JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Central A&M was uncharacteristically sloppy in the 1st period, but then they returned to form in the 2nd and rolled to the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament Championship over Clinton, 56-39.
Sarah Bailey was back and she was a difference-maker. She led three, almost four, Raiders in double figures with 14 points. Allie Heaton and Rachel Townsend followed with 10 points each and Taylor Jordan’s hot hand was cooled (no 3s), but still scored nine points.
A&M opened up the game in the 2nd with an 18-7 run to post an 11-point edge at the break, 24-13. They doubled down in the 3rd with a 19-12 run to extend to an 18 points lead with just 8:00 left until clinching the conference tourney title.
Down the stretch A&M held serve and Clinton’s desperation only cut the lead by a point by the final buzzer.
Neither team particularly sharp from the line. Clinton missed 9-of-13 free throws, while A&M shot just under 58% (11-of-19).
Clinton limited the A&M 3-point attack, allowing just three solo missiles from Genny Rose Stringer, Taylor Acock, and Rachel Townsend. Clinton matched that with two long bombs from Ginger, who tied Bailey for game-high scoring honors, and one from Tool, the only other Maroon in double figures.
Central A&M 56, Clinton 39
A & M 6-18-19-13—56
A&M stats: Bailey 14 (5 FGs, 4/7 FTs), Heaton 10 (4 FGs, 2/3 FTs), Townsend 10 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), Jordan 9 (3 FGs, 3/5 FTs), Dooley 5 (2 FGs, 1/2 FTs), Stringer 5 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs), Adcock 3 (FG). Team FGs 21. 3-Pointers: 3 (Stringer, Townsend, Adcock). Team FTs 11-of-19.
C’ton stats: Ginger 14 (4-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 0/2 FTs), Tool 10 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/5 FTs), Hickman 6 (3 FGs), Bieber 4 (FG, 2/4 FTs), Toohill 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), Scott 2 (FG). Team FGs 16. 3-Pointers: 3 (Ginger 2, Tool). Team FTs 4-of-13.