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2012 Clay County Girls State Tournament


(All photos contained in this digest are courtesy of Doug Strong.)

March 7, 2012

Murphy Center floor familiar territory for Lady Dawgs

CCHS to face Cloudland in State-opener


Ruby Richards - 10 Emma Ogletree - 11 Kennedy Smith - 12 Alesha Copas - 14 Mackenzie Hamilton - 15 Casey Cooper - 20 Chelsea Copass - 21 Allie Brown - 22

Sims on Cloudland Cloudland (32-4) won both their district and region championship and hails from the town of Roan Mountain in Northeast Tennessee. They were ranked #5 in the final Associated Press Top 10 poll, while Clay County was #10. Sims said his Lady Dawgs played well with them the last time they met at Murphy Center and

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Alex Grace - 23 Hannah Ogletree - 24 Olivia Copeland - 30 Mattie Monroe - 31 Ashley Owens - 32 Sydney Roach - 33/11 Kalona Meadows - 35 Hope Roach - 44

Tess Hatcher - 55 Head Coach: Joe Sims, Assistant Coach: Farrah Wood, Managers: Jana Key, Jordyn Manley, Karlie Watson, Wyneshia Spears, Stevie Mackey.

actually beat them in a close game. “It was close, but we won by one point,” he said. “I’m sure this week’s game will be a close one and they have probably improved too, but so have we.” Sims said Cloudland liked “to shoot the three,” and that they had added an inside presence since the summer in the form of a girl that is over six feet tall.

“They’re good, but nobody’s played the caliber of teams we have over the last few weeks, so I hope that gives us an advantage.” Sims was referring to the “murder’s row” his Lady Bulldogs have been down the last two weeks of the regular season and in the district and region tournaments. “When you play Macon County, Jackson County, and Clarkrange

Sims on his Lady Dawgs The highly successful coach said he knew “this group of seniors” had the capability of leading their team to the top and he said they were all “good players and kids” who he had grown close to. “Our senior leadership is why we are here,” Sims said. “They all get along good, encourage each other, and do what it takes to win.” The team is led by reigning All-State guard Sydney Roach who is the team’s leading scorer averaging just over 15 points per game, while fellow senior Casey Cooper isn’t far behind with 14. “Those girls continue to lead this team even though teams have started concentrating on them,” Sims said. “Sydney draws See DAWGS page 3

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2011/2012 Clay County Lady Bulldogs (24-9)

The coach on his team’s shot The Lady Bulldog coach said he thought his team would compete well with the best teams in the state and was confident in their abilities. “I think we can make a good showing,” Sims said. “These girls deserve to be here and they are really enjoying the experience. “Not too many high school kids get this chance and I feel like we’ll take full advantage of it.” Clay County heads into their opening game in a different situation from most State Tournament teams. Unlike the others who are either their district’s or region’s champion or winners of both, the Lady Bulldogs were runners-up in their conference and region behind AP third-ranked Jackson County--who is also in the State Tournament. “We won the ones we had to in order to get here,” Sims said. “It all goes back to the District (tournament) where we beat Clarkrange--if they win they are probably here instead of us, but we beat them and we are here. “That was the game

of the year for us up until now.” Sims said his 1994 team also lost in both the conference and region championships, but then went on to become the runner-up in the state. “It doesn’t matter how you get here,” he said. “As long as you take advantage of the opportunity and history shows we’ve got a shot.”


! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

By THOMAS P. WEAVER HORIZON Editor MURFREESBOROThursday afternoon won’t be the first time this year’s Clay County Lady Bulldog team has taken to the court here at Middle Tennessee State University’s Murphy Center and it definitely won’t be unfamiliar to head coach Joe Sims. The 2011-2012 Lady Dawg team played twice here over the summer in camp and one of those contests was ironically with the same team they will face off with on the same court at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, while Sims is making his 10th appearance at the Elite 8 in his legendary 20-year coaching career. “I’ve been there a time or two,” Sims said earlier this week, “and we actually played Cloudland in camp on the same floor this summer. “I told the girls then that our goal was to be back on the same floor come March and that’s where we’ll be this week.”

multiple times, you’ve played some of the best and I think that will help prepare us,” Sims said.

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March 7, 2012

Good Luck Clay County Bulldogs

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Andrew Locke, Agent 206 Dow Ave. Celina, TN 38551 Bus: 931-243-2230

Give it your best shot. Hope to see you in the finals!

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.®

145 E. Lake Ave. • Celina • Open Seven Days A Week

Fred & Frankie Scott, Owners



Summertown (29-3)

to the Clay County High School Girls Basketball Team



From the elected officials and employees of

Clay County (24-9)

55 Cloudland (32-4)


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State Champion


Union City


Loretto (18-15)

35 Jackson Co. (27-6)


5:30 p.m. THURS.

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Union City (21-10)


Clay County

Wartburg Cen. (22-4)


Clay County


Jackson County

All your hard work has paid off, and we’d like to say..

5:30 p.m. FRIDAY


Clay County

4:00 p.m. THURS.

@))A$ +B(*1$


Jackson County


DONNIE LONG Vice-mayor

2:30 p.m. THURS.



4:00 p.m. FRIDAY

Lake County (34-4)

1:00 p.m. THURS.


State Farm, Bloomington, IL



Best Wishes! Hope to see the Bulldogs go all the way to a Championship!

Best of Luck Clay County! Compliments of:

!"#$%&'()*+,-&./0* Serving Clay County since 1949


1008 Gainesboro Hwy Celina, Tennessee

March 7, 2012


down one side of the floor for the team and is a good shooter from outside. “Mackenzie keeps us Continued from PAGE 1 in line and plays unrelentdouble-teams every night ing defense,” Sims said, and still puts up big num“and Allie is very deceivbers and Cooper has also ing--she is tougher than seen teams key on her she looks and her outside since she’s come on and shooting makes us hard to she had a big night in guard. the Region Semis scoring “One of those two has almost 30. to score on any given night “They are definitely for us to win and one or our leaders and we count the other always steps up on them to at least get when we need them.” their averages every game.” The other startTwo other starters are ing position is shared also in their last seasons by underclassmen Matas Lady Bulldogs and they tie Monroe and Hannah serve as important role Ogletree, who have both players. played well for Sims down Mackenzie Hamilton the stretch. is the teams vocal leader “They both guard as she runs the show from good and Mattie is a good her point guard position, shot from three,” he said. while Allie Brown holds “Hanah has played some


big minutes for us and they both have stepped up their game this year.” Sims also praised the role senior Tess Hatcher has played this season coming off the bench. “Tess has filled in big time for us when we’ve needed her,” the coach said. “She’s a big part of this team on and off the floor.” Besides those seeing playing time, Sims spoke of the importance of his reserves saying they are important in practice. “Every week those girls are running our opponents’ offense and they help us prepare,” he said. “We wouldn’t be as well prepared as we are if it wasn’t for their hard work in practice.”


A look ahead If the Lady Bulldogs advance Thursday with a win over Cloudland, they will face the winner of the Lake County (34-4) and Summertown (29-3) game here on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. Lake County is ranked number one in the AP poll and Summertown is #4. The other bracket features an opening-round game between Jackson County (27-6, AP #3) and Loretto (18-15)--who knocked off the Lady Blue Devils in last year’s first round of the Elite 8, and a matchup between Wartburg Central (22-4) and Union City (21-10). The State Championship game is set for Saturday, March 10 at 6 p.m.

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Congratulations to the 2011-2012 Clay County Girls Basketball Team - Randy Davis, Owner

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904 East Lake Ave. 243-2717


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March 7, 2012

SYDNEY ROACH (#33/11)--Starting senior guard, led her team averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 assists, 3.0 steals, 2.7 rebounds per game.

CASEY COOPER (#20)--Starting senior post and force inside averaging 14.1 points, 2.7 steals, and 7.3 rebounds per game.

MACKENZIE HAMILTON (#15)--Starting senior point guard and vocal leader averaging 6.8 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.1 steals.

ALLIE BROWN (#22)--Starting senior wing and good outside shooter averaging 6.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

TESS HATCHER (#55)--Reserve senior role player coming off the bench to contribute big minutes when needed with good inside play.

EMMA OGLETREE (#11)--Injured senior post who went down with a bad knee early in the season and serves as emotional team leader.

HANNAH OGLETREE (#24)--Junior, splits time as starter, plays good defense, and averages just over two points and rebounds per game.

MATTIE MONROE (#31)--Junior guard, splits time as starter, shoots well from three-point range, and averages 4.3 points per game.

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Lady Bulldogs State Tourney Preview