SPENCER -- After Cloverdale High School's girls' basketball team fell behind early in Monday's road game with Owen Valley, it was clear that the Clovers were in for a long night.
CHS fell to 1-2 on the season after taking a 73-44 pounding at the hands of the Patriots Monday.
"I thought they were definitely a deserving team," Cloverdale coach Bruce Cook said. "We've played them four times in the last three months, and they beat us four times. I just think they're a very good team, and they're very well-coached."
Owen Valley jumped out to a 14-7 lead after the first quarter and never relinquished the lead.
The Patriots continued to put Cloverdale through the ringer in the second quarter, outscoring the Clovers 21-11 in the period to head into the halftime break with a 35-18 advantage.
Sam Stahl scored a game-high 22 points for the Patriots and was one of three Owen Valley players to finish Monday's game in double figures.
Sam Cooper finished with 11, and Adrian Gillaspy had 10.
Twins Hannah and Nickole Gonser combined for 14 points against the Clovers Monday
In addition to her six points, Heather Gonser pulled down six boards and tallied four steals.
"They played well, and they played hard," Cook said. "Stahl is still the leader of that team, but she's got a lot of support from Gillaspy and the Gonser twins, and I really thought the Cooper girl played well.
Coming into the second half, Cloverdale surrendered another strong quarter to the Patriots, who built a 58-32 lead heading into the fourth.
The Clovers made a run at the Patriots in the final quarter behind the strong play of Heather Moon, who led CHS with 14 points.
But the game was out of reach, and the Clovers were handed their second loss of the season.
Both the Clovers and the Patriots connected on 15 two-point field goals in Monday's game, but Owen Valley had a decisive advantage at the free throw stripe and behind the three-point arc.
Owen Valley buried nine three-pointers in the game, including three each from Gillaspy and Cooper. Cloverdale scored on a pair of treys in the game, both from sophomore Kriste McCammon.
At the free throw line, the Patriots were 16-of-19, compared to just 8-of-14 for Cloverdale.
"The difference (Monday) was definitely the three-point shots," Cook said. "That's a difference of 21 points."
Cook also acknowledged that his team simply didn't have an answer for Stahl, who was 8-of-9 at the free throw line and connected on two three-pointers.
"We didn't do a bad job on Stahl, but even when things were going well for us, she'd step back and hit a three or a long jumper," Cook said.
Despite the lopsided score, Cook said that there were plenty of things his team did well Monday night.
The fourth-year head coach of the Clovers was particularly happy with his team's willingness to take the open shot.
"I thought we got into our offense pretty well, and I thought we looked for the shot," Cook said. "That was foremost in our mind. In some years we've looked to pass first then shoot, but we're looking to shoot, and our confidence is good."
Cook was also pleased with the play of Moon and guard Chelsie Haltom.
"I thought Heather played well for us. She's got a nice, soft touch with her shot, but she plays tough. She's kind of the girl now that everybody rallies around," Cook said. "And Chelsie took care of the ball pretty well for us. Their press didn't really bother us, and that led to them going into a 1-3-1, and that's a credit to Chelsie and her ball-handling."
The Clovers opened their season with a loss to Tri-West before beating Union (Dugger), which finished the 2005-06 season at 15-5, last week prior to Monday's loss.
Also, the Clovers will open the Putnam County Tournament at South Putnam Thursday.
But Cook said the adversity that the Clovers have faced so early in the season can only help them along the way.
"Our schedule dictates to us that we get Tri-West, Dugger, which had a great season and last year, and Owen Valley, who's always tough, in the first three weeks," Cook said. "But that's just making us better. We're hoping to peak around sectionals, and we're looking forward to a great county tourney."
In junior varsity action, the Clovers fell to the Patriots, 49-26.
Cloverdale will take on the Greencastle Tiger Cubs Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at South Putnam High School.
At Owen Valley
Cloverdale (44) -- Koosman 3 1-2 7, McCammon 3 0-0 5, Moon 6 2-2 14, Monnett 3 3-5 9, Haltom 1 2-3 4, Schroer 1 0-2 2. 17 FG 8-14 FT 44 TP.
Owen Valley (73) -- H. Gonser 2 2-2 6, N. Gonser 4 0-0 8, Stahl 6 8-9 22, Gillaspy 3 1-2 10, Cooper 4 0-0 11, Matsel 3 2-2 9, Sweatman 1 1-2 3, Strunk 1 2-2 4, Henson 0 0-0 0. 24 FG 16-19 FT 73 TP.
Cloverdale 7 11 14 12 -- 44
Owen Valley 14 21 23 15 -- 73
3-point shooting -- Cloverdale 2 (McCammon 2), Owen Valley 9 (Gillaspy 3, Cooper 3, Stahl 2, Matsel 1). Personal Fouls -- Cloverdale 14, Owen Valley 18.
Junior Varsity -- Owen Valley won, 49-26
Next Game -- The Clovers (1-2) will be in action again Thursday when they face Greencastle in the opening round of the Putnam County Tournament at South Putnam, beginning at 6:30 p.m.