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CLOPTON TOURNAMENT: Lady Indians take third; Indians lose heartbreaker

Posted on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Elsberry High School’s basketball teams and cheer squad made an impressive appearance in the 23rd Annual Clopton Tournament this past week.

While both basketball teams reached the final day and competed for the third place trophy, the EHS Cheerleaders captured the Cheer Trophy for the best cheer squad at the tourney for the seventh year in a row.

The Lady Indians seized the third place trophy with their 46-35 victory over the Van-Far Lady Indians.

In the Indians third place game against the Winfield Warriors the team fell to a heartbreaking one point loss by the score of 69-68.

Lady Indians

The third seeded Lady Indians started the tournament off with their first game against the sixth seeded Winfield Lady Warriors.

Elsberry took the first game with a landslide victory of 48-22. The girls jumped out to a 16-10 first quarter lead and never looked back.

Their defense was very effective in the second and third quarters holding their opponent to only two points in each of the quarters.

Leading the offense for Elsberry was sophomore Tyra Henderson who scored 13 points in the game.

Next up for Elsberry was local school rivalry opponent and second seed, the Clopton Lady Hawks. This would be the second meeting between the teams this season.

The Lady Indians dropped the game in a disappointing lose by the score of 52-25, dropping them in the bracket to the third place game.

In the third place game the Lady Indians improved their record to 8-4 with the victory over Van-Far for third place.

Elsberry was ready for this game as they jumped out to a big lead, 16-9 after the first quarter.

During the remainder of the game the teams were pretty evenly matched, but the difference in the first quarter determined the winner when the final buzzer sounded.

Three Lady Indians scored in double figures led by Tess Weakly with 11 and Tyra and Tynesha Henderson with 10 each.

Coach Koch-Dowell commented on her team’s performance in the tournament, “Not our best showing at a tournament, but we still fought hard and came out with third place. Anytime you can receive hardware from tournaments it is progress.”


Elsberry boys team drew second seed in the tournament this year. Their first opponent on the floor was the Wright City Wildcats.

The first half fans saw two evenly matched teams as they traded buckets and had a tie score of 31-31 at halftime.

The second half defensive play of the Indians proved to be the difference in the game as they limited the Wildcats to only four three-point baskets.

Elsberry took the victory 60-52 at the buzzer.

Having a great game and leading the scoring charge was Garik Hill with 28 points.

Up next for Elsberry in the semi-final round was last year’s state champions the Van-Far Indians.

Van-Far returned several players from last year as they dominated the floor outscoring Elsberry in every quarter to take a 74-44 victory. Scoring in double figures for Elsberry was Hill with 16 and Jake Rimel with 14 points.

With the second round loss, Elsberry dropped to the third place game against the Winfield Warriors.

These teams have already competed against each other twice prior in the season with Elsberry coming out of top both times.

Going into the game the Indians knew they had to take care of the ball with better ball control.

After the first quarter Elsberry held a seven point lead of 18-11, but slacked on good defensive skills in the second quarter, sending the Warriors to the free throw line 14 times and allowing them to take the lead at halftime 38-32.

In the third quarter both teams put 11 points on the board. The final quarter proved to be very exciting for fans from both schools as the scoring and great competitive play went back and forth. Rimel made a three point shot at the buzzer, but the Indians still found themselves one point behind and losing the game 69-68.

Leading the scoring for Elsberry was senior Derrick Taylor with 18 points.

Looking back on the tournament games Coach Twellman had this to say about his teams play, “We struggled a bit this week especially defensively and taking care of the ball. We are still working hard to put together this young group and mold them to rolls to help our veteran players. More consistency by district play is our goal.”