The Clopton Lady Hawks had their season end with a loss to the No. 1 in the state ranked Silex Lady Owls in the championship game of the Class 2, District 5 Basketball Tournament at Louisiana on Friday, Feb. 22.
The Lady Hawks went 18-10 on the season. Although they will lose solid seniors Joy Yates and Amanda Klopcic, six varsity players will return next year along with a talented bunch of junior varsity players.
The game got out of hand early for the Lady Hawks as Silex point guard Natalie Fleming took control running a solid Lady Owls offense. She ended up with 27 points.
“We got beat by a very good team,” said Clopton Head Coach Larry Lagemann. “Silex is very balanced and has a lot of weapons offensively and we just didn’t have an answer for them.
“Silex got on a roll about midway through the first quarter and we just never could stop their momentum.
“If we could have gotten a couple of shots to fall early in the game, things might have been different, but once we got down we just could generate enough offense to get back into the game.
“Although we were disappointed in the loss, I think we made some strides this season and learned a lot about ourselves.
“We have the potential to be very good next season, but we know it will take hard work and sacrifice from everyone.”
Silex went up 20-10 in the first quarter and essentially put the game away with a halftime lead of 35-18.
Things didn’t change in the second half as Silex extended the lead at the end of the third quarter to 58-34. Clopton outscored the Lady Owls 14-11 in the fourth quarter but the came was already over.
Sophomore guard Lauren Lagemann had a good game with 20 points, including four three-pointers and four of five shooting from the foul line. She added six rebounds.
Junior guard Shelby Dunn had nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
Junior forward Brittney Hamilton had eight points and six rebounds.
In her last varsity basketball game, Yates had two points and led the team with nine rebounds.
Clopton Head Coach Larry Lagemann told Hamilton he could feel she was going to have a good game and he turned out to be prophetic.
Hamilton scored 18 points and was ice at the free-throw line by hitting eight of 10 shots to lead the Lady Hawks to the district tourney semifinal victory on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
Free throws were key for the Lady Hawks, who hit 29 of 36 on the night.
“I thought we really came out focused for this game and had good energy from the very beginning,” Coach Lagemann said. “We wanted to prove we were the better team and get back to the championship game.
“I thought we did a very good job of being aggressive offensively and we got offensive contributions from a lot of people. I thought defensively we had great focus and really made Paris work for everything they got.”
The Lady Hawks jumped out to a 15-3 lead in the first quarter, accented by three pointers from Dunn and junior forward Spencer Hicks. Clopton was up 17-8 at the end of the first frame.
Paris came back with a 17-15 run in the second quarter but Clopton still led 32-25 at the half.
Clopton started utilizing backdoor cuts for layups in the third quarter but Paris came back with a 9-5 run and sliced the lead to 41-38 with 3:50 to go in the frame. The Lady Hawks regained their poised and took the lead to 47-39 at the third quarter ended.
The Lady Hawks kept the heat on in the fourth quarter with a 22-17 run.
They were helped when a Paris player slammed the ball on the court after being called for a foul. The referees assessed a technical foul and Dunn hit both free throws with 6:07 to go.
Hamilton hit two more free throws with 5:11 to go to make it 56-45. The Lady Hawks cruised the rest of the way for the win.
Along with her 18 points, Hamilton ripped down six rebounds and dished out two assists.
Dunn led the team with 20 points, including 13 of 16 from the foul line. She added three rebounds and three assists.
Hicks had a great game with 13 points, and hit four of five three-point shots. She added 12 rebounds and two steals.
Lagemann had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Senior guard Klopcic had four rebounds and two assists.
Clopton’s Lauren Lagemann goes up for a layup, two of her 20 points against the District 5 champion Silex Lady Owls on Friday, Feb. 22