In a game of offensive spurts, Cleveland’s girls basketball team built just enough of an advantage to withstand the final run Friday against Corinth Holders.
Cleveland, which trailed 13-0 after first quarter but used big second and third periods to lead by 12 points at 51-39 with 4:05 remaining, hung on for a 52-50 victory in a wild Two Rivers 3A Conference contest.
A 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining by Corinth Holders’ Holly Price cut the Cleveland lead to 51-50. A foul by the host Pirates before the ball was inbounded sent Cleveland’s Miranda Hinton to the line and she made one of two free throws. A desperation shot by Corinth Holders missed at the buzzer.
After all the game’s swings, Cleveland (7-9) escaped with a tough road victory and improved to 3-0 in Two Rivers play.
“We told them in the locker room (before the game) to make plays and have the mentality that you are going to win,” Cleveland coach Chris Danehower said. “That is what we did even when we got behind 13-0. You keep playing hard, good things will happen. … This was a really good win. On the road you are just trying to grind it out and find a way to win. I was proud of them.”
For Corinth Holders, which had seen its 13-point early lead disappear and was in a 12-point hole halfway through the fourth period, it was the final four minutes of the game when the Pirates picked themselves back up and nearly pulled out the victory.
Corinth Holders coach Brandy Smith said the Pirates turned up the pressure on defense in the fourth quarter when they made their comeback and got something going offensively to get to the free throw line. “We got the clock stopped and made some points (at the line) and got back in it.”
Turnovers plagued the Pirates (5-8, 1-2). “When you have 19 turnovers, it’s going to be hard to win a basketball game,” Smith said.