By Sam Wilson
Both teams attempted to shake off the rust on a snowy late November night, but the Clymer girls basketball team found enough offense to scrape by Ellicottville in both squads’ season openers Tuesday.
After trailing 17-10 at halftime, Clymer scored the first 11 points of the third quarter and never trailed again as the Pirates beat the Eagles 40-28 in a non-league opening night tip-off.
“We started making our shots,” Clymer coach Scott Neckers said of his team’s second-half run. “We missed a lot of layups in the beginning and you can tell it’s the first game of the year and it’s a very early game in the year and I think you saw that with both teams. We’re both a little rusty, but you’ve got to play these games to get rid of that rust and figure out what to do and all that good stuff. But I’m proud of the way both teams fought hard, played well and it was a good game for us because they’re tough, especially on the inside. They’re very physical and strong. That’s something we need to work on and they showed some of our weaknesses because our girls need to play stronger.”
After her first game on the varsity bench, new Eagles coach Chelsea Cole agreed her team entered the season rusty.
“We don’t have a lot of practices under our belt,” Cole said. “We had a couple missing some practices a few days and weather so that was an issue.
“I think we played pretty well for our first game and got it under our belt. I feel pretty good about it.”
Senior Linnea Jimerson posted 13 points, 15 rebounds and four steals for Ellicottville. She led a strong stretch to end the first half, scoring two baskets and assisting on two more in an 8-0 run in the final three minutes of the second quarter.
“We put our best defender on her and just said we’re going to play team defense,” Neckers said of defending Jimerson. “She is a tremendous player. I watched her play last year and she’s capable of scoring a ton of points in a hurry, so I was really happy with, I think it was, Kate Honey got on her and really did a great job slowing her down when we went to man. I was really proud of Kate.”
Also for Ellicottville (0-1), Sierra Maybee 8 rebounds and Megan Chapman had seven. Makenna Smith marked four steals.
Emma Wiggers led Clymer (1-0) with 12 points and Ashley Covey scored nine points.
After a slow offensive start to the season, Cole hopes the shots start to fall as the Eagles move along.
“My girls fought really hard,” Cole said. “Baskets weren’t falling (but) they were working, pushing down the court.”
King 3 1-4 7, Linton 1 0-0 3, Covey 2 4-4 9, Brumugin 0 3-4 3,
Honey 2 0-0 4, Wiggers 6 0-3 12, Hepler 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 8-15 40.
Smith 2 0-0 5, Ruiz 2 0-0 4, Jimerson 6 0-0 13, Maybee 1 0-2 2,
Chapman 2 0-0 4. Totals: 14 0-2 28.
Clymer 3 10 23 40
Ellicottville 6 17 21 28
Three-point goals: Clymer 2 (Linton, Covey), Ellicottville 2
(Smith, Jimerson). Total fouls: Clymer 11, Ellicottville 15. Fouled out:
None. JV: Clymer, 42-29.