For the Brazil Times
CLOVERDALE -- A stagnant second quarter, combined with an explosive fourth quarter from the host Clovers, left the Eels reeling as they recorded their fourth loss of the season 56-43 Saturday.
"We missed some good shots and they hit some good shots on us. They're not 15 points better than us but we're very similar type teams," Clay City head coach Keith Jones commented.
The Eels entered the fourth quarter trailing by only five, having outscored Cloverdale 12-10 in the third, and looked ready to make a fourth quarter push for the lead.
In the fourth, the Eels struggled from the field, hitting just 3-of-13 shots with no attempts from the three-point line. Compounding Clay City's frustration was the emergence of Cloverdale's Elizabeth Cheatham. Cheatham scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter.
The Clovers continued to press the Eels on offense with Ashley Koosman and Chelsie Haltom penetrating to get a shot or open the middle for Cheatham. The Eels closed the game with Angie Camp going 1-of-2 from the line.
One area of superiority for the Eels was their ability to feed the entry pass down low. Clay City's guards continuously found ways to get Britney Glass and Lydia Farmer the ball under the basket where they combined to score 19 points.
In the first half of play, the Eels stayed close with the Clovers after they took an early lead and maintained it with a combination of good inside/outside plays.
Farmer connected on the Eels first points of the night and Clay City built a 4-0 lead after two free throws from Glass. After they staved off a mini-run by the Clovers, Glass scored a bucket with 31 second left in the quarter to pull Clay City within four 14-10.
Clay City and the Clovers traded hoops in the second and the Eels went to the locker room at the half trailing 25-18.
"It's just one of those nights where we couldn't get things rolling and they did," Jones said. "We'll pick it up and go from here."
"Cheatham is a really improved player. They have a nice club and Bruce (Cook) does a good job with them. We just didn't have our A-game today and their game was a little better than ours," Jones observed.
Up next for the Eels will be a trip to Owen Valley for an 8 p.m. tip-off today.
Clay City (43)
Glass 2 6-8 11, Camp 4 1-3 9, Farmer 4 0-0 8, Targett 3 2-2 8, Reed 2 0-0 4, Steiner 1 1-1 3. Totals: 16-49 FG 10-14 FT 43 TP.
Cheatham 8 3-6 21, Shepherd 4 0-3 10, Haltom 4 0-0 8, McCammon 2 0-0 6, Koosman 3 0-0 6, Franklin 1 3-5 5. Totals: 22-57 FG 6-14 FT 56 TP.
3pt. FG -- Cloverdale 4 (Shepherd, McCammon).
Total Fouls -- Clay City 13, Cloverdale 12. Fouled out -- none.
Next game -- Clay City will continue their road trip as they go against Owen Valley at 8 p.m. today.