2018-03-07 / Front Page

Clovers defeat North Putnam for fourth consecutive title

Regional semi-final will be held at Greenfield-Central High School Saturday morning versus Shenandoah
AMANDA YORK


Nolan Kelly lets a three fly in the second half of Friday night’s sectional semi-final win over South Putnam. Kelly ended his night with seven points. 
AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD Nolan Kelly lets a three fly in the second half of Friday night’s sectional semi-final win over South Putnam. Kelly ended his night with seven points. AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD The Clovers came, they saw, and they conquered the North Putnam Eagles Saturday evening to win their fourth consecutive IHSAA sectional title, 63-38.

“What an accomplishment… winning four sectionals in a row!” Cloverdale head coach Pat Rady said. “We talk to the kids all the time that ‘We Play For Cloverdale.’ The brand ‘Cloverdale Clover basketball’ is bigger than any one of us. It was here before us and will be here long after we are gone. However, it is up to each one of us to leave an impact on the program.

“We talk about leaving a legacy in the Cloverdale basketball program,” Rady continued. “Our seniors, Jalen (Moore) and Nick (Winders) are now 12-0 in sectional play, that’s leaving a legacy. ”


Jalen Moore glides through the air for two of his game-high 21 points Friday evening. 
AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD Jalen Moore glides through the air for two of his game-high 21 points Friday evening. AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD Although the game, for all intents and purposes, was a blowout the final score was not indicative of how the game began.

“North Putnam came, jumped out from the tip, and made some big shots,” Rady explained. “We got down seven points early, but we were able to get back to playing Clover defense. After trailing 17-15 in the first quarter, we held them to 21 points over the next three quarters.”

After the first frame, the Cougars held a two-point lead, 17-15. But as Coach Rady said, the Cloverdale defense came out in full force the rest of the way. The Clovers held North Putnam to just eight points in the second quarter.

The trio of Jalen Moore, Jake Wilkes, and Nolan Kelly went off in the second, scoring a combined 33 points. Moore finished the quarter with 16, Kelly nine and Wilkes eight. Moore had 22 points total in the first half while Wilkes finished the half with 14 and Kelley had 12.


Clayton Miller (#22) scores against South Putnam. He finished with two points and one rebound. 
AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD Clayton Miller (#22) scores against South Putnam. He finished with two points and one rebound. AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD The CHS defense kept up the pressure in the second half, holding the Cougars to eight points in the third and 15 in the final eight minutes.

Moore chipped in another seven points in the third and four in the fourth while Wilkes added three in the third and one in the fourth. Moore led the Clover offense with 33 points total while Wilkes finished with a double-double, 18 points and 14 rebounds and Kelly had 12 points.

“Although the other players, Jake Kelley, Nick Winders, Parker Watts and Clayton Miller did not score, their presence was felt all week as each one stepped up at different times,” Coach Rady noted, “All seven players in the rotation played well on the defensive end!”


Cloverdale senior Nick Winders guards South Putnam’s Allen Plunkett late in the game Friday evening. Winders finished Friday night’s contest with six points and five rebounds. 
AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD Cloverdale senior Nick Winders guards South Putnam’s Allen Plunkett late in the game Friday evening. Winders finished Friday night’s contest with six points and five rebounds. AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD To get to the championship game, the Clovers first had to defeat the home team, the South Putnam Eagles Friday evening. After four quarters of play, Cloverdale ended the Eagles season, 60-37.

The Clovers came out on fire Friday, holding an 18-8 lead after one quarter of play. They added 10 in the second and never looked back, outscoring the Eagles 10-5 in the second, 18-11 in the third and 14-13 in the fourth for the 23-point victory.

“Our defense was really good the entire week,” Coach Rady noted, once again about the CHS defense. “We held South Putnam to 13 first-half points and played a great second half against Monrovia holding them to 21 second-half points. When our players focus on the defensive end first, it normally translates into better offensive production. Our 3-point shooting was phenomenal all week!”


Parker Watts drives around South Putnam’s Thomas Fanning Friday. Watts had nine points and two rebounds in the contest. 
AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD Parker Watts drives around South Putnam’s Thomas Fanning Friday. Watts had nine points and two rebounds in the contest. AMANDA YORK | SPENCER EVENING WORLD Jalen Moore led Cloverdale with 21 points and four rebounds while Jake Wilkes had 10 points and 3 rebounds, Parker Watts nine points and two rebounds, Nolan Kelly seven points and three rebounds, Nick Winders six points and five rebounds, Jake Kelly five points, Clayton Miller two points and one rebound and Mark Gill one rebound.

The Clovers, now, 20-6 on the season, will travel to Greenfield-Central High School Saturday for regional competition.

Cloverdale will take on the Shenandoah Raiders (21-4) at 12 noon.

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