CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Clovers boys' basketball team hosted a powerful Edgewood Mustang team Tuesday night. The Clovers hoped to get a win against a team boasting a 14-2 record entering the game, with Edgewood's only losses coming at the hands of Bloomington North and South.
Before the game began, the Cloverdale team members presented their coach, Pat Rady, a lettered basketball to honor Rady for coaching his 650th career victory, the Clovers' win over South Vermillion last Thursday night.
The game was intensely played by both teams, but Cloverdale played its best game of the year, defeating Edgewood 80-73.
The win improved the Clovers record to 14-4 with two games remaining before the sectional begins, Rockville, in the final home game of the season this Friday night, and the regular season finale at Eminence the following Friday.
Cloverdale led at each stop, 21-19 at the end of the first quarter, 41-33 at halftime, 56-49 at the end of the third period, and the final 80-73, by running an efficient offense against Edgewood's man-to-man defense.
The Clovers' offense generated balanced scoring, 15 assists, and only eight turnovers, while their defense limited Edgewood to 42 percent shooting from the floor, and caused the Mustangs to commit 12 errors.
Cloverdale's offense allowed every Clover to score in the game. Michael Neese, Craig Blair, Chase Haltom, and Kyle McCammon all scored in double figures and Luke Lovins, Ryan Dean, and Christian Cheatham scored for the home team.
'Edgewood is a fine ball club,' commented coach Rady after the game. 'They entered the game with only two losses, those coming to the Bloomington schools.'
'We knew we had to really come in strong and I challenged the players to play 32 minutes and to play each possession.
'For a game like this, and for us to have less than 10 turnovers was a tribute to the players, their dedication to playing that type of game, and we didn't slow it up. We fast breaked if we had the opportunity. I thought the kids played hard on both ends.
'Our defense was good, until the last four or five minutes of the game when our post defense went astray. Give credit to Edgewood for getting the ball inside, and give credit to their (Garrett) Butcher. He is a very fine player and outstanding in so many ways.'
'We are real pleased with our play and the scoring balance. I thought we were getting help off of the bench and we are getting a good balance and that just makes you tougher.
'By far this was the best game we've played all year,' added Rady.
Haltom led the Clovers with 21, while Neese had 17, Blair had 16 and McCammon scored 10.
Lovins followed with six, Dean had three, and Cheatham closed out the Clover scoring with two points.
Neese pulled down five rebounds, and Cheatham, Lovins, and Dean grabbed three each.
Lovins had a game-high two blocked shots. McCammon had a game-high six assists.
Haltom had a game-high four steals.
In the junior varsity game, Cloverdale lost to Edgewood, 38-19.
Kevin Gregg led the scoring with seven, followed by Seth Trinkle with six, Ryan Shoulders and Aaron Dayhuff closed out the Cloverdale scoring with three points each.
The Clovers (14-4, 5-1 WCC) host Rockville Friday night in the final home game of the season. The junior varsity game will begin at 6 p.m.
Cloverdale 21 20 15 24 -- 80
Edgewood 19 14 16 24 -- 73
Cloverdale (14-4, 5-1 WCC) -- Neese 5-9 5-6 17, Blair 4-4 7-9 16, Haltom 8-12 1-3 21, Cheatham 1-4 0-0 2, McCammon 5-15 2-2 15, Lovins 3-4 0-0 6, Dean 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 27-49 FG, 16-22 FT, 80 TP.
Edgewood (14-3) -- McGlone 1-2 0-0 2, Breeden 0-1 0-0 0, Beeman 0-1 0-0 0, Deckard 3-7 0-0 8, Lay 3-7 1-1 7, Pederson 1-2 1-1 3, Miller 4-10 3-4 12, Lowers 0-3 0-0 0, Barger 0-0 0-0 0, Butcher 10-16 16-17 36, Weakley 2-9 0-0 5. Totals 24-57 FG, 21-23, FT, 73 TP.
3-pt. FG -- C 10-25 (Neese 2-4, Blair 1-1, Haltom 4-6, Cheatham 0-1, McCammon 3-13), E 4-14 (Beeman 0-1, Deckard 2-4, Miller 1-3, Lowers 0-1, Weakley 1-5). Rebounds -- C 18 (Neese 5, Blair 2, Haltom 1, Cheatham 3, McCammon 1, Lovins 3, Dean 3), E 31 (McGlone 1, Breeden 1, Deckard 1, Lay 4, Miller 3, Lowers 2, Butcher 17, Weakley 2). Blocks --C 5 (Haltom 1, Cheatham 1, Lovins 2, Dean 1), E 0. Assists - C 14 (Neese 2, Blair 1, Haltom 3, Cheatham 2, McCammon 6), E 15 (Breeden 1, Deckard 4, Lay 2, Miller 3, Lowers 1, Butcher 3, Weakley 1). Steals - C 7 (Neese 1, Haltom 4, McCammon 1, Lovins 1), E 3 (Lowers 1, Weakley 2). Total fouls - C 17, E 20. Fouled out - none. Turnovers - C 8, E 12.
Next game - The Clovers (14-4, 5-1 WCC) host Rockville Friday night in the final home game of the season. The junior varsity game will begin at 6 p.m.