Saturday night was a battle of four talented players at the McAnally Center.
The combination of Cloverdale guards Chase Haltom and Kyle McCammon teamed to outscore the North Putnam tandem of Riley McGaughey and Jake Mullis, 55-50, leading Cloverdale to a 71-57 win over North Putnam in the consolation round of the Putnam County Tournament.
"Coming back after a tough loss last night, I was very proud of the play of the kids tonight," Cloverdale Coach Pat Rady said. "It was a nice win over a good ball club."
Haltom scored 29 points to lead the Clovers, knocking down 9-of-15 field goals and six three pointers to lead the Clovers. McCammon added 26 to the effort with seven field goals while hitting 6-of-8 free throws in the game. The two Cloverdale guards scored all but 15 points in the effort.
"I thought we played the other guys pretty well tonight," North Putnam Coach Wes Peek said. "But you can't give two guys 29 and 26 and expect to win."
Displaying a confident jumper and good moves through the lane, Mullis matched Haltom with 29 points in the game. With the hot hand, he made 9-of-14 shots from the floor, hitting four three-point field goals and shooting 7-of-9 from the line.
"Jake is a kid that's capable of that kind of night regularly," Peek said. "The more experience he gets, the more nights like that he's going to have."
McGaughey was the big bruiser down low, scoring 21 points in the game on nine field goals while grabbing five rebounds.
"Riley is a guy that you can always count on to play as hard as he can, win or lose," Peek said of McGaughey's effort.
The game started fast and physical, with each team matching punch for punch. McCammon took a sweeping left hander through the lane for a layup to put Cloverdale on the board, and North Putnam followed with Lee Fordice finding Cory Fordice for an easy bucket down low.
Tied at 6-all, McCammon pulled up for a long three, breaking the game open at 9-6, and starting a 9-0 Cloverdale run. The Clovers ended the first half with a 22-13 lead.
North Putnam never really recovered.
"I thought we came out pretty flat," Peek said. "I don't know if it was tired legs, but they played the same game we played last night. We just didn't match their intensity early."
Another long Cloverdale three-pointer from Haltom stretched the lead to 30-15 midway through the second quarter. A Tyler Trent steal and layup, followed by McGaughey making a strong move to the rack helped close the lead to 32-24 going into halftime, but the Cougars struggled to pull any closer.
"I don't know if we got down on ourselves our what, but we just never seemed to recover at any point," Peek said.
Cloverdale outscored the Cougars, 21-19, in the third period and, 18-14, in the final stanza. With McGaughey and Mullis scoring all but seven of the Cougars' points, the Cougars struggled to get others involved offensively throughout.
"We didn't have any post opportunities because of the zone they were playing and how much pressure they would put on our guards when they would trap," Peek said.
Both teams had 23 rebounds in the contest. Lee Fordice had a game-high eight rebounds in the game. Cloverdale was led by 5-foot-11 guard Michael Neese in rebounding with seven in the contest.
"We still need to rebound and play defense," Rady said. "Closeouts and rebounding -- those are two things that we really need to work on this week."
The Clovers move to 2-1 on the season and host Greencastle Friday at 7:30 p.m. After scouting the Tiger Cubs in the tournament, Rady knows his team will have another tough task.
"I was very impressed with them last night," he said. "They're a very strong ball club. So you've got to be playing at your best when you play Greencastle."
North Putnam moves to 0-3 on the season and plays Crawfordsville Saturday at 7 p.m. Like Cloverdale, the Cougars are expecting a tough game from a talented team.
After the game Saturday, Peek already knew what the focus is going to be in the meantime.
"We're going to play a lot of defense in the next five or six days," he said.
North Putnam 13 11 19 14 -- 57
Cloverdale 22 10 21 18 -- 71
North Putnam - Ensor 0-5 0-0 0, Fordice 1-2 0-1 2, L. Fordice 0-5 0-0, 9-14 3-6 21, B. Dahlstrom 0-2 0-0 0, Mullis 9-14 7-9 29, Trent 2-2 0-0 4, G. Dahlstrom 0-0 1-3 1, Blaydes 0-0 0-0. Totals FG 21-44, FT 11-19, TP 57.
Cloverdale - Neese 0-5 3-4 3, Blair 2-3 2-2 6, Haltom 9-15 6-7 29, McCammon 7-12 6-8 26, Cheatham 0-2 0-0 0, Trinkle 1-1 0-0 2, Cooper 1-2 0-0 2, Lovins 1-3 0-0 2, Dean 0-2 0-0 0. Totals FG 21-45, FT 18-22, TP 71.
3 pt. - North Putnam 5 (Mullis 5), Cloverdale 9 (Haltom 6), Rebounds - North Putnam 23 (L. Fordice 8), Cloverdale 23 (Neese 7), Assists - North Putnam 9 (McGaughey 3), Cloverdale 10 (McCammon 3), Blocks - North Putnam 2 (McGaughey 1, B. Dahlstrom 1), Cloverdale 2 (Lovins 1, Dean 1).
Next games -- Cloverdale hosts Greeencastle Friday at 7:30 p.m., while North Putnam plays at Crawfordsville Saturday at 7 p.m.