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Monday, May 2, 2016

Clovers to take on T-Birds

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cloverdale's Craig Blair goes for a shot over Trent Chitwood of Eastern Greene. The two teams will face off in the first round of the Graber Post Buildings Classic in Elnora on Dec. 27.
Sports Editor

It's been an up-and-down season for the Cloverdale High School boys' basketball team so far.

The Clovers are hoping to bring their fortunes back up Wednesday when they face Eastern Greene in the first round of the Graber Post Building Classic at North Daviess High School in Elnora.

CHS enters the tournament with a record of 4-3 and coming off a loss to Tri-West on the road last Saturday, 84-67.

Cloverdale's 17-point loss to the Bruins was their most lopsided of the season despite the fact that three CHS players scored in double figures.

Craig Blair led the way with 22 points, and backcourt partner Michael Neese chipped in with 16. Christian Cheatham added 17 points for the Clovers.

Those three have been the focus of Cloverdale's offense all season long, and all three are averaging double digits in scoring.

Blair is having a banner season for the Clovers, averaging 22.6 points per game. The CHS junior has scored under 20 points just once this season, a 53-47 loss to Greencastle in the opening round of the Putnam County Tournament.

His season-high is 29 points, reached in the Clovers' 76-52 win over Monrovia at home last Friday.

Neese is coming in with an average of 18.9 points per game, including a 27-point performance in a 73-53 win over South Putnam on Dec. 2.

Cheatham rounds out the Clovers' top three with an average of 10.7 points per game. His 17-point performance against Tri-West was his season high.

The three account for 52.1 of the Clovers' 63.3 points per game this season.

The Clovers will face an Eastern Greene squad that has fallen on hard times so far this season.

The two-time defending Class 2A sectional champions enter the tournament with a record of 2-4, having just lost to Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference and Greene County rival Bloomfield, 37-33, in overtime.

Eastern played its contest against the Cardinals without leading scorer Jeremy Stanger, however.

Stanger, who is averaging about 14 points per game for the Thunderbirds, sat out the SWIAC contest with an injured left foot.

Jake Birch led Eastern in scoring against Bloomfield, finishing with 10 points. Senior Trent Chitwood had a good all-around game for the Thunderbirds, finishing with six points, three steals, three assists, one blocked shot and a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Thunderbirds' two victories this season came in a 49-45 win over Mitchell on Dec. 1 and a 63-42 victory against North Knox on Dec. 9.

Eastern has lost its last two games and is putting up an average of 48.8 points per game this season.

The Clovers and Thunderbirds will square off in Elnora on Wednesday, Dec. 27, with a scheduled start time of 6:30 p.m.

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