GRANGER TWP. â€” It wasnâ€™t pretty, but Cloverleafâ€™s girls basketball team will take the win.
The Colts struggled from the floor and had a tough time putting Highland away in the second half, but still walked away WednesdayÂ with a 36-34 Suburban League win.
In a game that came down to the final possessions, Cloverleaf (7-11, 5-8) was able to come up with a pair of defensive stops and senior Kayla Henry helped seal the win over Highland (4-15, 2-11) with a pair of free throws.
â€œWeâ€™re happy with the way we played down the stretch,â€ Colts coach John Carmigiano said. â€œWe played good, hard man defense and they had a hard time getting off a good shot.
â€œAnd Kayla Henry stepped up, made some free throws and we were able to survive.â€
Cloverleaf got the win, despite shooting 14-for-49 from the floor and had just one player â€” Henry â€” score more than six points. The guard finished with eight points.
â€œWe were able to get the ball in the post, but we were still nervous from playing against (Casey) Nance,â€ Carmigiano said, noting the Colts previous game against Revereâ€™s 6-foot-4 Nance. â€œWe seemed to be hesitant and rushed.â€
As the Colts struggled from the field, the Hornets couldnâ€™t find the back of the net as they fired up 58 shots and made just 10.
Every time Cloverleaf would extend the lead or looked to be in control, Highlandâ€™s Stacy Wilson (14 points) or Kristie Chabra (career-high 11 points, 6 rebounds) countered with a big shot.
When the Colts took their largest lead of the night â€” 32-26 early in the fourth â€” Wilson hit a 3-pointer and then a runner off the glass to get the Hornets back within one.
Chabra hit three shots from beyond the arc, all of which stopped various Cloverleaf runs with the last one coming with 5.9 seconds left in the game.
â€œWe gave ourselves a chance at the end,â€ Highland interim coach Jen Arnold said. â€œThe shots are going to start falling.â€
Made field goals were few and far between, although both teamâ€™s got solid rebounding efforts from their frontcourts.
Hornetsâ€™ freshman Alisa Webel pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds, while counterpart Brittani Pekar nabbed 10 boards for the Colts.
All-in-all the game was a 180 degree difference from a 78-74 Cloverleaf win last month.
â€œThe girls play their hearts out,â€ Arnold said. â€œOur defense is the key though. That is going to win us ballgames.â€
Pekar and teammate Brooke Anderson added six points for Cloverleaf, while Megan Jackson dished out three assists.
Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-721-4058.