky Kendall added eight points, three steals and a block while Kyle Keesler had two points and two assists and Cai Clothier added a basket and four rebounds.
Danny Slider did not score but he had eight rebounds for the Red Devils. Harold McCumbers did not score but he had a steal and a blocked shot while Anthony Richards, Tyler Bennett and Daniel Sims both played without scoring.
For Clay County, now 4-5, 6-7 Breken Gray led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds while Jeremy Schwartz added 13 points.
Clay also won the junior varsity game by a 67-30 count.
For Calhoun, now 0-8, Sims and Brandon Sampson led the way with eight each (Sampson added eight rebounds while Sims had five rebounds, two steals and two assists).
Caleb Schoolcraft chipped in with six points while Richards added three, Quentin "Q Dawg" Murphy and Stewart Fitzwater had two each and Bennett added one.
CJ Myers, Greg Myers, Noah Sweeney and "Double Oh Joe" Overbaugh all played but did not score.
Clay, 1-6, was led by Nathan Pritt with 11 and Timmy Selman with 10.
Calhoun will try to get back on the winning path Thursday night when it entertains