AMBOY — When the Amboy girls’ basketball schedule first comes out, everyone looks to see when the team plays Eastland. So, on Jan. 19, the Lady Clippers traveled to Lanark, and as usual, the game was a tough one. And as usual, the game came down to the wire and Amboy pulled out a 41-39 victory over the Cougars.
Amboy struggled early and trailed 8-6 after one quarter, but outscored the home team, 12-7, in the second period to take an 18-15 halftime lead. The Lady Clippers played a good third quarter and were able to stretch the advantage to 28-17 heading to the fourth.
Eastland wasn’t done, drilling six three-pointers in the final frame, but Amboy sank nine of 14 free throws in the stanza to pull out the exciting win. Elly Jones made two free tosses to put Amboy ahead by one and Maeve Larson’s free throw gave the team a two-point lead. Eastland launched a half-court shot that misfired at the buzzer to end another classic game between the two teams.
Olivia Dinges poured in 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and added two assists, two steals and two blocked shots to pace the victory. Larson ended with 11 points, four caroms and five steals, while Jones and Courtney Ortgiesen provided six points apiece. Jones also collected two assists and four steals, while Ortgiesen hauled down six boards and added two assists and two steals. Olivia Miller chipped in with two points and two steals.
The Lady Clippers hosted Forreston on Jan. 21 and coasted to a 38-15 win. Amboy jumped in front early, 14-3, and never looked back.
Jones led the attack with 11 points, four assists and four steals. Dinges was next with 10 tallies, eight rebounds and a pair of steals, while Larson had six points and four caroms and Ortgiesen scored five points and had four boards. Also, Miller dropped in four points and swiped two steals and Lexi Ketchum added a bucket to round out the scoring.
Less than 24 hours later, Amboy entertained a quality Polo squad and the Lady Marcos pulled out a 63-58 victory on Jan. 22 at the AHS gym.
Polo zoomed out to a 23-8 first-quarter ambush and the Lady Clippers continued to struggle in the second period, trailing 34-18 at the break. Amboy roared back and pumped in 40 second-half points, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Lady Marcos.
Dinges had a career-high 26 points for the Lady Clippers, with 19 coming during the second-half comeback. She also yanked down 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season and had three steals. Jones netted 11 points, dished out six assists and posted three steals, while Haidyn Zimmerly also had a career-high 10 points. Eight of her points also came in the second half. Others contributing to Amboy’s effort were Ortgiesen (seven points, four rebounds), Larson (two points, six rebounds, three steals) and Ketchum (two points).
Amboy (14-7) finished the game with four starters getting whistled for four fouls. It had 21 total fouls compared to 13 for Polo. The real damage was at the free throw line. Polo shot 26 free throws, converting on 16, while Amboy was eight of 11 from the stripe. The Lady Marcos were great from the field, but Amboy outscored them from the field, 50-47.