Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- Just a year ago White River Valley advanced to the regional championship game during a 19-5 season.
On Monday night, the Class A seventh-ranked Wolverines strung together a second half 19-3 run as they pulled away for a 67-42 win over Clay City.
"I thought we got off to a low start in the first half, but in the second half we played with more intensity and greater focus," said WRV coach Joe Pigg. "We played well at both ends of the court during the second half."
The Eels gave the unbeaten Wolverines all they could handle during the first half, trailing just one-point after the first quarter and 26-22 at halftime.
Much of that can be attributed to an 11-point first quarter barrage by the Eels' Brielle Drelick and foul trouble by WRV starters Taylor Kail and Ashley Graves.
Both Wolverine starters picked up their second fouls in the first period and missed the entire second quarter.
Meanwhile, the Eels were able to stay close as Devyn Bridgewater knocked down a late 3-pointer heading into the half. White River Valley senior Kelsey Anderson showed signs of what was to come in the second half when she knocked down her second 3-pointer heading into the half.
Coming out of the break, WRV wasted little time flexing its muscle as 6'2 junior Stephanie Fougerousse drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws before the Eels Kelly McCullough followed with a lay-in.
From there however, White River Valley came to life as Alicia Tally hit two from the charity stripe and Graves followed with a bucket. The Eels got a free throw from Bridgewater, but the Wolverines scored the next 10 points, all on a variety of drives by Kelsey Anderson, who dominated the quarter.
"Kelsey had a big game," said Pigg of his 5'6 senior point guard. "Her spurt began in the second quarter after I pulled her aside and told her what we needed her to do."
Anderson must have listened as she dropped 14 of her game-high 24 points in the third quarter and didn't miss a shot in the period.
"We got so caught up in ourselves, that we didn't stop the ball," said Clay City coach Chris Ames. "They've got two or three girls who are tough to defend. Good players make you pay.
"Coming out of halftime we turned the ball over seven of the first 10 possessions and we gave up 18 offensive rebounds in the second half," continued Ames. "When you start off that way, your going to get buried."
Anderson's run pushed the Wolverines' lead from 33-25 to 42-25 before Carmela Roeschlein ended the run with two free throws.
The Eels couldn't make a run to finish the quarter as Tally drilled a 3-pointer to end the third period.
Anderson's run also allowed WRV to extend its lead despite both Kail and Graves drawing their fourth fouls in a 20 second span midway through the quarter.
Compounding the Eels woes during the quarter was the loss of Drelick, who left after injuring her shin during a collision.
The fourth quarter belonged to Fougerousse, who pounded the boards for six of her 16 rebounds and scored 12 of her 23 points as WRV allowed the Eels to get no closer than 52-35 after two free throws from Roeschlein, who had 12 points to lead Clay City.
White River Valley improves to 6-0 this season and 3-0 in the Southwestern Indiana Conference. The Wolverines face Union (Dugger) on Thursday at home. Clay City (3-1 overall (1-1 SWIAC) travels to Riverton Parke on Thursday night.
At Clay City
White River Valley (67)
Kail 2-5 0-0 5, Tally 2-6 2-2 7, Anderson 10-19 4-4 24, Graes 1-4 0-0 2, Fougerousse 6-10 13-16 23, Hamilton 1-3 0-0 2, Goodman 1-6 0-0 2, Gardner 1-3 0-0 2, Lemmons 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-55 16-22 67.
Clay City (42)
Roeschlein 2-10 8-8 12, Drelick 4-7 2-2 11, Glass 1-5 4-4 6, McCullough 1-4 1-2 3, Bridgewater 2-7 1-4 6, A.Miller 0-0 0-0 0, S.Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Reed 0-2 1-2 1, Stevenson 0-2 0-0 0, Gossage 0-0 1-4 1, Riggs 1-1 0-1 2. Totals: 11-40 18-27 42.
3-point fieldgoals -- WRV 5-11 (Kail 1-2, Hamilton 0-1, Fougerousse 1-1, Tally 1-2, Anderson 2-5), CC 2-5 (Drelick 1-1, S.Miller 0-1, Bridgewater 1-2, Stevenson 0-1). Total Rebounds -- WRV 39 (Fougerousse 16), CC 26 (McCullough 9). Total Fouls -- WRV 20, CC 16. Fouled out -- WRV (Hamilton, Graves), CC (Roeschlein). Turnovers -- WRV 6, CC 15.