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Buzzer beater gives Cowan girls basketball first sectional title

COWAN, Ind. (NewsLink) - As the ball swished through the net shortly before the buzzer sound, Cowan’s Elizabeth Clevenger had lifted the Blackhawks to their first sectional championship in school history.

Clevenger’s buzzer-beater gave Cowan (10-15) a 44-42 victory over Daleville (14-10) in the Class A Southern Wells Sectional Final on Monday night.

Clevenger’s last second shot was set up by a crazy sequence of plays, which saw Kaylee Kear save the ball from going out of bounds.

“The ball was going out-of-bounds and it was off me. So, I knew Daleville would get the ball,” Kear said. “So, I threw the ball behind me and saw Elizabeth (Clevenger) shoot the ball in.”

The sectional title ended years’ worth of agony in the IHSAA State Tournament for the Blackhawks. Cowan had been eliminated in the sectional semi-finals the past two years.

Cowan Head Coach Jeff Skinner knew this was his team’s best shot to finally get a Sectional Title, especially with this year’s group of seniors.

“This group of seniors have been through so much losing (in Sectionals) as Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors,” said Skinner. “We had a tough schedule this year and I kept telling them that it would pay off in Sectionals, and luckily it did.”

The Blackhawks found a familiar story as inspiration in their title. Skinner watched Hoosiers right before Monday’s win, and coincidentally both Cowan and Hickory had last-second tip-ins to win titles.

Cowan will need some more Hoosier magic in their regional matchup, as the take on Northfield (23-2). Skinner is prepared to activate that magic.

“We’re going to watch (Hoosiers) before the regional for sure,” Skinner said. “I don’t know if they’ve all seen it but we’re going to watch it because we have the fourth, seventh and 16th ranked teams in the state in our regional.”

Cowan and Northfield play in Tipton on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The winner of that game will play the winner of North Vermillion and Blue River Valley in the regional championship Saturday night.