Lady Hawks fall in state semifinals; set to play for third

Clopton’s Caragan Lockard goes up strong with a jumper against Thayer. She finished with 17 points.

When Kaitlyn Kuntz converted a three-point play with 7:07 left in the Class 2 semifinals game against Thayer, the Clopton Lady Hawks were feeling pretty good about the position they were in.

Unfortunately, two costly turnovers helped spark a Lady Bobcats’ 7-0 run, giving Thayer a 42-41 lead.

Caragan Lockard, who had an outstanding game on offense for the Lady Hawks with 17 total points, gave Clopton a 43-42 edge at the 3:44 mark.

Thayer then responded by scoring the final six points of the game to hold on to a 48-43 victory.

Clopton missed two three-point attempts in the final eight seconds of the loss. They made just 4-of-14 in the game behind the perimeter and shot 45.7 percent from the field (16-of-35). Thayer hit 6-of-10 three-point shots and shot 54 percent from the field (19-of-35).

Clopton will now play Hartville for third place in Class 2 at 12:50 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 inside the Hammons Student Center.

When the game started, both teams traded baskets and the lead several times. Jillian Lockard paced Clopton early on with four points as the Lady Hawks trailed 10-8 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Lady Hawks were successful finding their way to the free throw line. All five starters scored points, as at one point in the quarter, Clopton held a 23-17 lead.

Stanberry responded with a 7-0 run that ended with Madyson Kerley’s three-pointer, giving Thayer the one point edge at halftime.

Early in the third quarter, it was all Clopton. Thayer missed five early shots and the Lady Hawks took advantage with three-pointers from Taylor Akers and Kaitlyn Kuntz.

Caragan Lockard was dominant with the ball, scoring seven points to lift Clopton to a 36-33 lead by the end of the third quarter. Thayer went on to outscore Clopton 15-7 in the fourth to win the game.

Caragan Lockard led the Lady Hawks with 17 points and three rebounds; Kuntz scored nine points, seven assists, and two rebounds; Calynn Lockard had six points, two rebounds, and two assists; Jillian Lockard scored six points, five rebounds, and two assists; and Megan Harrelson had two rebounds.

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