Clinton Cougars’ defense beats Generals

wbball 01 14 2013 WebbHerkimer, NY – The Generals had defeated the Clinton Cougars nicely up at Clinton on January 7, but the Sunday afternoon rematch was very different. Herkimer led by four at the half, but the visiting Big Cats hung tough and earned a 49-46 victory.

Herkimer jumped out to an 8-2 lead thanks to some sharpshooting by freshman Alyssa Craig. Craig connected on her first two efforts from beyond the arc, and Shileeka Williams added two for the six-point lead.

The early play was high scoring. As the first half neared the midpoint, Herkimer led 18-11.

Craig hit another three. Aniya Webb fed Sam Randio for a pretty two. The Generals were in control of the contest, but then two things happened that changed the course of the game.

Photo: Aniya Webb sends a great pass to Sam Randio, who scored

Whitney Brown has been one of the team's very best and most aggressive players all season, and she was doing well against the Cougars. But with more than five minutes left in the half, Brown was assessed her third personal foul. That limited Brown's playing time and her playing style.

wbball 01 14 2013 CraigAlso, Stacy Loucks has been quite effective off the bench this month. Loucks sustained an injury that kept her out of the remainder of the game.

The Generals held a 27-23 lead at the break, but they left the court without the assertiveness that they had displayed when the game began.

The second half began with Victoria Seabrooks sinking two free throws and Shi Williams hitting a three and a two. Herkimer led 34-27, but the Cougars were on the prowl.

Photo: Alyssa Craig sank three threes in the first half

Clinton used their superior height to keep the less-aggressive Generals away from the basket. Herkimer was limited to mostly perimeter shooting in the second half, and they could not sink enough shots from long range.

The visitors took the lead seven minutes into the half. A long three by Aniya Webb put Herkimer up 41-38, but the visitors were determined.

Williams tallied a 12-foot two to tie the game with four minutes to play. The visitors ended up winning, but by the narrowest of margins. They led 49-46 with 16 seconds left when a three-point attempt by Williams went part way into the basket and then rimmed out.

The Generals' record is now 11-4. Their next outing will be on Saturday afternoon in the spacious arena at Hudson Valley CC.

Nick Scribe, website writer

Herkimer scoring: Randio 2, Williams 17, W. Brown 7, Aniya Webb 7, Seabrooks 4, Craig 9 – Total 46

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