CLINTON — It’s the start of the new year, and, unfortunately, the Lady Maroons have landed on tough times.
With several teammates out with illness and injuries, the team was down to eight players to play a varsity basketball game against the El Paso/Gridley (EPG) Lady Titans. EPG came in with almost double the players of the Lady Maroons, and it seemed like shell shock during the first half.
The Lady Maroons hung tough after losing the tip-off and stayed within grabbing distance of the lead. The home team was also getting used to different people in various position and trying to pull it together as a team.
Returning to the hardwood after halftime, EPG found out what the Lady Maroons can do, even when down on their luck. Clinton came back to lead for a while and the third quarter ended in a 24-all tie.
The game from there was a nail-biter with teams trading the lead several times.
At one point in the third quarter, the opposing coach called a time out and distraughtly told his team, “You have let them suck the energy right out of you; do you want to win this game ...?”
And it was just enough to motivate EPG players to come out on top in the final minute or on two free throws and a 3-point basket.
With the 35-30 loss, the Lady Maroons go to 9-10 on the season. Mallory Cyrulik led the home team with 12 points, which also tied her for game high points with Addison Benedict of EPG.
Quarters 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Lady Maroons 4 7 13 6 30
Lady Titans 12 6 6 11 35