Clay City's Sarah Kennedy scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds against Cloverdale on Monday.
CLOVERDALE -- When you're off for nearly three weeks from actual game action, it's hard to stay sharp. The Clay City Eels found that out against homestanding Cloverdale on Monday evening.
Clay City hadn't played a game since a 55-50 loss at Union (Dugger) back on Dec. 15 while Cloverdale last played on Dec. 30 in a tournament.
The first half was as evenly played as possible with each team tallying 12 points apiece in the first two quarters.
With leading scorer Whitney McWilliams struggling to get open for shots, the Eels' Sarah Kennedy came through with some key plays along with Kristen Tyler.
Kennedy, a 6'0 center, hit four-of-seven from the field and both free throws to keep Clay City on track for a victory. Tyler contributed six of her own points as the first half ended in a 24-all tie.
"We never adjusted to the triangle-and-one defense in the first half," said Clay City coach Keith Jones. "Our shot selection wasn't very good and we missed some easy ones too and you just can't do that."
Sophomore Ashley Koosman started the second half with a rebound putback for the Clovers, but on a loose ball call shortly afterwards, Cloverdale coach Bruce Cook was whistled for a technical foul. McWilliams hit one-of-two free throws before Kennedy got going once more.
On three consecutive trips down the court, Kennedy got free along the baseline for jumpers that put the Eels ahead 31-26 at the 5:18 mark of the third quarter. Tyler and Ashley Collins added baskets after a hoop from Chelsie Haltom to give the Eels their largest lead at 35-28.
From there however, the Eels hit a bit of a cold streak.
Koosman scored off a rebound and a free throw and Heather Moon finished the quarter with a hoop after a basket from Clay City's McWilliams.
McWilliams' basket was the only hoop for the Eels that broke up an 11-0 run by the Clovers that put them ahead 39-37.
While Clay City got a 3-point basket from Mardi Steiner, the Eels went cold from the field, hitting just three-of-19 field goals in the fourth quarter while Cloverdale took a 45-43 lead with 1:33 left on two free throws from Koosman.
Koosman, who had 22 points and nine rebounds, scored seven of her points in the final quarter and the Clovers continued to pull away over the final minute, hitting nine-of-16 free throws in the fourth quarter.
"We gave up too much dribble penetration. This was a team that we thought we could beat," said Jones of his team's chances against Cloverdale. "We're going to have to try and pick it up we have a tough stretch of games."
Clay City (6-5 overall), loser's of three straight, will take on Linton on Wednesday in a makeup game from earlier in the season.
Clay City (45)
McWilliams 3-14 1-4 7, Collins 1-3 0-0 2, Gerber 0-5 0-0 0, Tyler 5-10 0-2 10, Kennedy 8-18 3-4 19, Steiner 2-12 0-0 5, Riggs 0-1 0-0 0, Camp 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 20-64 4-10 45.
Haltom 2-3 2-2 6, Monnett 4-11 3-3 12, Puffer 0-7 1-3 1, Arnold 0-5 0-0 0, Koosman 9-15 4-6 22, Tutterow 0-1 0-0 0, Moon 5-11 0-0 10, Schroer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 20-57 11-19 51.
3-point fieldgoals -- CC 1-10 (Steiner 1-4, McWilliams 0-6), CL 1-7 (Monnett 1-2, Koosman 0-2, Puffer 0-3). Total Rebounds -- CC 32 (Kennedy 11, Tyler 8), CL 37 (Koosman 9, Monnett 7). Total Fouls -- CC 17, CL 6. Fouled out -- CC (Gerber). Turnovers -- CC 14, CL 17.