CHS spoils Cougar homecoming, 72-46

Saturday, January 19, 2008
CHS senior Craig Blair elevates for his first half buzzer beater in Fridays game at North Putnam. Blair scored 41 in Cloverdale's 72-46 victory

BAINBRIDGE -- After an 0-for-4 start, Cloverdale senior Craig Blair made his next 13 consecutive shots. The tear lasted from the late first quarter until the middle of the third.

When all was said and done, Blair had dropped 41 points on county rival North Putnam and the Clovers had a 72-46 victory.

Cloverdale coach Pat Rady has always believed in basketball as a team game, and does not like to discuss individual performances. After Friday's game, he made an exception for Blair -- sort of.

"I don't like to talk about individuals, but I told that individual after the game, about the points he had, 'You have some fine teammates who got the ball to you.' He also had some fine assists as well," Rady said.

Blair's hot streak was really the difference in the game, as the Clovers (6-8, 2-2 WCC) actually trailed the Cougars (1-10, 0-3 WCC) 10-6 after the first quarter.

Cloverdale turned it around, though, and scored 30 points in the second, 21 of which came from Blair.

Asked the difference in the first quarter and the rest of the game, North coach Wes Peek could only say it was Blair.

"I think we struggled to guard Craig Blair. He had 41 tonight, most of them in the second quarter," Peek said. "He's a pretty good player.

"We had three guys who we think are pretty good players guarding him, but we didn't get enough help," Peek continued. "He was able to get to the rim, and he's going to finish those."

Both coaches said they thought North came out hot because Friday was their homecoming. As the game settled in, though, Blair and the Clovers took over.

"I thought the second quarter was some of the best basketball we've played," Rady said. "I thought we had good ball movement. Our defense was good. We had pressure on the shooters and we got some easy buckets from our defense."

Although the Clovers were in control for the last three quarters, Rady was quick to give credit to North Putnam, noting that Cory Dean and Zach Hedrick, the Cougars two leading scorers when the two teams met in the county tournament, were both out of uniform Friday.

"North Putnam is really improved. Dahlstrom is giving them a strong inside game. They play tough defense and crash the boards and you have to be ready to play them," Rady said. "My hats off to North Putnam."

While Peek continues to see his team struggle, he cannot fault their effort.

"I'm really proud of the way our kids always play hard. They always compete whether the score is a 25-point spread or we're ahead. Their intensity level doesn't change," Peek said. "Our guys have done a good job of dealing with a lot of adversity we've faced on the court and off. We'll just keep plugging away."

Brock Jones led the Cougars with 11 points.

Cloverdale is back on the road tonight at 7:30 p.m. at North Central (Farmersburg). North Putnam will visit Greencastle at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

At North Putnam

Cloverdale 6 30 17 19 -- 72

North Putnam 10 14 8 14 -- 46

Cloverdale (6-8, 2-2 WCC) -- Blair 18-26 5-8 41, Moon 5-13 1-2 12, Salter 2-4 4-4 8, K. Dean 2-6 0-0 4, Kukman 1-1 0-0 2, Glassburn 1-2 0-0 2, Young 1-4 0-0 2, Randall 0-0 1-3 1. Totals: 30-56 FG, 11-17 FT, 72 points.

North Putnam (1-10, 0-3 WCC) -- Jones 4-11 1-2 11, Francies 4-8 0-0 10, Dahlstrom 3-6 3-5 9, Ban 1-2 2-4 5, Adams 1-4 2-4 4, Hadley 1-4 0-0 3, Franklin 0-0 2-2 2, Alcorn 0-5 2-2 2. Totals: 14-40 FG, 11-19 FT, 46 points.

3-pt. FG--Cl 1-7 (Moon 1-5), NP 6-14 (Francies 2-6, Jones 2-7, Ban 1-2, Hadley 1-3). Tuvnovers--Cl 17, NP 25. Total fouls--Cl 21, NP 19. Fouled out--Francies.

Next game -- Cloverdale travels to North Central (Farmersburg) at 7:30 p.m. today. North Putnam visits Greencastle at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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