Clements basketball

Clements’ Jake Beggs (32) pulls up for a jump shot Friday as Latraius Mosley (1) reacts. The No.-7 seeded Colts defeated No.-3 seed Tanner 68-64 in overtime.

The Clements fans packed their gym Friday night, witnessing both varsity teams advance to the Limestone County Basketball Tournament finals tonight. The Lady Colts cruised to a 67-42 victory over West Limestone while the boys took five quarters to defeat Tanner 68-64.

The victory was sweet for the Clements Boys, who were seeded seventh in the tournament while defeating a team it hasn’t beaten in a long time.

“I don’t know when the last time Clements beat Tanner,” Clements head coach Brian Gafford said. “This wasn’t coaching or strategy. It was just seven kids playing basketball like a team.”

The Lady Colts opened their game with a 13-1 run led by super seventh-grader Daneshia Malone, who scored eight points while dominating inside the paint. Chelsea Haggermaker, who led all scorers with 19, converted a lay-up to give Clements a seemingly insurmountable 23-3 lead. An Elizabeth Dison trey drew West to within 23-6 at the end of the first.

“I’m proud of our team,” Clements Girls coach Sonya Marks said. “We don’t just have one player to go to, we have ten players. That’s how it’s been all year.”

But the Wildcats chipped away at the Colts lead. Dison and Morgan Adams scored six points apiece in the second quarter and a Brandy Rice jumper at the buzzer trimmed the Lady Colts lead to 36-25 at the half.

“I was proud of our effort tonight, especially falling behind early,” West Limestone head coach Sonya Berzett said.

Clements opened with a 6-0 run in the third, but West rallied behind Heidi Taylor’s five points, including her shot at the close of the quarter, to pull to 47-39.

Clements then ripped off 20-straight points, with LaCresha Petty scoring off steals and Jessica Petty taking it to the basket with authority. Haggermaker scored nine, including a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line, before West scored their first points with just seconds remaining in the game.

“I challenged our girls to put the game away in the fourth so we could reach the finals, and they responded,” Marks said.

LaCresha Petty finished with 17 points and Jessica Petty scored 10 for the Lady Colts. Dison led West with 13 while Taylor scored 10 for the Wildcats.

The Clements boys continued the Colts’ winning ways, going up 12-7 in the first quarter of their semifinal. Tanner responded with a 6-0 run to close the quarter and led 13-12 after one.

Tanner extended their lead to 18-14 after a Tray Cosby basket when the Colts’ Oneal Vance scored four straight in the paint to cut the Tanner lead to 21-20. This started a 12-4 Clements run to close the half, and after a Michael Moss deep three pointer, Clements led 26-22 at halftime.

The Colts continued to score in the third. Jake Beggs drained consecutive three pointers to extend the lead to 35-25. Tanner went on a 19-9 tear, behind Jordan Lee’s hot outside shooting to cut the lead to the slimmest of margins, 45-44, going into the fourth.

Tanner temporarily regained the lead 49-48 after a basket and free throw by Latraius Mosley, but Seth Bachelor scored five straight to give the Colts a 58-53 lead. Tanner would use a Matthew Hines steal and lay-up to knot the game at 58-58 and force overtime.

After two free throws, Moss drained another three to give Clements a 63-58 lead it would never relinquish. Hines would again make a steal and convert a field goal to cut the lead to 63-62, but Bachelor iced all of his free throws in the final seconds, sealing a memorable victory for Clements.

“We just played our tails off tonight and played together,” Gafford said.

Bachelor led all scorers with 23 points, with Moss scoring 21 and Vance 11 for Clements. The Rattlers were led by Keith Shoulders with 16 points, Mosley and Matthew Hines with 14 each and Lee with 10 points.

The girls final is at 6 p.m with Clements playing Tanner and the boys follow at 7:30 with the Colts playing West Limestone.

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