It all came down to the last few minutes.
Cloverdale battled back and South Putnam 50-all with just three minutes left, and it was a ball game from then on. Both teams exchanged points and Clovedale got within one point of South Putnam's lead when Chase Haltom hit an inside jumper, making it 62-61, but the Eagles prevailed. The Clovers fouled Greg Chestnut and sent him to the charity stripe for two and he hit them both for the final, 64-61 Friday at McAnally.
With its win over Cloverdale, South Putnam moved it's record to 2-0 and advanced to the championship game of the Putnam County Tournament, while the Clovers drop to 1-1 and will play in the consolation game Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
"There were positive and negatives to this game and one game doesn't make a season and that's what I told this team," CHS Coach Pat Rady said following the game.
Most people attending the game were probably expecting Haltom to steal the spotlight, but it was Chestnut who had the spotlight in the first half. Chestnut came out and hit three big treys for the Eagles in the first quarter, starting the Eagles off on the path to victory.
South Putnam's defense and rebounding shut down the Clovers offense in the first quarter. Cloverdale was only able to score 11 points in the first quarter while the Eagles blew up the score board with 19 points and grabbed six boards to the Clovers one.
Chestnut got hot again in the second quarter, hitting two more three pointers back-to-back, but Cloverdale was able to bounce back, outscoring the Eagles, 14-10.
After the first half, Chestnut had 16 of his 27 points while Cloverdale's Haltom only had two points total for the first half.
"I wasn't sure how Greg was going to respond after not having much playing time in our first game, due to an ankle injury," SPHS Coach Kyle Brewer said. "He provided us with a good offensive lift in the beginning of the game."
Chestnut might have stolen the show in the first half, but it was the Haltom show in the second half.
Haltom sparked the Clovers offense that battled back from a 29-25 deficit at the half. Haltom came through, putting up 10 of the Clovers 16 third quarter points.
South Putnam didn't take Haltom's points lightly. Drew Christy counter Haltom's points with six of his own from the three-point line while Matt Hicks threw up eight inside the paint.
After three-quarters of play, South Putnam led by four, 45-41.
The Clovers posted their best quarter performance in the fourth, when they outscored South Putnam, 20-19. Haltom took charge of the Clovers offense again scoring 14 of their 20 points. Haltom finished the night with 26 points, but it was the Eagles last few free throws that sealed the deal.
"A big key was us hitting our free-throws in the last minute of the game," Brewer said. "And Haltom played a big second half for the Clovers.
"Our guys showed a lot of composer when we built that lead up in the beginning and when Cloverdale battled back," Brewer said.
Despite losing the game Rady was pleased with the way his team played.
"I think both teams played well for this early in the season. South Putnam was a good shooting ball club (Friday), we just have to do a better job blocking out on shots and hopefully we learn from it, but one game doesn't make a season," he said.
The Eagles play the winner of the North Putnam and Greencastle game in the championship round, while Cloverdale will play the loser of the two. The consolation game starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and the championship game will follow at 8 p.m.
Along with Chestnut's scoring, Matt Hicks scored 21 points for the Eagles while Drew Christy finished with nine. Zach Rhine chipped in four points while Den Anderson had three.
In light of Haltom's point's, Cloverdale received six points from Michael Neese while Craig Blair chipped in four points. Eli Trinkle scored eight points awhile Kyle McCammon had nine and Ryan Dean scored six. Luke Lovins had two points.
Cloverdale 11 14 16 20 - 61
South Putnam 19 10 16 19 -- 64
CL -- Neese 2- 2-2, 6; Blair 2 0-0, 4; Haltom 9 5-6, 26; Trinkle 4 0-1, 8; McCammon 3 3-4, 9; Lovins 1 0-0, 2; Dean 3 0-0. FG -- 24. TP -- 61
SP -- Rhine 2 0-2, 4; Christy 3 0-0, 9; Anderson 1 0-0, 3; Chestnut 8 6-6; 27; Hicks 9 4-4; 21. FG -- 27. TP -- 64
3PT -- CL 2 (Haltom 2); 9 (Chestnut 5). Rebounds -- CL 14 (Trinkle 5); SP -- 21 (Hicks 10). Steals -- CL 5 (McCammon 3); SP 2 (Christy 1, Chestut 1). Total Fouls -- CL 14, SP 17. Fouled Out -- None.
Next Game -- The Eagles play the winner of the North Putnam and Greencastle game in the championship round, while Cloverdale will play the loser of the two. The consolation game starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday while the championship game will follow at 8 p.m.