2016-02-23 / Front Page

Rady’s Clovers Open Sectional Play March 1st Against North Putnam Cougars At Southmont

by Brent Ranard
for The Hoosier Topics


Sophomore point guard Jalen Moore is averaging 18.9 points per contest for the Clovers. He has connected on 49 three-pointers and leads the team in assists with 108. (File Photo) Sophomore point guard Jalen Moore is averaging 18.9 points per contest for the Clovers. He has connected on 49 three-pointers and leads the team in assists with 108. (File Photo) The draw for boys’ high school basketball sectional action was released on Sunday by the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA). In sectional 44 at Southmont High School, the Cloverdale Clovers (16- 7) will take on the North Putnam Cougars (8-15) in game two on Tuesday, March 1.

Game one, on Tuesday, will feature the Cascade Cadets (7-13) against the Monrovia Bulldogs (8-13). The winner of that game will play the host Southmont Mounties (9-12) in game one on Friday and the winner of the Cloverdale versus North Putnam game will play the South Putnam Eagles (3-18) in game two on Friday.

The Clovers and the Cougars played each other way back on December 11th and Cloverdale came out on top 61-54. Many things have changed for both teams since that game. The Cougars have won five out of their last seven games including an upset over the Greencastle Tiger Cubs to take third place in the Putnam County


Junior shooting guard Cooper Neese is currently third in the state in scoring averaging 29.1 points per game for the Clovers. He has hit 90 three-pointers in the regular season and pulled down a team-high 207 rebounds. (File Photo) Junior shooting guard Cooper Neese is currently third in the state in scoring averaging 29.1 points per game for the Clovers. He has hit 90 three-pointers in the regular season and pulled down a team-high 207 rebounds. (File Photo) Tourney.

Cloverdale first-year head coach Patrick Rady knows his Clovers will have their hands full. “From where all the teams started at the beginning of the season, I feel North Putnam has improved more than any team in the sectional,” he said. “Treyton Smith and Duke Duff are outstanding guards and they will challenge our defense for sure. Preston Porter and a couple others are shooting the ball extremely well so we must contest shots. North Putnam spreads the floor and you really have to be able to play good on-ball defense. Defensively they mix up their defenses and they play the 2-3 zone very well.”

Second-year Cougar head coach Collin McCartt is familiar with the Clovers as well. “Cloverdale has had a great season and obviously has the best player (Butler commit Cooper Neese) in our sectional,” he said. “Our goal, as is every teams goal, is to win the sectional. To think we weren’t going to have to go through Cloverdale to win it would have been ridiculous. Our team is looking forward to the challenge.”

Neese, a junior shooting guard, is currently third in the state in scoring with a 29.1 per game average. Sophomore point guard Jalen Moore is 57th in the state averaging 18.9 points per contest. McCartt knows his Cougars will have to keep track of these two if they want to advance to Friday night. “It will be very difficult to slow down Moore and Neese. They are both great players. We’re going to have to make sure that we are able to contest as many shots as possible,” he added. “Our first game with Cloverdale was very competitive. We’ll have to defend a little better to come out with the win.”

When asked how they liked their draw and who they though got the best draw in the field, both coaches had similar ideas.

“I told the players I didn’t have a particular draw I wanted. I think when it is the luck of a draw you can only lead yourself to be disappointed if it doesn’t come out how you want it,” Rady noted. “One could make an argument that Southmont got the best draw, being the host and getting the bye. I think each and every team in the sectional has a unique style of play and the team that can impose their style the most consistently all week will come out on top.”

McCartt’s thoughts were similar. “Since we have no control over the draw, I try to never have a preference on who we draw,” the Cougar head coach added. “Because this sectional is so wide open, I’m not sure you can say any team got the ‘best draw.’ Obviously you can look at Southmont and South Putnam who would only have to play two games as opposed to all three games to win it as having a little bit of an advantage.”

The Clovers have to go into the sectional as the favorites on paper. They are defending champs and have the best overall record at 16-7. They are 6-0 against the sectional field and have beaten every team at least once. But Indiana high school basketball in March can be a strange thing. It is the “second season” and all records are thrown out. There should be some exciting basketball all across the state and the 2A Southmont sectional will be no exception.

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