With Chase Haltom hitting the outside shot and Luke Lovins blocking anything that came his way, the Cloverdale High School boys' basketball team coasted to a 67-54 victory over the Eastern Greene Thunderbirds Saturday.
Haltom ended the night leading the Clovers' offense with 26 points while Lovins took care of business in the paint. Lovins finished the night with five blocks, and chipped in eight points.
"Eastern Greene is a good ball club and they have a lot of athleticism and this was a good win for us," CHS Coach Pat Rady said following the Clovers win. "Lovins did what I told him to and kept his hands up and got some blocks for us."
Cloverdale wasted no time with the visiting Thunderbirds, capturing a lead that it would never relinquish after going on a 12-0 run in the first few minutes of the game.
Kyle McCammon started things for Cloverdale, hitting a long three-pointer after the tipoff. After McCammon's three, Haltom stepped up and scored five points for the Clovers with three of them coming from downtown while Michael Neese followed with two inside jumpers.
The Clovers were leading 12-0 with just four minutes left in the first quarter, when Eastern Greene attempted to come back, scoring seven straight points. But that would be as close as they would come to the Clovers lead for the rest of the night.
After the first quarter the Clovers led 17-11.
In the second quarter, the Clovers extended their six-point lead to 13 with precise shooting from the three-point line. Haltom hit two more big three-point shots back-to-back while Kyle Faletic and McCammon both chipped in one-three pointer each in the second quarter.
The Clovers shot 47 percent, going 9-for-19 from the three-point land with Haltom shooting 55 percent for himself hitting 6-of-11.
The Clovers closed out the first half with a comfortable 37-24 lead.
The story stayed the same for Cloverdale in the third quarter. Briefly after the start, the Clovers brought the ball down the court and Haltom did it again, nailing back-to-back three's. Haltom pulled the first one up and sunk it, and following the shot, Eastern Greene fouled the Clovers and gave them the ball back, as Haltom hit another one on the inbound play.
Eastern Greene tried to put something together in the third quarter but just couldn't get anything going and the Clovers outscored the T-Birds 14-12, but the fourth quarter was different.
In the last quarter of the game, Eastern Greene finally got an offense put together and outscored the Clovers 18-16 making the fourth quarter its best quarter of play. Buster Voils came to life for the Thunderbirds, scoring 12 of the team's 18 quarter points. Voils sparked an eight-point run for Eastern Greene, but it wasn't enough. The Thunderbirds got into foul trouble in the last two minutes of the game and the Clovers capitalized on it, going 8-for-10 from the charity stripe.
"This was a game of runs and we just hoped that our runs went further than theirs did," Rady said.
Despite the victory, Rady still saw some things that need improvement on his team.
"There are still a lot of areas that we need to improve in if were going to make good of the season," Rady said.
The Clovers next opponent won't be so easy and Rady knows it. Cloverdale plays South Putnam Friday in the first round of the Putnam County Tournament and South Putnam will be heading into the tournament off a big win like Cloverdale.
"South Putnam is a very talented team and I was impressed with their performance at Turkey Run and it should be a good game," Rady said.
Along with Haltom's and Lovins scoring, Cloverdale's offense was aided by Neese who had seven points while Craig Blair and Faletic had three points each. Eli Trinkle chipped in one point and McCammon put up 15 points. Ryan Dean and Tyer Cooper had two points each.
In junior varsity action, Cloverdale lost 51-34 with Seth Trinkle finishing with five points, Robbie Randall with six and Justin Hacker with four. Steven Sharpee came through with two points while Kevin Gregg scored five and Ryan Shouldess scored six. Aaron Dayhuff, Brandon Mescall and Dale Johnson had two points each.
Eastern Greene 11 13 12 18 - 54
Cloverdale 17 20 14 16 - 67
CL - Neese 3 1-2, 7, Blair 1 1-2, 3, Haltom 10 0-0, 26, Faletic 1 0-0, 3, Trinkle 0 1-2,1, McCammon 4 5-6, 15, Cooper 1 0-0, 2, Lovins 4 2-2, 8, Dean 1 0-0, 2
EG - Arnold 1 0-0 2, Fender 2 0-0 4, Strange 2, 1-2, 6, Voils 7 4-4, 20, Chitwood 5 1-2, 11, Roberts 2 0-0 4, Stranger 1 1-2, 3, Phillips 2 0-0 4.
3pt - CL 9 (Haltom 6), EG 2 (Strange 1, Voils 1). Rebounds - CL 14 (Dean 3), EG 14 (Chitwood 6). Assists - CL 5 (Haltom 3), EG 1 (Stranger 1). Blocks - CL 5 (Lovins 5), EG O. Total Fouls - CL 12, EG 18. Fouled Out - Fender (EG). Steals - CL 3, EG 0. FT - CL 10-13, EG 7-10.
JV - Cloverdale lost, 51-34.
Next game - The Clovers take on South Putnam Friday at South Putnam in the first round of the Putnam County Tournament.