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12-24-03: Cavaliers upend Cougars in overtime

Standard Correspondent

COLDWATER — Looking at the records before the game, the 1-5 Coldwater Lady Cavaliers had to be leary of the 5-1 Van Wert Cougars. Combined with their height disadvantage to Van Wert’s talented Clifton sisters, the Cavaliers knew they had their work cut out for them. And work is what they did, recovering from a 12-point second-half deficit to win in overtime, 46-38.
After leading 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, the Cavaliers made just one out of 10 second quarter shots and committed seven turnovers as they fell behind 22-14 at the half.
“We’ve struggled with that all year,” commented Coldwater coach Nick Fisher. “We play a really solid quarter, then we come out and let things slip aside.”
When Van Wert scored on the first two baskets of the third quarter to extend the lead to 26-14, things looked grim for the Cavaliers. But after a timeout, Coldwater turned on the defensive pressure, forcing 10 turnovers and outscoring Van Wert 14-3 to reduce the deficit to 29-28 heading into the final quarter.
The second half Coldwater perimeter pressure defense was effective, as was the inside play against Van Wert’s big inside players. Katie Homan led the way, scoring eight second-half points (14 total) and helping limit the Clifton sisters to 6-21 shooting. The pressure must have also affected their foul shooting, as those two combined for only 7-17 from the charity stripe.
“She (Homan) really stepped up,” complimented Fisher. “Both of those Clifton girls are good ball players. What we had to do was try to contain them and make somebody else step up, and I thought Katie was very instrumental in containing them.”
The fourth quarter was a tight affair, aided by Van Wert missing 5 of 6 free-throw attempts, including the front end of three one-and-one situations. With 4:00 remaining, Homan hit a basket to give the Cavaliers their first lead of the night at 34-33.
Van Wert retook the lead at 35-34 and looked to expand it when Allie Clifton was called for charging. Two Renee Hemmelgarn free throws gave the lead back to Coldwater at 36-35. The Cavaliers had the ball stolen on each of the next two possessions when they attempted to grow the lead. Van Wert started their last possession of regulation with 20 seconds remaining. Allie Clifton was fouled and proceeded to make one of two foul shots to send the game into overtime.
Coldwater scored the first five points in overtime on two foul shots by Brittany Firks and a basket and foul shot by Ashley Geier. After two Van Wert foul shots closed the gap to 41-38, the Cavaliers made 5 of 6 foul shots down the stretch to seal the 46-38 victory. Geier made her only shot from the field and all three of her foul shots to lead the Coldwater overtime scoring.
Coldwater’s overall record rises to 2-5 (0-1 MAC). They next play at Celina on Saturday at noon. Van Wert falls to 5-2.


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