AMBOY — The Amboy Lady Clippers added six more wins to their season total and climbed to the top of the Class 1A state basketball rankings with a 23-1 record.
AHS hosted Polo on Jan. 13 and cruised to an 84-50 victory.
Abi Payne led Amboy with 26 points while dishing out eight assists. Mallory Powers scored 18 points and led the team with nine assists. She also had four steals. Olivia Dinges hit double digits with 10 tallies and shared the team lead with eight rebounds. Ashley Althaus had a great game with a stat line of eight points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals. Gabby Jones was the other player with eight boards and she added six points. Kyleigh Donna provided six points, while Brianna Blaine (four), Hannah Blanton (four) and Eden Lindenmeyer (two) rounded out the scoring.
Forreston trekked to Amboy on Jan. 14 and the Lady Clippers sent them packing with a 57-39 loss.
Forreston held an 11-7 lead after the first quarter, but Amboy battled back and took a 24-19 halftime advantage. In the third quarter, the Lady Clippers exploded for 20 points to pull away.
Payne and Powers pumped in 18 and 16 points, respectively. Payne also had 10 assists and three steals. Powers contributed five caroms, four assists and two steals. Jones chipped in with seven points and led with seven rebounds, while Donna and Blaine each had six points and four boards, and Althaus added four markers.
Ashton-Franklin Center came to town on Jan. 17 for Amboy’s “Pink Night.” The highlight of the event is always the raffle for Karen McCoy’s quilt. Kirsten Donna and Amanda Blaine organized the silent auction, baked goods and chuck-a-duck. Many others helped make the night a success.
In the game, Amboy rode a 41-9 first-half lead to the victory. Nine players saw action in the first half and nine players broke into the scoring column.
Jones hit all seven of her shots and ended with 14 points. She also had five rebounds and five assists. Payne dropped in 12 points and dished out five assists and Althaus hit for 10 points and added six rebounds, four steals and a superb defensive effort. Powers chipped in with 10 points and four assists, Blaine poured in nine points and had four rebounds, Dinges contributed four points, 12 rebounds and five assists, and Lindenmeyer had four points, four caroms and three assists. Also, Donna provided two points, six rebounds, two blocks and two assists, and Tori Daniels tallied two points and grabbed two boards.
Amboy made the trip to Lanark for a rematch with Eastland on Jan. 21 and the Lady Clippers escaped with a huge 68-61 triumph.
Eastland jumped out to an 11-4 lead and held a 19-15 margin after one. Amboy’s defense stiffened in the second period as the Cougars connected on just one of 13 shots, which allowed the Lady Clippers to take a 29-25 halftime advantage. It was the same four-point margin (45-41) after three. In the fourth, Lanark briefly regained the lead, but Amboy forged back in front and made its free throws down the stretch.
Payne scored a career high 34 points and still was able to hand out five assists. She made seven of eight free tosses in the fourth. Powers was held to two first-half points, but she erupted for 19 points in the second half, including 14 in the fourth frame. She hit two big three-pointers late in the game – one to regain the lead and one to increase the margin for Amboy. She also provided eight assists and five rebounds. Donna collected four points and Althaus had two. Those points came in the first quarter when Amboy was struggling to score. Althaus led with seven rebounds and Donna pulled down four. Dinges corralled six boards and tallied five points, including a big trifecta in the third period. She also added three assists. Jones had a big basket in the final quarter and had four caroms.
Amboy and Polo met up for the second time in 10 days, this one in Polo, and the result was the same – a lopsided 68-32 victory for the Lady Clippers.
Powers led the attack with nine of 11 shooting and 22 points. She also contributed eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. Donna had a big game with 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots, Dinges had 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Payne totaled six points, nine assists and three steals. Also contributing to the victory were Althaus (six points, three rebounds), Jones (four points, five rebounds, five assists), Blaine (four points), Lindenmeyer (two points) and Blanton (two points).
Amboy traveled to Ottawa for a matchup with Marquette on Jan. 25 and the Lady Clippers coasted to a 64-23 win.
AHS’s defense overwhelmed Marquette in the first quarter as numerous steals allowed the Lady Clippers to open up a 24-9 first-quarter lead. Amboy took a 33-13 halftime margin, and then outscored the home team, 23-4, in the third to blow the game open.
Amboy was led by Payne with 22 points, eight assists and four steals. Powers was next with 14 points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals. Althaus was the unsung hero with eight points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Dinges poured in eight points, had six rebounds and three assists, while Jones chipped in with six points and eight caroms. Donna (six rebounds, three steals), Lindenmeyer (three points) and Daniels (three points) also helped the team to victory.