AMBOY – The Amboy Lady Clippers defeated AFC on Jan. 17. Little did they know it was going to be 15 days before they had another game. The Eastland, Milledgeville and Orangeville games were canceled because of the snow and freezing temperatures.
Amboy got back to the hardwood when it hosted Polo on Feb. 1. The Lady Clippers got off to a fast start and cruised to a 52-25 victory. They led 18-8 after the opening stanza and 32-13 at intermission.
It was Senior Night at AHS and the five seniors – Breanna Fisher, Noelle Jones, Kelsey Stewart, Hope Sachs and Rachel Lachat – played all four years for the Lady Clippers and have contributed much to the girls’ basketball program.
Jones led the seniors with 12 points, four rebounds and four steals. Fisher was next with six points and six boards, while Lachat (three points, five rebounds, two assists), Stewart (two points, three assists) and Sachs (two points, three rebounds) also added to the victory.
Six other players scored in the game. Abi Payne poured in 17 points and dished out five assists, Ashley Althaus had a team-high nine rebounds to go along with four steals and two points, and Kyleigh Donna added two points, four steals and four caroms. Also, Mallory Powers picked up two points and three assists, Gabby Jones collected two points and four rebounds, and Olivia Dinges chipped in with a pair of free throws.
Amboy entertained Freeport Aquin for the NUIC championship on Feb. 2. It was the first time that Aquin played on the AHS floor since Amboy joined the conference. The back-and-forth game came down to the wire and Aquin prevailed, 58-56.
The Lady Bulldogs didn’t seem to mind being visitors as they caused many turnovers early in the game to help them open up a 22-11 lead after the first quarter. Amboy hit just seven of 32 shots in the first half, but the Lady Clippers settled down and played better defense in the second period, which led to a comeback that had them behind by just three (28-25) at the break.
Amboy’s shooting heated up in the third frame as it canned 10 of 19 shots, enabling it to outscore Aquin, 23-16, to grab a four-point lead. But the Lady Bulldogs turned on more pressure and Amboy’s fourth-quarter shooting (3 of 16) struggled again as Aquin went on for the hard-fought win.
Powers led the scoring chart with 18 points, while she added four assists and six rebounds. Payne dropped in 15 points and had five assists and three steals. Donna was right behind with 12 points and five rebounds, followed by Fisher with four points and eight rebounds and Althaus with three points and eight boards. Noelle Jones was plagued by foul trouble and scored two points and had three assists. Gabby Jones had a bucket for Amboy.
The Lady Clippers finished the regular season with a 23-2 record and will begin regional play at Annawan on Wednesday, Feb. 6 when they take on either Galva or LaMoille. The regional championship will be Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.