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Manchester Enterprise - Thursday, February 26, 2004
Lady Tigers hold 17-16 halftime lead but fall 49-39

Clay falls at South

Clay County gave host South Laurel (19-6) quite a battle but a flurry of turnovers in the second half proved costly as the Lady Tigers fell, 49-39, Monday.

The Lady Cardinals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on a basket by Taran Johnson and a trey by Brittany Turner but senior Monica Bowling scored inside off a nifty pass from iayme Gilbert to get Clay on the board with 4:53 left in the first period.

Mallory Jones put the home team up 7-2 but Kari Ealy nailed a three-pointer drawing Clay within two. South played a solid 1-3-1 zone but Clay remained patient and Gilbert found Maleah Roberts inside for an easy basket. South scored to go back up 12-7 but Gilbert found Roberts inside for another basket and a foul. Her free throw pulled Clay within two as the quarter came to an end.

Clay tied the game, 12-12, on a shot inside by Bowling, after another good pass from Gilbert,just over a minute into the second period. After a basket by the Cardinals' Sabrina Manning, reserve guard Jenna Wilson sank a three-pointer deep off the left wing, giving Clay their first lead, 15-14, with 5:45 remaining.

Clay held on for a 17-16 halftime lead. However, the Lady Tigers had three consecutive passes picked off early in the third quarter by Amber Neace that led to easy baskets that spurred South on a 10-0 run. Down 26-17, Clay battled back. Gilbert scored her first basket, a three-pointer, to pull clay within six at the 2:15 mark.

Early in the fourth quarter, Clay closed to witllin,32-28, on baskets by Wilson and Gilbert, but got no closer. South would get their biggest lead at 49-33 but Ealy and Gilbert each drilled three-pointers in the final minute for the final margin.

Gilbert finished with 10 points and seven assists to lead Clay (16-10); Ealy had nine; Roberts seven; Wilson five; Bowling had four; Kelly Jones and Gemma Gray two each. Whitney Smith, a former Laurel Creek Lady Jaguar and Taran Johnson led South with 11 points; Turner had nine; Neace added eight points; Manning six and Jones had four.

JV game

Lady Tigers 32, South Laurel 23

Gemma Gray scored seven of her team-high 10 points in the second half as Clay (15-1) pulled away after a 15-11 halftime lead. Maleah Roberts and Amanda House each scored six; Stephanie Jackson and Jessica Smallwood had three each; Mariah Aubrey and Brittany Combs two apiece.

Courtney Hamm lead South with 14. Kayla Baker had six; Kayla Valentine had four; Morgan Alsip, Lauren Wombles & Jamie Clark each scored two, and Mackenzie McWhorter scored one.

Bethani Herron, a 5-8 freshman, did not play. She injured a knee in a recent freshman game at Leslie County and has been undergoing treatment. She was to see a doctor Tuesday for possible surgery.

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