CC-E girls hang on against Panthers
EVERLY — A strong start faded for Clay Central-Everly’s girls Monday night as they experienced a long scoring drought in the second that allowed Storm Lake St. Mary’s to stay in the ball game. However, the Mavs stayed aggressive and eventually got some shots to go in a grind-it-out second half that resulted in a 49-42 Maverick triumph.
“We worked on attacking instead of settling for jump shots,” CC-E girls basketball coach Lester Tessum said. “We only shot nine 3’s, so attacking the basket was definitely a big part of our game plan.”
CC-E was rolling in the early going, taking a 16-6 lead on a 3-pointer from Carissa Doran with 45 seconds left in the first quarter. Emma Larson tacked on another long two on the next possession, but St. Mary’s hit a triple at the buzzer to hang around at 18-9.
The Panthers proceeded to score the first seven points of the second stanza while CC-E’s offense went cold. A runner in the lane from EmmaKay McClain finally put the Mavs on the board in the frame with 3:20 until halftime. McClain turned a steal into two points with 32 seconds on the clock for the only other two Maverick points of the quarter, giving CC-E a 22-19 halftime lead.
Despite the scoring struggles, CC-E’s biggest obstacle following the first half was foul trouble.
“EmmaKay and Carissa both had four fouls in the first half, so we switched on defense so they’d be guarding girls that were a little less aggressive,” Tessum explained. “But they still had to step over on some drives, so we really focused on having active feet and not using our hands.”
The strategy worked as both players stuck it out the entire second half, and the aggression on offense eventually paid off with 13 points in the third for a 35-25 game going to the fourth.
CC-E started slowing down to go into ball control mode, but difficulty maintaining possession resulted in more attacks. The Mavs got enough of those drives to go, holding on for the 49-42 win.
Doran finished with a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds. McClain scored 12, assisted three times and recorded two thefts. Dalayna Brugman scored seven and reeled in a team-high nine rebounds.
CC-E finished with 21 turnovers but had just seven in the second half. The Mavs shot 38 percent from inside the arc and 33 percent beyond it while converting 59 percent of their free throws.
The victory moves the Mavs to 4-9 overall this season. CC-E continues non-conference play Thursday on the road against West Bend-Mallard.