CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale High school girls' basketball team has no seniors and therefore lacks the experience of other squads. That combination, along with 27 turnovers, was enough to doom the Clovers in a 50-35 loss against Monrovia on Friday evening.
"It was disappointing," Cloverdale coach Tom Andersen said. "Last night, we had the best practice this year. We worked hard, but tonight we slid backwards."
Without sloppy play, Cloverdale could have built a lead in the first half. Monrovia was stricken with foul trouble. The Bulldogs committed 17 fouls in the first half, leading to 12 free-throw attempts for Cloverdale. The Clovers converted on eight of those attempts, accounting for over half of their points in the first half.
Despite being sloppy with the ball, the Clovers were down 4-3 after one quarter and 21-15 at the half. The team's only points in the first quarter came on a three-pointer from sophomore Bristy Skiles. After a slow start offensively, it appeared the Clovers would go in to the break down two points, but Monrovia's Hannah Wright scored two quick baskets near the half to give the Bulldogs a six-point lead.
A 10-0 run to begin the second half put the Clovers behind for good. Wright scored and was fouled on the Bulldogs' first two possessions of the third quarter.
"I called some quick timeouts," Andersen said. "We don't move defensively. We were only down six and needed some stops and didn't get 'em."
The timeouts didn't help the Clovers. Cloverdale couldn't get any rhythm on offense managing only six points in the quarter on two three-pointers, including a buzzer beater from Skiles who had a team-high 12 points.
"We are still gun shy in games, we panic and struggle to run offense," Andersen said.
Andersen's point was emphasised as the Clovers took a lot of ill-advised shots in the game.
"A lot of it is understanding what's going on. We don't see if a girl is open or not. The only thing we can do is keep practicing. The work we do has not carried over. We hope through repetition we start understanding the game better," Anderson said.
Cloverdale will return to the court to compete in the Eastern Greene Tournament Dec. 28. The Clovers will face Forest Park at 11:15 a.m.