Cloverdale coach Pat Rady said it was his team's defense in the first half and the fact that his team made the Falcons play defense in the second half that helped propel them to the win.
In a close-fought game, the Clovers came out on top to win the tournament with a final score of 42-39.
"We played smart ball in the second half, we made them play defense," said Rady. Coming out of halftime the Clovers trailed the Falcons 27-19, as the Falcons out shot them 19-6 in the second quarter.
The Clovers came out and stepped up the pressure on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. Senior Josh Burdette hit a three on the first shot of the second half to cut into the lead. With five minutes left in the fourth quarter the Clovers took the lead when Josh Hayden hit one of two from the free throw line.
The remaining five minutes the Clovers and Falcons traded baskets. The largest lead the Clovers could get was three points.
With 35 seconds remaining in the game, North Vermillion had the ball down three 40-37 with a chance to win. A costly turnover by Jacob Harrison gave the ball back to the Clovers with 16.2 seconds remaining.
Senior Jordan Hayden was fouled immediately as the ball was inbound. He hit both foul shots, giving the Clovers a five-point lead.
The Falcons scored a quick basket to knock the lead back down to three. On the inbound they again fouled the Clovers.
Junior Mitch Williams missed the front end of a one and one, giving the ball back to the Falcons with 5.8 seconds remaining.
The Clovers defense held strong, forcing the Falcons into a shot from half court by Dalton McCool that bounced off the rim.
"We knew they were going to come out with a lot of emotion tonight," said Rady. "They are a good team they have been in all of their games this year."
Rady complimented his team on the effort they showed throughout the game. "This was a good win for us," he said.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Rady said he knows his team isn't there yet, but he hopes come sectional time they will be there.
Leading the way for the Clovers was Hayden with 12. Mitch Williams also scored in double figures with 10 on the night.
At the conclusion of the game the Clovers received the Holiday Tournament trophy, a blue and white painted basketball and championship shirts. North Vermillion received runner-up shirts.
The All Holiday Tournament Team was also announced with representatives from each team receiving a plaque. Winning honors was Brayden Freeman of South Putnam, Josh Daugherty of Cascade, Dalton McCool of North Vermillion and Jordan Hayden and Mitch Williams of Cloverdale.
Next up for the Clovers in Covenant Christian High School Jan. 7.
At South Putnam
Cloverdale 13 6 12 11 -- 42
North Vermillion 8 19 4 8 -- 39
Cloverdale -- Hayden 12, Williams, 10, Fidler 8, Strunk 4, Skiles 4, Brudette 3, Scisney 1. Totals: 14-36 FG; 3-8 3PTL; 8-11 FT; 42 TP.
North Vermillion -- McCool 15, Weaver 11, Clark 5, Zumwalt 4, Leigh 4. Totals: 25-31 FG; 2-10 3 PTL; 7-12 FT; 39 TP.