By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
CLAY – Monday night the Clay Chalkville Lady Cougars took the court as they disposed of the Cullman Lady Bearcats by 25 points in a game that would send them to the girl’s AHSAA Regional Semi-Final, known as the sweet sixteen. The Cougars used tenacious defense and consistent offense to get the big win.
Clay Chalkville did not let the long bus ride effect the way they started the game on Tuesday. From the start, they were in the business of scoring points and keeping Cullman’s offensive efforts in check. Clay scored 15 in the first and allowed just 8 points by the Bearcats. Kameron Sanders and Kimora Brewster would lead the way for the Clay with 5 points each in the first, followed by a 3-point effort by Kamoriah Gaines.
The second quarter would be much of the same as the Cougars held Cullman to just 7 points while putting up 16 of their own. Gaines would lead scoring this time, with 6 points in the second. Brewster would add 5 points for the Cougars to put them up 31-15 heading into the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Cougar defense would once again hold Cullman to single-digit scoring, allowing just 7 points by the Bearcats in the period. On offense, it was business as usual for the Cougars. They would score 15 points in the period. Some new names would lead the way for Clay in the third with Brooklyn Phillips scoring 5 points and Cheyenne Pearson adding 4. Clay would find themselves with a comfortable lead heading into the fourth quarter with the score 46-22.
With a trip to the sweet sixteen in their sights, the Cougars may have started looking ahead in the fourth quarter, allowing Cullman to put up 15 points, their highest scoring quarter of the night. Clay had built such a big lead in the first three quarters that the high scoring quarter would not matter much. Also, on offense, Clay scored 16 of their own, led by Gaines, who had 7 points in the final frame of the contest.
No surprise, Kamoriah Gaines was the leading scorer on the night with 18 points for the Lady Cougars. Kimora Brewster had 14 and Brooklyn Phillips contributed 11.
“I was worried coming into this game that we might come out a little flat after our big win over Mortimer Jordan last week,” said Clay Coach Kevin Connor. “But I thought our defensive intensity was really good and that helped us really play well tonight. It was good to see Freshman Kimora Brewster play her best game of the year tonight. She has been getting better every game and she has such a bright future.”
The Cougars move on to the next round of the playoffs where they will square off against Muscle Shoals on Friday.