Clover girls win battle with Lady Tiger Cubs, 52-50

Saturday, December 8, 2007

CLOVERDALE -- Some late-quarter heroics and a dominating start to the second half helped lift the Cloverdale girls' basketball team over Greencastle 52-50 Friday.

"I knew it was going to be a tough matchup. (Kelsey) Hennette in the middle is a pretty good player for them. I really think Hannah Spencer is not only a good athlete but she also understands the game. It was tough for us to match up with them," CHS head coach Bruce Cook said.

Greencastle's Hannah Spencer (left) and Cloverdale's Allie Franklin battle for a loose ball in Friday's contest, which the Clovers won 52-50.

Elizabeth Cheatham was the force behind the Cloverdale charge. After going through the first half of play with limited touches, she blew up in the second half, finishing the game with 19 points. The Clovers started the second half by finding Cheatham early and often.

Cheatham and Ashley Koosman provided 16 of Cloverdale's 19 points in the third quarter, leaving the Tiger Cubs trying to find an answer for the inside scoring barrage.

Even with Cheatham and Koosman's dominance of the third quarter, the Tiger Cubs lead 38-37 entering the fourth quarter.

Cloverdale picked up right where it left off. Cheatham scored 11 points in the final quarter but Greencastle would not give in.

The Tiger Cubs kept in stride with the Clovers, tying the game numerous time as the clock waned. After Cloverdale seized a three point lead on a Cheatham bucket, Greencastle answered with a Grace Fisher Three-pointer from the right to tie the game at 50-all with two minutes remaining.

With the game looking destined for overtime, Cheatham established herself inside and gave Cloverdale their final lead of the night with 43 second remaining.

The game ended on an odd series of events.

After taking a timeout, Greencastle set up for one final play and a chance to send it to overtime. As player took the ball along the sideline, readying to pass in, GHS head coach Glen Hile reminded his player of their final time out. Hearing the exchange, the referee at center court signed Greencastle for the final timeout. Hile pledged his case but the timeout stuck. With its final chance the Tiger Cubs tossed the ball into the middle and failed to find a shot as time expired.

After the game Hile acknowledged the fact that the frustration of the inadvertently called timeout caused him to call a play he maybe shouldn't have.

"I was pretty sure we could get a shot off. That was just an unfortunate series of events for us," Hile said.

Greencastle started the game with a seven-point run and seemed ready to hand the Clovers their third loss of the season. The Tiger Cubs lead 13-5 after one and held the lead throughout the second to end the half with a 23-15 lead.

Becky Grivas lead the Tiger Cubs with 13, with Hannah Spencer adding 11 points and Kelsey Hennette scored 10.

In addition to Cheatham's 19, Koosman scored 13 and Kayla Shepherd and Allie Franklin adding six.

"We really struggled shooting the ball. There was a stretch in the second quarter where we put six or eight points on the board and really got back into it and that helped us out a little bit," Cook said.

"This was a tough loss," Hile commented. "We just didn't have an answer for (Elizabeth) Cheatham in the second half. We weren't really prepared for her to be able to do that. They did a good job of recognizing that we were playing behind, they didn't go to her one time in the first half and the second half we couldn't stop her.

"You have to guard (Ashley) Koosman and you have to defend (Kristen) McCammon and you have to contain (Chelsie) Haltom. Our plan was to make the other three beat us and Cheatham did it," Hile observed.

Cook admitted his center had a fantastic game but also gave credit to a member of the team how ventures outside of her strength to help the team win.

"I thought it was set up by really good entry passes from (Kristen) McCammon. She hit a three at the top of the key at the beginning of the fourth quarter and everything else was an entry pass. For Kristen to look pass first and shoot second it really means a lot to us. That's what we had to do," Cook commented.

Cloverdale (6-2, 1-0 WCC) will travel to Monrovia at 6 p.m. Friday, while Greencastle (3-6, 0-1 WCC) will host Rockville at 7:30 Thursday.

At Cloverdale

Greencastle 13 10 15 12 -- 50

Cloverdale 5 13 19 15 -- 52

Greencastle -- Grivas 13, Spencer 11, Hennette 10, M. Miller 9, Fisher 3, Alspaugh 2, Samuels 2. Totals: FG 20-46 FT 9-13 TP 50.

Cloverdale -- Cheatham 19, Koosman 13, Shepherd 6, Franklin 6, McCammon 5, Haltom 3. Totals: FG 20-46 FT 12-16 TP 52.

Next game -- Cloverdale will travel to Monrovia at 6 p.m. Friday, while Greencastle will host Rockville at 7:30 Thursday.

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