Two-and-a-half months after losing their fifth-straight game to the Northwest Lady Vikings, the Clarksville Lady Wildcats were hungry for revenge.

Fueled by a strong first half and seven 3-pointers from sophomore sensation Imari Berry, Clarksville was able to snap their skid against their crosstown foe with a 63-54 victory on Thursday.

They led by as many as 15 points in the first half and took a 10-point advantage into halftime. CHS head coach Brian Rush emphasized to his girls the importance of starting strong against an opponent as stiff as Northwest.

“We’ve been working hard all year,” he said. “You’ve got a few big games left in the season to go, and you want to make sure you come out ready to play. I thought we really came out ready to play today.”

The Lady Vikings were not going to go away easily. Their own star, Middle Tennessee State commit Ta’Mia Scott, put the team on her back to score 20 points between the second and third quarters to keep her squad alive. She was aided by Emiyah Cobb, who poured in 11 in the second half and Kayla Howell, who finished with 16 points.

Unfortunately, the trio’s efforts weren’t enough. They scored 52 of the team’s 54 points.

“We made mistakes that we shouldn’t have made,” said NWHS head coach Ben Wallace. “In games like that, you can’t give up free baskets. And we had places where we gave maybe eight or 10 points where we gave them, we didn’t do what we should have on defense. Particularly early in the game, we didn’t rebound particularly well, and we gave them six points there.

“Ta’Mia did everything she could, I thought. Emiyah Cobb never came out of the ball game, she was really dead tired at the end. So was Ta’Mia. Kayla did a lot of good things. We had other players do good things, but then as a team we made mistakes. You just can’t give up those mistakes.”

It was the fourth and, potentially, final meeting between Scott and Berry, who are separated by two years. Berry got the better of her elder this time with a 25-point outburst, getting her first career win over last year’s MSC Player of the Year.

“(Berry) grows as a player every time she steps on the floor,” Rush said. “She loves to compete. Absolutely loves to compete. I think tonight she did an excellent job of competing for all four quarters, and found ways to get other players involved. She had a stretch where she was a little cold, and she found other players on the floor. That gave her a chance to get back in a rhythm.

“She’s just growing as a player, which is scary for a lot of people. As far as she’s come, she’s got a long way to go. She’s willing to take the journey to get there.”

Berry isn’t the only one with room to grow for CHS. The Lady Wildcats started zero seniors against Northwest, and all but four of their points came from players who are juniors or younger.

Now 9-3, the Lady Wildcats will open their district campaign on Tuesday, Jan. 18 against archrival Rossview (12-2). Northwest (13-8) have until Friday, Jan. 21 until they play their next contest, a district tilt against the 2-7 Dickson County Lady Cougars.

BOX SCORE

Northwest Lady Vikings (54): Ta’Mia Scott 22, Kayla Howell 16, Emiyah Cobb 14, Jada Brooks 2.

Clarksville Lady Wildcats (63): Imari Berry 25, Brystal Calhoun 13, Angel Martin 10, Malon Smith 6, Kate Howard 4, Reaghan Smith 3, Ella Moore 2.

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