STERLING – The Amboy Lady Clippers finally got to start their basketball season and they began in impressive fashion with a 74-52 triumph over the Sterling Golden Warriors on Feb. 5 at Sterling.
After one week of practice, Amboy was still able to score 21 points in the first quarter. The Lady Clippers outscored Sterling in every quarter to win by a comfortable margin. Amboy was in front, 40-26, at halftime. With the Lady Clippers in foul trouble, Sterling cut the margin to eight in the third period, but AHS built the lead back to 18 (57-39) heading to the fourth.
Amboy was led by their all-state guards, Abi Payne and Mallory Powers. Payne exploded for 11 points in the first quarter and finished with 31. She was six of 11 from the three-point arc and made all nine of her free throws. She also dished out six assists and had five steals to pace the team in both categories.
Powers also had a great game with 26 points, including nine in the third quarter to help keep Sterling at bay. She shot 60 percent from the field and 75 percent from the charity stripe. The senior added five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Olivia Dinges was next with seven points, five rebounds and three assists. She was in foul trouble in the second half and fouled out late. Brianne Blaine dropped in six points, had three assists and led the squad with six rebounds. Blaine’s rebounds were big with Gabby Jones also in foul trouble.
Amboy’s front court players battled Sterling’s three 6-footers the whole night while being whistled for 13 fouls. Jones finished with two rebounds and two assists.
Madelyn McLaughlin, Amboy’s ‘sixth starter,’ contributed two points, three caroms and two assists. Freshman Maeve Larsen scored her first two varsity points.
Amboy shot 45 percent from two-point range, 60 percent from three-point land and 82 percent from the line.