Tied with North Putnam at 7-all in the first, the Clovers (9-5, 3-1 WCC) went on a 7-0 run and ultimately outscored the Cougars 14-5 for the remainder of the quarter.
Up nine at 21-12 after the first frame, the lead stayed about the same the rest of the evening, with Cloverdale winning 63-47.
"You have runs in a game, and we got that one run, and the rest of the game, neither team let the other team get a run," Clover coach Pat Rady said. "You've got to give credit to North Putnam; they played some good defense tonight. And that was it. There was only really one run in this game, and we were lucky enough to get it."
The victory leaves Rady just two short of the 700 milestone for his career, a level only three other men have reached.
The Cougars (3-10, 1-2 WCC) looked just as good as the Clovers in many phases of the game, but the little things -- turnovers, missed free throws, missed shots -- spelled their demise.
"The difference for us was real simple: we were 6-of-20 from the free throw line and we missed countless little shots. Those are things that we just haven't done well," Cougar coach Nathan Martindale said.
As Rady said, after the first quarter the game was fairly evenly matched. One team might score a bucket or two, only to have the other come back with a couple of its own. The Clovers would forced a turnover, but come down the floor and have the Cougars do the same.
The margin would get as low as eight and then stretch to 15. The Cougars played well, but never closed the gap.
"We were very aggressive coming out, but when you leave open-ended plays like free throws, it spells disaster. That's what really killed us," Martindale said.
Both coaches had to like what they saw on the inside, as each team pulled down nine offensive boards. Kevin Dean and Jaquan Moore did much of the dirty work for the Clovers, scoring 14 and 10, respectively.
"I thought we had some guys that hit the boards strong tonight," Rady said.
For the Cougars, the workhorse on the glass was Jacob Lucas, who came off the board to score eight points -- most of them on second chances.
"Jacob Lucas had a good game," Martindale said. "He was aggressive on the boards, which we've been trying to get him to do. He's been down on himself a little bit, so I'm hoping this gives him some confidence."
"We had some good moments, but we just didn't maintain the level of consistency needed," he concluded.
James Hedrick led the Cougars with 12 points, followed closely by Kyle Adams, with 11.
For the Clovers, Brandon Moon was the leading scorer, with 22. Others in double figures were Dean, Moore and Jacob Clark, with 11.
Rady expressed his happiness with where the team is heading.
"That's two road wins in a row -- both conference -- and I was very pleased with the performance tonight," he said. I thought the defense was a very important part tonight, and we had some good ball movement and we had a lot of deflections again.
"When you win on the road in this conference and the county, it's a good win," Rady added.
At North Putnam
Cloverdale 21 11 17 14 -- 63
North Putnam 12 8 14 13 -- 47
Cloverdale (9-5, 3-1 WCC) -- Moon 7-19 6-8 22, Dean 5-7 4-6 14, Clark 4-7 3-4 11, Moore 5-6 0-1 10, Hayden 1-6 2-2 4, Salter 1-3 0-0 2, Arnold 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 23-50 FG, 15-21 FT, 63 points.
North Putnam (3-10, 1-2 WCC) -- Hedrick 6-16 0-1 12, Adams 5-7 1-2 11, Franklin 3-5 1-2 9, Lucas 2-4 4-10 8, Hutcheson 2-4 0-3 4, 1-5 0-2 3, Porter 0-1 0-0 0, Stewart 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 19-43 FG, 6-20 FT, 47 points.
3-pt. FG--CHS 2-13 (Moon 2-7, Hayden 0-4, Salter 0-1), NP 3-7 (Franklin 2-3, Jones 1-2, Hedrick 0-2). Turnovers--CHS 14, NP 18. Total fouls--CHS 14, NP 18. Fouled out--None. Technical fouls--Adams (NP).
Next game: Cloverdale visits North Central today, with the junior varsity tipping off at 6 p.m. North Putnam visits Greencastle at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.