In the close battle between the Cleveland Lady Raiders (1-1) and the Baylor Lady Red Raiders (0-3), it was Cleveland who pulled away with the 38-36 win.
“It was a low-scoring game and was definitely one that we could manage. We knew that it was going to be a four-quarter basketball game and that we had to work the entire time to be sure that we were making them tired,” Cleveland head coach Mindy Kiser stated. “It was the little things; we didn’t think that we had to change anything defensively, but knew that we had to be fundamentally sound and do the things that we work on every day in practice.”
Coach Kiser knew coming into Tuesday night’s game that despite its current record, Baylor would be a challenge for her team.
“Baylor is a really good team. I know that it’s early in the year and they’ve played two really good teams, in Blackman and Grainger. We knew coming into the game that Kaleigh Clemons, their point guard, is an extremely good player and competitor,” Kiser explained.
Clemons lived up to expectations, leading Baylor’s scoring with 15 points.
The first half started out in the Lady Red Raiders’ favor.
Baylor outscored Cleveland 10-7 in the first quarter and 6-5 in the second quarter, leaving the Lady Raiders trailing by four points, 16-12, at the half.
By the end of the third quarter, Baylor still held a 25-22 lead over Cleveland.
In their 10-point quarter, senior Nora Berry hit two treys while junior Bre Ware chimed in with a 3-pointer of her own.
“Nora played really big for us today. She got tired early on but was able to play through it. Bre Ware hit some really big shots down the stretch and we were good on the free-throw line,” Kiser commented.
For the fourth quarter, the similarly named teams would trade the lead back and forth.
The Lady Raiders outscored the Lady Red Raiders 16-11 in the fourth, which included a 3-pointer from Ware and junior Jenna Scoggins.
Cleveland took a one-point lead over Baylor with 5:26 remaining in the game, only to see the visiting team jump out in front again.
Scoggins’ trey with a little over 3:30 remaining decreased the red team’s lead to just two points, but Baylor quickly added two more points to take a 33-29 lead.
Ware’s 3-pointer brought the game within one point once again, and then after hitting two free throws gave the Lady Raiders a one-point lead.
Scoggins’ hit two more free throws, giving Cleveland a three-point lead over Baylor.
The win was solidified by another trip to the free-throw line by Ware.
Baylor’s Kaleigh Clemons sank a 3-pointer in final 30 seconds of the game, in an attempt to get her team a shot at still getting a win.
The Lady Red Raiders’ final chance at stealing away the win was thrown away when a pass went awry with three seconds remaining, giving Cleveland possession of not only the ball, but the win as well.
“Until that buzzer sounds I’m always a little nervous. I thought that our kids stayed in there and right in the middle of the third quarter they really were starting to believe that they could win the ballgame,” Kiser explained. “We took the lead, we lost the lead, and we took the lead back. A lot of that was Bre hitting those two big threes from the corner. Late in the game we stepped up and hit-free throws when we had to.”
Cleveland was 7-for-12 from the free-throw line, with Ware hitting 4-of-4 of her shots. Jamiyah Person was also 100 percent at the free-throw line, going 2-for-2.
Berry racked up three treys, with both Ware and Scoggins netting two 3-pointers of their own.
Cleveland was led by Berry, who finished the game with 13 points and was closely followed by Ware, who netted 10 points.
The Cleveland Raiders were not in action Tuesday night at the MurMaid Classic, as their opponent Rossview did not make the trip down from Clarksville due to the threat of inclement weather.
In the second and final day of MurMaid Mattress Cleveland Classic, both Cleveland teams will be in action.
At 6 p.m. the Lady Raiders will take on Hardin Valley, which lost to Walker Valley 62-53 Tuesday night.
“Hardin Valley is a really well-coached team. Hopefully we can get up and down the floor and cause a little noise,” Kiser stated.
The Raiders will take on McCallie at 7:30 p.m.
Baylor 10 6 9 11 — 36
Cleveland 7 5 10 16 — 38
LADY RED RAIDERS (36) — Kaleigh Clemons 15, A. Hubert 8, J. McMahon 4, S. Looper 3, S. Popp 2, J. Simpkins 2, C. Huckabay 2, G. Waterberg, M. Karman, G. Cornell, P. Birdsong, L. Blackmon.
LADY RAIDERS (38) — Nora Berry 13, Bre Ware 10, Jenna Scoggins 8, Jamiyah Person 4, Hallea McClendon 2, Sarah Crump 1, Rebecca Allen, Matilda Lee, Sofia Stamatiadis, Kaitlyn Borton, Shanti Mastin, Graicyn Walkup, Jordan Thompson, Amber Morman, Timyrah Phillips.
3-POINTERS: Baylor 1 (Clemons); Cleveland 7 (Berry 3, Ware 2, Scoggins 2).
FREE THROWS: Baylor 7-of-10; Cleveland 7-of-12.
RECORDS: Baylor 0-3; Cleveland 1-1