2016-12-06 / Front Page

Neese scores 53 but Clovers fall on road to Southmont

By Brent Ranard
for the Spencer Evening World

Cooper Neese scored a career high 53 points on Saturday night but it was not enough as the Cloverdale Clovers fell 83-69 at Southmont Saturday night.

The Clovers led 16- 15 at the end of the first quarter as Neese scored 11 of those points. Seth Pfaff had a three-pointer and Jalen Moore added two from the charity stripe.

The Mounties broke the game open in the second quarter scoring 17 points to Cloverdale’s six. Neese was held to only two points in the period with Moore netting three and Pfaff one. Southmont went to the locker room with a 32-22 lead.

Southmont outscored Cloverdale 51-47 in an action-packed second half that saw Neese scorch the nets for 40 points. His team mates could only add seven points on a three by Jake Kelley and two each from Pfaff and Nick Winders.

The 14-point victory moved the Mounties to 4-0 on the season and the Clovers drop to 1-2. Pfaff finished with six, Moore five, Kelley three and Winders two, to go with Neese’s 53.

The 6’5” senior Indiana All Star candidate had 10 three-pointers and went 11-15 from the free throw line. At one point in the second half he scored 29 points in a row for the Clovers.

The Mounties were led by senior Kaleb Swick with 23 points. Junior Cam Chadd added 16 while classmate Cole Wemer netted 13.

Second year head coach Patrick Rady was impressed with the effort of Neese but knows that they will need a team effort to be successful this season. “We have not gelled as quickly as a team as I would have thought we would have,” he said. “That goes for the offensive and defensive end. Right now we are like a hand with five fingers spread apart and you don’t have a lot of force with an open hand. But when those fingers come together and make a fist then you have a lethal weapon.”

“As far as this game, I thought we defended really well in the first quarter,” Rady added. “Going in we felt the keys to victory were winning the transition game and keeping them out of the paint. We do those things in the first quarter but not so well in the last three. When we missed shots we didn’t sprint back in transition and defend the paint area which led to easy baskets for Southmont.”

Cloverdale will get a chance to regroup as they return home to Tucker Court on Tuesday night to take on the North Central Thunderbirds (0-3). Junior varsity action is set to tip off at 6 p.m. with the varsity game to follow at 7:30 p.m.

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