The Cloverdale High School girls' basketball team opened its season with a heartbreaking 65-63 loss to Tri-West at home Tuesday.
The Clovers managed to tie the game at 63 after fighting back from a six-point deficit, but sophomore Kristen McCammon fouled Tri-West's Jenna Cloud as time expired.
Cloud hit two of her three free throw attempts, sending the Bruins to a season-opening victory.
"It's tough on the girls," Cloverdale coach Bruce Cook said. "I thought we played well at times, but we went through about a minute-and-a-half between four minutes and two-and-a-half to go where we really got out-hustled."
Tuesday's contest was tight from the onset, as Cloverdale closed out the first quarter with a 17-15 lead.
CHS senior Hannah Monnett scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter, connecting on three three-pointers in the period.
The second quarter saw the Bruins outscore the Clovers 20-18 to head into the halftime break with the contest knotted at 35-all.
Cloverdale regained control of the game in the third quarter, as Heather Moon scored 10 points in the quarter for the Clovers.
At one point the Clovers built a 55-50 lead, their largest advantage of the night.
But the Bruins managed to fight back when Sam Booker got the bucket and the foul for Tri-West to cut the Clovers' lead to two, 55-53.
"We didn't do a very good job of defending in the third quarter, and they got a three-point play out of it," Cook said. "And they used that to build a lot of momentum, and that hurt us a lot."
The momentum continued to build for Tri-West as the fourth quarter began.
The Bruins' Megan Bennett poked the ball away from the Clovers and pushed it up the floor for a 15-foot jumper to tie the game at 55-all.
Cloverdale surrendered three more turnovers during the next two minutes, all of which led to eight Tri-West points, putting the Bruins ahead 63-55 with just a little more than three minutes remaining in the game.
But Monnett kept the Clovers in the game.
She drew a foul and connected on a pair of free throws before driving the ball to the hole for a lay-in with two minutes to go, pulling Cloverdale within four, 63-59.
Thirty seconds later, McCammon buried a jump short from the free throw line to make it a 63-61 game, and Ashley Koosman rebounded a Cloverdale miss and got the put-back to tie the game at 63.
"We don't give up," Cook said. "I've got to be happy with that even if I'm not happy with the outcome."
The 128 total points scored in Tuesday's contest was a departure from past meetings between the two teams.
Cloverdale scored just 39 points in last year's encounter and only 33 the season before.
"If somebody had told me before that game that we'd score 63 points and lose, I wouldn't have believed them," Cook said. "(Tri-West) is a team that I expected to be rebuilding this year, but they gave us a really good game tonight."
The Clovers (0-1) will try for their first victory of the season Thursday when they host Union (Dugger) at 7:30 p.m.
Tri-West (65) -- Cloud 7-17 2-3 19, Ricks 6-15 1-1 19, Bennett 3-8 0-0 6, Cagle 2-2 0-0 4, Jansen 0-3 4-4 4, Roseboom 1-5 0-0 2, Booker 3-11 3-3 11. Totals 22-61, FG 10-11 FT, 65 TP.
Cloverdale (63) -- Monnett 9-17 2-2 24, Moon 5-14 4-5 14, Koosman 3-9 0-0 9, McCammon 3-10 0-0 9, Schroer 2-7 1-3 5, Haltom 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 23-58 FG, 7-10 FT, 63 TP.
Tri-West 15 20 20 10 -- 65
Cloverdale 17 18 18 10 -- 63
3 pt. shooting -- Tri-West 5-9 (Cloud 3-7, Ricks 2-5), Cloverdale 6-13 (Monnett 4-7, Koosman 1-4, McCammon 1-2). Total fouls -- Tri-West 10, Cloverdale 9. Fouled out -- Booker. Rebounds -- Tri-West 29 (Booker 8, Jansen 7, Cloud 4, Cagle 2, Roseboom 4, Ricks 4), Cloverdale 33 (Moon 10, Monnett 8, Schroer 7, Koosman 4, McCammon 4).
Next Game -- The Clovers (0-1) will host Union Dugger Thursday at 7:30 p.m.