CLAY CITY -- The battles between the Cloverdale and Clay City girls have created quite a rivalry over the past several seasons.
The post-holiday contest on the Eels' home court will go a long way in furthering that rivalry as Clay City got an overtime, baseline jumper from Sarah Kennedy to squeak past the Clovers, 52-50, Tuesday night.
"They are a good team," CHS head coach Bruce Cook said of the Eels. "Kennedy did a nice job tonight and didn't try and do too much. Clay City didn't try and do anything (it) couldn't do."
Cloverdale came in with a three-game winning streak over the Eels, their last loss to Clay City, ironically, in overtime during the 2002-03 season.
The Clovers were highly successful in the first quarter using a 2-2-1 full court defense to force nine turnovers by the Eels. Cloverdale wasn't able to capitalize at its own end, though, hitting only 4-of-15 from the field as Clay City built a 17-10 lead over the first eight minutes.
Hannah Monnett was able to spark the Clovers in the second period, narrowing the gap as the senior knocked down a three-pointer as part of a eight-point quarter. Her energy was contagious as Cloverdale pulled within two points near the break.
"Hannah is our leader," commented Cook of his forward who led the way with 19 points.
But Clay City had a run left of its own before halftime.
A three-pointer from Mardi Steiner and a three-point play from Angie Camp in the post was enough to push the halftime lead back to seven for the Eels despite turning the ball over 15 times.
Trailing 31-24 at the halfway point, the Clovers dug deep and showed their grit.
Chelsie Haltom opened the second half with a drive down the middle for a score, and Monnett scored off an inbound play to draw Cloverdale within three, 31-28, in the early going. Clay City would stall the drive with a three-pointer from Steiner and a free throw from Britney Glass to take a 37-31 lead before the Clovers made a decisive move.
Monnett took over for a stretch between the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth period.
Monnett nailed a jumper and then added a three-pointer following a jumper from Steiner, and after the Cloverdale pressure forced a turnover near midcourt, the senior raced in with the breakaway for a lay-in and the deficit was just 39-38 after three quarters.
With momentum fully in the Clovers' court, Monnett continued her hot streak by sinking a three-pointer from the corner for the lead. The Eels continued to struggle with the Cloverdale pressure, turning the ball over seven more times in the third quarter.
Haltom scored off another turnover for the Clovers who built a 43-39 advantage with their 14-2 run.
Despite their turnover woes, the Eels stayed in the game on the strength of their rebounding, boasting a 46-32 advantage for the game.
Glass and Camp each hit a pair of free throws down the stretch to tie the game for the Eels at 45-all.
The Eels had a shot to win the game in regulation, but Camp's shot was blocked by Elizabeth Cheatham, who checked in down the stretch.
Junior Kristen Schroer pulled down all six of her rebounds in the fourth period and overtime for the Clovers.
"Schroer is very athletic," said Cook of the junior center. "She came in and really sparked things."
Following Cheatham's block with 38 seconds left, the Clovers weren't able to get a shot off, turning the ball over at the halfcourt line as the game went to an extra session.
The Eels got things started first with a three-pointer from Steiner and a bucket from Chelsee Gerber before Haltom hit one of two free throws and Schroer got free underneath for a score to narrow the lead to 50-48 with 1:40 left.
Monnett came through with her final hoop of the game to tie the score with just 30 seconds left in the game for the Clovers.
"I think (Monnett) played all 36 minutes for us," mentioned Cook. "She shot the ball well and that shot she hit in overtime was a big one."
However, with the clock winding down, Kennedy, who had 12 points, got some space along the baseline and hit an open 14-footer that gave the Eels the victory.
The junior varsity Clovers advanced to 10-1 this season, winning a 49-32 contest on the strength of 13 points from Cheatham, 10 from Kayla Shepherd and nine from Allie Franklin.
The loss drops the Clovers to 6-6 overall with their next game on Thursday at home against Park Tudor at 6 p.m.
At Clay City
Cloverdale (50) -- Haltom 3-8 1-2 7, Monnett 7-22 3-5 19, McCammon 2-13
0-0 6, Moon 1-4 1-2 3, Koosman 3-8 4-8 10, Schroer 2-6
1-3 5, Cheatham 0-0 0-0 0, Bond 0-0 0-0 0. Totals -- 17-61 FG 10-20 FT 50.
Clay City (52) -- Gerber 1-3 0-1 2, Glass 1-4 4-8 6, Steiner 5-11 0-0 13, Camp 6-8 5-8 17, Kennedy 5-9 2-4 12, Reed 1-4 0-0 2, Targett 0-1 0-0 0, McCullough 0-0 0-0 0. Totals -- 18-40 FG 11-20 FT 52 TP.
Cloverdale 10 14 14 7 5 -- 50
Clay City 17 14 8 6 7 -- 52
3-point field goals -- CL 4-19 (Monnett 2-10, McCammon 2-7, Haltom 0-1, Koosman 0-1), CC 3-10 (Steiner 3-7, Reed 0-1, Kennedy 0-1). Total Rebounds -- CL 32 (Koosman 7, Schroer 6), CC 46 (Kennedy 15, Glass 10). Total Fouls -- CL 19, CC 20. Fouled out -- CL (McCammon). Turnovers -- CL 8, CC 24.
Junior Varsity -- Cloverdale won, 49-32
Next Game -- The Clovers (6-6) will face Park Tudor at home Thursday at 6 p.m.