Lady Warriors lose in Topper Tourney


 
  JOHNSON CITY--It was a battle with two teams trying to earn their third win on the season, with the Lady Warriors coming up short after a good opening half.
  Clinton defeated Happy Valley with a 48-30 final in the first round of the Chick-Fil-A Tournament at Topper Palace.
  The Warriors were able to gain control of the contest through the first two quarters but a terrible start and finish during the third caused them to suffer the loss and fall to 2-8 overall on the season.
  "It's kind of been the opposite so far, because we've been getting off to a slow start, but tonight I was really happy with our effort during the first half," said Happy Valley Girls coach Ben Godsey. "We executed what we wanted to do on defense, and we were really patient and moved the ball well, but in the third quarter it was the opposite."
  After heading to the lockerroom with a two-point advantage, Happy Valley came out struggling and was outscored 19-2 in the third period of play.
  The Warriors got off to a good start with building a 12-8 lead by the end of the first period.
  Shanna Raines led the way for Happy Valley by pouring in six first-quarter points.
  Happy Valley built as much as a nine-point advantage during the first half after a drive inside by Brandi Dugger pushed the lead to 18-9 with 6:60 left.
  The Lady Dragons went on a 10-3 run in the last five minutes of the half to cut the deficit down to a bucket by halftime.
  "The first quarter we were flat and we had wide-open looks, but we just didn't get things to go," said Clinton Girls coach Tonya Snyder. "Second half, we started getting different kids involved, so it was a total team effort."
  Paige Huckabey connected on her third three-point goal of the half to get the rally started for Clinton.
  The Warriors began fading late in the first-half, which carried over to the third period.
  Happy Valley just couldn't get themselves on track as they rushed too many shots and had trouble handling the press.
  Keegar led the Dragons by scoring nine points during the third and finishing as the game's high scorer with 16 total.
  Clinton seemed to come up with every loose ball and steal, as they stunned the Warriors by increasing their intensity.
  "I think the difference was picking up the tempo and using the press, for we're too small to play a half-court game," said Snyder. "When we get into those kind of battles then we're going to lose, so we tried to pick up the press and push the transition a little more."
  The Warriors trailed 38-23 at the end of the third quarter, but a quick three-pointer from Hannah Banks and basket down-low from Keila Williams brought Happy Valley back to within eight in the first two minutes of the final period.
  Happy Valley went back into their slump after that point by going scoreless for the remainder of the fourth.
  The Lady Warriors will play again on Tuesday at 3:30 in the loser's bracket.
  "In our press offense, we're still not getting to the right spots, for we've got the wrong people throwing the ball in, along with players not breaking to the middle," said Godsey. "Our press offense is not good which is frustrating, but we still have a game tomorrow and hopefully that will help us."