By Denise Tucker
Springfield, MO – Even after Rogersville took an 18-point lead late in the third quarter Tuesday night, the Clever Lady Blue Jays didn’t give up during their Pink Division game of the Pink & White Lady Classic.
Sixth-seeded Rogersville held a 42-24 advantage with a little more than three minutes remaining in the quarter before Clever started to chip away.
The Lady Jays employed a three-quarter-court press to try and get some steals and turn those into points.
And it worked as Clever was able to cut into Rogersville’s lead and pull within nine points (52-41) with 1:05 remaining in the game.
But it was too little too late as the Lady Wildcats (8-2) were able to pull out the 54-43 victory and move on to the quarterfinal round, where they will face third-seeded Ozark, a 61-59 winner over Camdenton in the nightcap.
“If we had made a few of those adjustments a little bit earlier, it probably would have helped us out, with a smaller, faster lineup,” Clever coach Dan Jones said. “We missed some key shots early and they hit a few shots and went on a run and once that happened, we kind of got out of sorts and couldn’t get ourselves figured out.”
Rogersville coach Denny McHenry hopes his team can rebound when it faces Ozark at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Drury University’s O’Reilly Family Events Center.
“I think our girls got a little tired and we made some mistakes and turned it over a little bit, but I don’t think it was that as much as we were playing not to lose (in the fourth quarter) instead of playing to win,” McHenry said.
“And that was my advice to them in our time out was you still have to attack the basket, they’re not going away. They’re a good basketball program, we had to take some chances, but we have to take care of the ball a little better.”
Clever will face Camdenton at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Weiser Gym.
NO. 5 ROGERSVILLE 54, CLEVER 43
Pink Division game
CLEVER (5-4) – 8-11-12-12—43
ROGERSVILLE (8-2) – 15-18-13-8—54
CLEVER – Allie Clevenger 13, Hannah Maples 12, Harper Little 12, Emily Mendenhall 2, Tessa Newman 2, Abi Menzies 2.
ROGERSVILLE – Sarah Jordan 13, Sarah Posey 9, Jordyn Gault 9, Maci McHenry 9, Hailey Brown 7, Sydney Dunavant 4, Jenna Gault 3.