Any time when a team has to fight back from a decent deficit at the start of a ball game, things usually don't end well for the team.
And that's what happened to South Putnam Friday night as the Eagles lost their homecoming game to Cloverdale, 57-49.
Cloverdale never relinquished the lead in the game after they took it with a 9-0 run in the first minute of the first quarter and the Eagles struggled from that point on.
"We got the lead down to six, 46-40, in the fourth and we missed a couple of bunnies at point blank range and those are things that you have to do to win a game," SPHS Coach Micah Elliot said. "Cloverdale is playing well right now and we are playing better, but we are not executing to win games.
"We are playing hard enough in spots but we're not playing well enough to win," Elliot said.
It's hard for a team to focus when one player from the opposing team is hitting every shot he takes and putting your team farther down.
Cloverdale's Brandon Moon was just that player. He finished the night with 25 points and Cloverdale only scored 57 total points. He had 13 of the Clovers' 22 first quarter points, so one might understand why the Eagles had a rough game.
"Moon definitely hurt us in the first quarter," Elliot said. "They just played really well and we just didn't come out aggressive enough and we didn't wake up in time in the first quarter.
"I thought we did a good job of fighting back, but we had opportunities and we didn't take them," Elliot said. "We came up with loose balls and turnovers and didn't do anything with them."
The Clovers nearly hit everything they put up Friday night. They shot as a team 49 percent from the field.
"I thought the ball had eyes, I mean we moved the ball and shot the ball well. We hit some good screens and made some good passes and I thought our motion looked good," Cloverdale Coach Pat Rady said. "At the start of each half, I thought we made a good move with our intensity and with our defense.
"I thought we had good ball pressure out there tonight, but we still need to work on our defense inside the post," Rady commented.
The post was the one place that the Eagles could hurt the Clovers. In the second half of the ball game, Noah Boswell became a thorn in the Clovers' side in the paint area, scoring 13 of his 23 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Clovers lead that was established early on.
"We did a good job of getting the ball into the post, but our guard play really hurt us. We just couldn't get our offense going and you have to give them (Cloverdale) credit for pressuring us," Elliot said.
Also pacing the Clovers was Jordan Hayden ,who put 12 points, followed by Jacob Cark who had seven points. Dane Grounds scored five and Eric Kukman and Link Lovins had four points each.
Alongside Boswell in scoring for the Eagles was Conor Frame with nine points, Adam Masters with eight points, Nathan Welty five points while Cameron Chestnut and Dayne Nelson had two points each.
Cloverdale is back in action on Feb. 6 when they host Speedway at 7: 30 p.m., while South Putnam will be back in action today when they travel to Riverton Parke for a 7:30 game.
At South Putnam
Cloverdale 22 11 15 9 - 57
S. Putnam 13 11 18 7 - 49
Cloverdale -- Moon 10-14 3-6 25, Kukman 2-40-0 4, Hayden 5-8 0-0 12; Dean 0-4 0-0 0, Lovins2-4 0-2 4, Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Salter 2-2 0-0 5, 2-8 3-4 7. Total 57
S. Putnam -- Chestnut 1-3 0-0 2, Welty 2-10 1-3 5, Frame 4-8 1-1 9, Boswell 7-15 9-9 23, Masters 3-8 2-2 8,Nelson 1-3 0-0 2, Dean 0-1 0-0 0. Total - 49
Next Game. Cloverdale vs. Speedway, Feb. 6 7:30 p.m.; South Putnam @ Riverton Parke tonight @ 7:30 p.m.