That quote from Mahatma Gandhi exemplifies the Cloverdale girls' basketball season. It's been one largely of moral victories and the Clovers' first round sectional loss to Covenant Christian was no exception. They gave everything they had, but it wasn't enough against a bigger Warriors team. The Clovers lost 48-19, but held Covenant Christian to a single digit effort in the second half.
Cloverdale head coach Tom Anderson used the loss as a learning experience for his team and noted that leading into Thursday's game, he began to see the team was beginning to understand elements of the game more.
"As I told the girls there, what this does is show us how much work we have to do to bring our level of play up to what we've seen here tonight," he said. "The first game, this game -- how physical and tough it is. It tells us how much work we have to do because we can't say 'Well, we're young,' because everybody here except Tri-West is young.
"So, we've got a lot of work to do to be able to compete, but what we don't see in the games is what I see in practice -- especially the last couple of weeks; I thought we've really shown some signs of understanding a lot of things. We're just still scared to do them in the game. We're just not confident enough to handle the ball and get into an offense and run it," Anderson added.
Anderson also indicated that the lack of practices due to the weather hurt the Clovers somewhat.
"We've missed some practice with this snow, so when you're trying to get better and you don't really know your stuff very well, it hurts us more than it does somebody who already knows how to do it. But I've really seen some very, very positive things. We've got different girls who have improved greatly in certain areas; we just have to put it all together," he said.
The Clovers began the game pacing the Warriors and found themselves down just six after the first quarter at 16-10. Sophomore Paige Gutierrez and freshman Bristy Skiles hit shots from beyond the arc, with Breegan Andersen adding a two-point bucket. Gutierrez led the team in the quarter with five points.
But as they continued to play hard, Covenant Christian exploded for 24 second-quarter points, while Cloverdale was only able to score two points from a pair of free throw from Mariah Oetken.
Finding themselves down 40-12 at the half, Cloverdale could have easily packed it up and headed for home. But as they have so many times this season, they did the opposite and gave the Warriors a run for their money in the second half.
Cloverdale continued to fly after loose balls, go for steals and show an effort that was admirable with the deficit of more than 30 points for much of the second half.
When it all was said and done, Cloverdale limited Covenant Christian to just eight second-half points, but still felt the sting of defeat, falling 48-19.
Anderson spoke about his team's effort following the contest and indicated that it's just a matter of time before the results reflect the effort.
"There was never any question about the effort tonight; we just don't know how to sometimes put it in a positive way," Anderson said. "Our effort sometimes is wasted because we're hurrying and trying to do too much too soon. Like Bob Knight always said 'Be quick, but don't hurry' and we hurry, hurry, hurry.
"A couple times we started the offense and somebody would just get in a hurry and mess it all up. Effort, you're right, we were still going after the ball, we were still fighting hard -- you would have thought that was a close game if you just came in seeing the effort. So, that means that they really want to do it. You keep working hard, good things could be just like that, like a snap of a finger -- the light may come on and say 'Oh, I get it now' and that's what we hope for. We'll start working immediately with anyone who wants to work," Anderson commented.
The loss marked the final game for seniors Sam Rightmyer and Samantha Williams in a Cloverdale jersey. Anderson expressed how he admired his seniors for enduring a tough season and his optimism about his young returning players.
"I feel for the seniors. Any time they don't go out the way they'd like to, you feel for them and I admire the ones who have hung in there and stuck with it. I'm sorry for them, but on the underclassmen, I'm real encouraged about what we could do if they'll work. But they can't say 'I'll start next month', we're far enough behind we have to start right away. I think we have enough of them that want to do that," he concluded.
Cloverdale ends the season with a record of 2-20.
At North Putnam
North Putnam Class 2A Sectional
CC 16 24 4 4 -- 48
Cloverdale 10 2 3 4 -- 19
Covenant Christian -- Brattain 11, Pollard 9, Seibold 8, Moore 6, Neese 6, Covey 5, Griffen 2, Everett 1. Totals: 18-59 FG, 9-14 FT, 48 TP.
Cloverdale -- Gutierrez 8, Skiles 3, Oetken 3, Andersen 2, Gruener 2, Shrum 1. Totals: 6-23 FG, 4-8 FT, 19 TP.