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Cougars Struggle In Opening Game
Timing is everything. Saturday, four Lady Cougars finished a magical soccer season with a National Championship victory in Kissimmee. Also on Saturday, Savannah Jelsma was lost for the season due to an ankle injury. Three days later, the Cougars opened their first game against NAIA DII Sun Conference foe Warner University in Lake Wales.
From the beginning, it was clear that the lack of time to get on the same page as a team would have an effect on the outcome. In every area of the game Warner demonstrated themselves as the better, more organized team. Warner made 14 3's on the game and pulled down 67 rebounds to Clearwater's 27 including a 37 to 6 offensive rebound margin. Warner also pressured the Cougars into 30 turnovers. All of this led to Warner's final margin of 97-39.
For the Royals, 5 players scored in double figures led by Stephanie Wills' 24 points on 5 of 10 shooting from behind the arc.
Tori Hale led the way for Clearwater with 19 points on 4 of 8 shooting from the field to go with 11 points from the free-throw line. Tiffany Pack added 11 points for the Cougars.
Of the game, Coach Wilson says, "We knew that it would be tough. Warner is a very good team. They shot the ball extremely well and did an excellent job of pressuring the ball on defense. The score is not pretty, but I was pleased with several things that I saw from our team tonight. We will continue to improve. It's a long season, and this is a hard-working bunch."
The young Lady Cougars basketball team will now have one day to prepare for their home opener against Hillsborough Community College. The game will tip-off at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 15.
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