For two and half quarters, the game looked like it may need a buzzer beater to decide it.
Both Clarksville High and Kenwood were locked in a back and forth contest that saw two ties and eight lead changes after the first three periods.
But Clarksville found itself at the free throw line continuously in the fourth quarter and began to take advantage of Kenwood’s lack of transition defense as the Lady Wildcats pulled away for a 53-41 District 10-AAA girls’ varsity victory Tuesday night.
A 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter helped Clarksville create enough distance, and five of those points came from the foul line. Ta’Tayana Outlaw and Haley Bearden knocked down three of those five free throws, and Bearden would score the Lady Wildcats’ final three baskets to finish with 16 points. She and Outlaw also accounted for a combined seven offensive rebounds as Kenwood went the final 3:05 without a basket. Outlaw also finished with 16 points.
Despite only a 2-5 record at this point, the Lady Wildcats have jumped out to a 2-0 mark in district play with one more league game to play before participating in holiday tournaments later in the month.
Clarksville scored the game’s first six points and led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter. It opened up a 14-6 lead early in the second period but Kenwood responded. The Lady Knights began penetrating into Clarksville’s zone, scoring seven straight points, ignited by Analiese Osborne’s 3-pointer with 4:05 left in the first half. Malia Umrani’s two free throws with 2:17 left tied the game at 15 before the Lady Wildcats went into halftime with a 17-16 advantage.
Both teams traded baskets early in the third period. Outlaw had all four of Clarksville’s baskets by the 4:01 mark, but the game was tied at 25. The Lady Knights matched Clarksville shot for shot until Outlaw scored four of six straight points as CHS began to pull ahead, 29-25, with 3:04 remaining in the third.
Clarksville continued to attack the basket, and Kenwood (2-5, 1-1) could only manage five field goals in the final quarter. Clarksville consistently beat the Lady Knights down court for either baskets or trips to the foul line. Clarksville finished 15-of-25 from the line while the Lady Knights had only six attempts from the charity stripe.
Both Bearden and Outlaw scored 10 of their 16 points in the fourth quarter as Clarksville ran away with the win.