Despite trailing for more than three quarters Saturday, the Cloverdale boys' varsity basketball team found a way to win, defeating Riverton Parke, 65-61.
After a shaky first half, the Clovers outscored the Panthers 33-21 in the second half to come from behind for victory, improving their record to 3-1 on the season.
"I think overall when you have a postponed game, and you're out of school, you may have a little bit of sloppy play," Cloverdale Coach Pat Rady said. "But I thought we were able to turn around and play some pretty good basketball in the second half."
Cloverdale faced a 30-22 deficit at halftime, but came out determined in the third quarter. After back-to-back three-point field goals by Kyle McCammon and consecutive layups from Chase Haltom, Cloverdale started the third period on a 10-0 run, quickly tying the game at 32-all.
Riverton Parke answered with Michael McMullen hitting a three-pointer from the elbow. From there, the period saw each team exchange field goals, with Riverton Parke holding a slight, 43-42, lead going into the fourth quarter.
With the game tied at 46-all early in the fourth quarter, momentum started to shift in Cloverdale's favor. In particular, Haltom found his groove.
First, the senior guard hit a one-handed floater in the key. He made a steal at half court, passed ahead to Christian Cheatham for a layup and followed with an acrobatic layup to give Cloverdale a 50-48 lead.
Haltom then hit Cheatham again in the lane for an easy two points with 5:25 remaining. After a forced turnover, Haltom then pulled up for an easy jumper from the free-throw line to give Cloverdale its largest lead of the game, 54-48.
"We did a great job defensively in the second half," Rady said. "We got some turnovers and some easy baskets. And I thought the ball dropped better more for us."
Haltom finished the game with 16 points, five assists, six steals and four rebounds in the game. McCammon was the Clovers' leading scorer, hitting four three-pointers, while going 6-of-7 from the line for 18 points.
The Clovers forced 19 turnovers in the contest. The starting backcourt of Haltom and junior Michael Neese had 11 steals in the game.
"I think that always helps your confidence and helps your total game," Rady said.
Cloverdale withstood strong performances from Riverton Parke's senior guard Derek Cleghorn, 6-foot-4 senior forward Michael McMullen and 6-foot-5 forward Evan Lunsford. While Cleghorn had 14 points, McMullen led all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds, dominating the interior with Lunsford, who grabbed eight rebounds and scored 14 points of his own.
"Riverton Parke is a very fine basketball team," Rady said. "And we knew that going in. Michael (Head Coach Michael Menser) has done a good job. They've got some outstanding shooters, and their big kids were really strong inside.
The Panthers outrebounded the Clovers 27-21 in the game. This is an area Rady knows his team is going to have to improve on.
"We've got to block out better," Rady said. "We've got to be conscious of where the ball is at, and try to get in better position."
Cheatham led the Clovers with six rebounds in the game, while scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting on the night. Along with Haltom, Ryan Dean was Cloverdale's second-leading rebounder with four boards.
Although Rady is happy to come away with a win, he knows his team has their work cut out for them. First thing first, the Clovers host Clay City Tuesday.
"They're another fine ball club," Rady said. "It's another three-game week. We've got to be ready and come at it hard Monday."
Riverton Parke 13 17 13 8
Cloverdale 12 10 20 13
Riverton Parke - Fox 1 0-0 2, Cleghorn 5 1-1 14, Morgan 7 6-7 20, Mager 1 0-0, Lunsford 5 2-5 14, McMullen 3 1-2 9. Totals FG 22, FT 9-15, TP 61.
Cloverdale - Neese 2 4-4 8, Blair 2 0-0 4, Haltom 7 2-5 16, Cheatham 5 0-2 10, McCammon 4 6-7 18, Lovins 2 1-1 5, Dean 1 2-2 4. Totals, FG 23, FT 15-21, TP 65.
3-pt. - Riverton Parke 7 (Cleghorn 3), Cloverdale 4 (McCammon 4), Rebounds - Riverton Parke 27 (Morgan 11), Cloverdale 21 (Cheatham 6), Assists - Riverton Parke 10 (Fox 5), Cloverdale 11 (Haltom 5), Steals - Riverton Parke 5 (Fox 2), Cloverdale 14 (Haltom 6).
Next game -- Cloverdale hosts Clay City Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.