Clover girls second at Brown County

Sunday, December 30, 2007

NASHVILLE -- The Cloverdale girls' basketball split a pair of games at Saturday's Brown County Tournament to claim second place in the event.

The Clovers (8-3, 2-0 WCC) won their opening game against Indianapolis Howe, 62-34. In the championship game, they came up short against the host Eagles, 63-45.

Ashley Koosman had a big game in the opener, scoring 25 on the Hornets (1-10). Clover coach Bruce Cook said the style of play simply suited Koosman. It was a wide-open game, so the senior used her athleticism to put up 25.

"Indianapolis Howe was a very athletic team, but not great shooters. They like to run up and down the floor," Cook said. "Nobody held the ball more than 10 or 15 seconds, so it wasn't a great defensive game. It was just one of those games where you ran up and down the floor and shot the ball.

"Koosman likes that open-court stuff. She played well for us," he added.

Additionally, the Clovers built their big lead early, allowing for lots of playing time from some deep parts of the bench.

"We had an opportunity to play a lot of girls. We played some girls who don't get to play very much," Cook said. "It was a good win for us."

Behind Koosman, Elizabeth Cheatham scored 12.

Chelsie Haltom had six steals to spark the Clover defense.

"Haltom played a nice defensive game for us. She was on the floor a lot," Cook said.

In the championship game against Brown County, the Clovers had a tall order. Although the Eagles are just 6-7 on the season, they came into the night on a five-game winning streak, having won every game since the return of Wright State-bound senior Molly Fox.

Additionally, the Eagles had two other players return from injury and suspension on Saturday, and were playing with their complete lineup for the first time all year.

With all this in mind, Cook had mixed feelings on his team's 18-point loss, knowing the Clovers lost to good opponents.

"We really felt like we had a shot to win, but we just didn't play very well," Cook said. "But I can't take anything away from Brown County. For the first time this year they had all their players back and they were playing very well."

After Fox had scored nearly 30 points in the opener against Cascade, McCammon had the task of guarding her, in spite of giving up seven inches in height.

With his team playing a box-in-one against Fox, Cook was pleased to have McCammon hold her to 17 points. He was also pleased with McCammon's shooting, which he partially attributed to her defensive mindset in the game.

"I think the big deal was McCammon came out of a shooting slump and hit six threes," Cook said. "She did a nice job defensively, but it seemed to spur her offense a little bit. Sometimes that might be good for her to concentrate on something else."

Cheatham was next for the Clovers with 14 points. Cook was pleased with Cheatham's effort all day long with solid performances at both ends of the court.

"For the whole day Cheatham had a good day. She really gives us a good defensive presence," Cook said.

Cook likes his squad's 8-3 record, but now wants to turn their attention to the second-half of the season and the WCC schedule in particular.

"We're looking at the conference a little more than we ever have. We'd like to repeat as conference champs," Cook concluded.

The Clovers host Clay City at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

At Brown County

Brown County Tournament

First Round

Indianapolis Howe34

Cloverdale -- Koosman 25, Cheatham 12. McCammon 8, Franklin 5, Haltom 4, Shepherd 4, Skiles 2, Speedy 2

Championship game

Brown County63

Cloverdale -- McCammon 18, Cheatham 14, Koosman 6, Shepherd 6, Haltom 1

Next game -- Cloverdale (8=3, 2-0 WCC) hosts Clay City at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

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