CLARKSVILLE – The Alma Airedales had a 12-point run in the first half and a 15-point run in the third quarter.
That was plenty for the Airedales, who raced to a 75-51 win over Clarksville on Tuesday night.
Alma (11-7 overall, 4-2 6A/5A-1, 2-1 5A-West) closed the first half of the 5A-West part of the 6A/5A-1 schedule on a high note.
“That’s really big for us,” Alma head coach Stan Flenor said. “That’s what we wanted to do. We lost a really tough game on Friday night. We came back and showed what kind of mettle we have. We put that to bed and came back, and played real well on the road. We did the things you have to do to win on the road.”
Alma had a size advantage on Tuesday night, and they used it. Kade Wood, 6-6 senior, had Alma’s first four baskets and had 14 points and 10 rebounds at the half. Tanner Shelton had a driving bucket, a steal and a layup, a fast-break layup and a pair of 3-point field goals for 12 first-half points.
“Our guys came out really focused,” Flenor said. “Our length and our size were going to be advanteous for us to go inside with Kade. He’s been playing tremendous for us, and the guys fed him the basketball. Tanner heated up early. Both of those guys worked real well. We played real well.”
The Airedales led 19-14 after a quarter and 41-28 at the half.
Alma opened the third quarter with a 15-0 run to push the lead to 53-28 with 3:23 left in the quarter.
Cejay Mann started the run with a basket inside. Wood scored inside, and Christian Stahler drained a free throw. Shelton converted a fast-break layup off a pass from Mann, Stahler hit a 3-pointer and Wood scored on a turnaround jumper inside to cap the 15-point run.
Mann finished with 24 points. Wood had 18 and grabbed 11 boards. Shelton ended with 14 points.
Clarksville (3-16, 1-4, 1-2) was led by Trace Thomas, who had 26 points.
Clarksville 57, Alma 49
The Lady Panthers had just one scoring run of any kind, but it was big enough and at just the right time to spur the victory.
Grace Dougan scored inside just before the third-quarter buzzer, and Zoie Harvey opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer. The next trip down the floor, Maegan Payne scored underneath to cap a 7-0 run and put Clarksville (8-11, 2-3, 1-2) up, 45-37, with 6:43 left in the game.
“We were back and forth all night, anytime you get lucky and get the last basket of a quarter and you get the ball and execute and make a shot,” Clarksville head coach Randy Talley said. “We got a stop, and it kind of stretched it out and it never got closer than five.”
The Airedalettes (7-13, 1-4, 1-2) weren’t within six after that run.
“Clarksville played really, really well,” Alma head coach Codey Mann said. “The thing they did that we didn’t do was they made the big plays. That stretch was really huge.”
Alma had a 9-0 run in the first quarter, which was the biggest of the game and was part of a hot-shooting quarter for both teams. Clarksville was 8-for-13 shooting, and Alma was 7-of-10 in the first quarter.
The Airedalettes, though, managed just eight of their last 40.
Clarksville led 21-18 after a quarter, and 32-40 at the half. The Lady Panthers scored just two baskets from the floor in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer by Kyerra Cowell to open the quarter. Clarksville, though, didn’t give up the lead in the quarter despite scoring just eight points.
“We had a great quarter, defensively,” Talley said. “Now, we didn’t do anything, offensively, but our defense kept us the lead.”
Dougan led Clarksville with 17 points. Payne added 11.
Cassidy Cooper scored 15 points for Alma. Sierra Bailey had nine points and 10 rebounds.