Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- White River Valley has made a living this season with powerful play in the post and getting to the free throw line.
The Class A fourth-ranked Wolverines succeeded in continuing that trend and combined that with some stout defense to post a 47-26 sectional win over Clay City.
The Wolverines' Stephanie Fougerousse, a 6'1 presence that scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a 25-point WRV win over the Eels on Dec. 1.
Fougerousse was held to just six points in the first half as Eels' senior forwards, Devyn Bridgewater and Britney Glass, matched up with her. However, the weight of banging inside with Fougerousse was bound to catch up with the Eels and it finally did in the second half.
The WRV junior scored 12 of her 18 points to go with 15 rebounds and the Eels were whistled for 10 fouls to just two for the Wolverines heading into the fourth quarter.
The combination was too much for the Eels, who scored just nine, second half points and WRV got to the free throw line 21 times in the second half.
"Our gameplan was to dig into the post and we did a good job in the first half," Clay City coach Chris Ames said. "But Coach (Joe) Pigg did a good job of doing some things at the half and getting some other girls involved."
After playing WRV to a 21-17 game at the break, the Wolverines opened the second half with a score from Ashley Hamilton before the Eels' Brielle Drelick answered with a baseline drive. From there however, WRV outscored the Eels 11-3, holding them to just two-of-10 shooting from the field.
The Wolverines struggled from the free throw line, hitting just five-of-10, but Clay City wasn't able to make a dent in the WRV lead.
"We panicked a little bit trying to take care of the ball and making every possession count," Ames said. "We turned the ball over two of the first four possessions and they hit a couple of shots and suddenly we're down 10 points."
The Eels fell behind 34-22 heading into the fourth quarter and White River Valley was already in the bonus.
WRV spent most of the fourth quarter at the free throw line, but Fougerousse powered inside for three baskets sandwiched around a free throw apiece from the Eels' Bridgewater and Glass.
The Eels trailed 42-24 after the final field goal from Fougerousse and couldn't get anything to fall on offense. Clay City missed all four attempts from the field in the final quarter and turned the ball over six times.
The Wolverines' Kelsey Anderson also forced the Eels' hand by driving the lane to get to the line.
"(WRV) started getting Anderson into the post and that was a tough match-up for Carmela (Roeschlein)," Ames said of his freshman point guard.
Anderson had a 24-point game in the first match-up, but Roeschlein was able to hold her to 10 points, six below the senior's average. However, the exertion on the defensive end also helped Anderson hold Roeschlein to just three points in the game.
While the Eels couldn't post the upset win, Ames realized the odds his team was up against with a team that started three freshmen much of the year.
"We played some good teams and hopefully we'll learn from that and come in committed to get better," Ames said. "Our girls played their rears off. They were spent. WRV can do a lot of good things with the ball."
The Eels finish the season at 8-13 overall while WRV improves to 17-4 and advances to the title game this evening at 7:30 p.m.
Class A Clay City Sectional
White River Valley (47)
Kail 1-6 5-6 7, Tally 1-3 1-2 3, Anderson 2-13 6-10 10, Graves 3-5 0-2 6, Fougerousse 5-10 8-10 18, Goodman 0-2 0-0 0, Hamilton 1-3 1-3 3, Gardner 0-0 0-0 0, Lemmons 0-0 0-0 0, Robertson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-43 21-33 47.
Clay City (26)
Roeschlein 1-10 0-0 3, Drelick 4-8 2-7 10, Glass 3-5 1-2 7, A.Miller 0-1 0-0 0, McCullough 0-1 2-2 2, S.Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Bridgewater 1-8 1-2 4, Riggs 0-0 0-0 0, Stevenson 0-0 0-0 0, Reed 0-0 0-0 0, Gossage 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-33 6-13 26.
|White River Valley||12||9||13||13||-||47|
3-point fieldgoals -- WRV 0-3 (Anderson 0-2, Kail 0-1), CC 2-10 (Roeschlein 1-5, Bridgwater 1-3, Drelick 0-1, A.Miller 0-1). Total Rebounds -- WRV 35 (Fougerousse 15), CC 29 (Glass 6, McCullough 6). Total Fouls -- WRV 14, CC 21. Turnovers -- WRV 9, CC 21.