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Eels slip past Cougars, 47-42

Jan. 26—ELNORA — They say the 10th time is the charm.

After North Daviess (11-5) beat Clay City (13-3) nine straight times, the Eels were finally able to garner a win over the Cougars. North Daviess and the Eels went toe-to-toe for 32 minutes with Clay City coming up with just enough in the final minute of play to pull out the win on Friday, 47-42.

ND was led by Collin Lengacher with 18 points, Landon Swartzentruber with eight and Aaron Marner with 10. The game was tight from start to finish, as the lead was never more than six points either way.

"They are a good team, and were the only team to beat Barr-Reeve so far. They hadn't beat us in nine years, so they came in hungry tonight," said ND coach Brent Dalrymple. "I proud of how we played and we know we want to be in games like this."

The Cougs drew first blood with a pair of free throws from Swartzentruber and a triple from Lengacher, but CC stayed close at 5-4. Lengacher and Travis Raber kept ND in the lead at 9-6. Marner added a triple to double up CC at 12-6 and ND ended the first with a 12-8 lead.

Clay City took its first lead two minutes into the second, but a basket from Keaton Graber wrestled it back. The game remained tied at 16-all for the final two minutes, as Clay City played for the last shot, but ND's defense didn't allow a decent look and the half ended at 16-16.

Swartzentruber gave ND a 20-19 lead early in the third. Marner added a 3-ball, but the Eels charged back to 24-25. Marner and Lengacher continued the offensive surge for ND, posting 11 of the 13 points in the first 5:30 minutes of the third. The game remained tight as CC's Bryce Wiram used a 3-ball to give the Eels a 31-29 lead. However, free throws from Lengacher gave ND the 33-31 lead after three quarters.

The Eels opened the fourth with two 3-pointers, but Raber tied the game with a pair of free throws. CC went up 43-39, but a 3-ball from Lengacher with 1:43 left to play cut the margin to just one. Clay City moved it to 45-42. ND had four fouls to give and put CC on the line with :14 left, however after missing both tosses, ND got the ball back with :10 but a turnover before getting chance to shoot led to a breakaway bucket and the 47-42 Eel win.

Also scoring for ND was Raber with four and Keaton Graber with two. Ethan Edwards and Wiram had 13 each for CC.

The Eels took the JV game, 49-43. ND travels to Orleans on Saturday and plays Bloomfield at home on Thursday.