2014-02-25 / Front Page

Cloverdale Defeats Eminence And Clay City; Sectional Draw Pairs CHS With Spark Plugs

by Donna Hardy

Marquise Moore takes the ball to the basket Saturday against a pair of Clay City defenders. Moore and the Clover squad are now 18-1 following backto back wins this past weekend. (Photo by Donna Hardy) Marquise Moore takes the ball to the basket Saturday against a pair of Clay City defenders. Moore and the Clover squad are now 18-1 following backto back wins this past weekend. (Photo by Donna Hardy) Two different Eel squads fell at the hands of the Cloverdale varsity boys’ basketball squad this past weekend, helping the Clovers to an 18-1 record with just one game remaining in the regular season.

Cloverdale traveled to Eminence on Friday evening for their second meeting with the Eels. They started the game with a lead of 18-11 after the first quarter.

Eminence cut the lead slightly by half-time, with Cloverdale up 33-28.

An even third quarter kept the Clovers up by five points, 50-45.

Cloverdale took control in the final quarter, outscoring Eminence 22-11 to earn a 72-56 victory.

Clover center Brantson Scott was on fire offensively, going 10-for-11 from the field and leading the way with 34 points. Cooper Neese finished with 14 points, Marquise Moore 13, Kedrick Collett five, Kade Schroer four, and Fred Fislar two.

Scott finished a great game with a double-double, pulling down 13 rebounds. Moore had five rebounds, Collett four, Cooper three, and Schroer two.

Eminence had two players in double figures. Brennan Ringler had 18 and Ethan Holiey 11.

After securing the win Friday night, the Clovers turned their attention Saturday to a tough squad in the Clay City Eels. It was no easy task as Clay City brought a quality squad with them.

It was never a runaway game, with the lead changing hands numerous times. The Clovers held the lead after the first quarter, 24- 22.

Defensive pressure took over in the second quarter by both teams, with both scoring 11 points keeping the Clovers up by two, 35- 33.

The story remained the same as the two squads came out of the locker room. But the lead was held by the Eels at the end of the third, 52-50.

Clay City seemed to pull away from the Clovers in the early minutes of the final quarter. They were able to bump their lead to as many as eight points. They were ahead 64-56 with 4:57 to play.

That was when the Clovers started a run of their own. They scored seven unanswered points, and with 4:11 on the clock they pulled to within one point, 64-63.

It wasn’t long before Cooper Neese fell into a zone, putting up 14 straight points for his team and helping them turn things around and pull ahead by nine points. With 42 seconds to play, Moore hit a free throw to make it a ten-point lead for the Clovers.

Finding themselves down, the Eels had not choice but to start fouling, sending the Clovers to the free throw line. Moore hit four free throws in the last 23 seconds to make sure his squad held on for the 82-75 win.

“Clay City is an outstanding team,” Cloverdale head coach Pat Rady explained after the game. “We beat an outstanding team tonight.”

The coach was happy with the offensive performance of his team. “I thought we had good ball movement,” he added.

He also continues to be impressed with the Cloverdale fans. “Our crowd was just really awesome,” said coach Rady.

Looking ahead, coach Rady feels they need to work on their defense and on crashing the boards. They struggled to stop the Clay City drive and they were outrebounded 32-28, giving up 11 offensive rebounds.

Their excellent performances and outstanding record have helped the Clovers to a ranking of number six in the Associated Press (AP) Poll as of February 17.

Coach Rady says he has talked with his team about their status in the poll. “We want to keep it going,” he said. But they don’t want it to be all they think about. They know they have to keep working hard to keep it going.

Cooper ended up with 36 points against Clay City to lead his team on the scoreboard. Moore finished with 22 points, while Collett had nine, Schroer eight, and Scott seven.

On the boards, Scott continues to lead the team, pulling down five rebounds. Collett had seven rebounds, and Moore, Neese and Schroer each had four.

Clay City had four players in double figures. Evan Rogers and Logan Cesinger each had 16 points, and Easton Boone and Trevor Singer each had 13.

The final game of the regular season is scheduled for tonight, Tuesday, when the Clovers play host to the Rockville Rox. It will be senior night for the Clovers. Seniors Kade Schroer and Kedrick Collett will be honored prior to the start of the varsity game for their dedication to the basketball program at Cloverdale.

Junior varsity play is set to play their final game Tuesday starting at 6:00 p.m. The varsity squad will take the floor at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The draw for the 2014 IHSAA Boys’ Basketball Tournament was held Sunday afternoon. Cloverdale will be participating in the South Putnam Sectional March 4, 5, 7, and 8.

Cascade (3-16) and Covenant Christian (8- 11) will play the opening game of the sectional Tuesday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. Cloverdale and Speedway (12-6) will play Wednesday, March 5 at 6 p.m., followed by South Putnam (4-15) and North Putnam (9-9) at around 7:30 p.m.

The first semifinal game will be played Friday, March 7 at 6 p.m., with Monrovia (2-17) taking on the winner of Tuesday’s game. Wednesday’s winners will match up at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Friday’s winners will play in the championship game Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.

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