ROCKVILLE -- Cloverdale's boys' basketball team had a tough night against a young but solid Rockville squad Friday night.
Through twelve minutes of play, the Clovers were neck and neck with the hosts, but a late first half surge from the Rox sent Cloverdale into halftime reeling en route to a 61-43 loss.
The Clovers kept the tempo manageable in the opening eight minutes, not allowing Rockville's up-tempo approach to overwhelm them, while keeping possession and forcing the Rox to defend.
With the score tied at 11-all after one period, Cloverdale kept things close until the halfway stage of the second quarter. After trading some three-pointers, Rockville turned up the intensity on defense.
From there, Rockville benefited from several Clover mishaps and took a three-point lead up to eleven going into halftime.
Rockville pushed the play and put Cloverdale under heavy pressure, forcing the Clovers to try and dribble around the defense and often into turnovers.
The hosts were also more flexible on offense, using center Lane Mahurin both inside and outside to create continual mismatches against Cloverdale's zone defense.
The Rox extended their lead to 14 after the end of three quarters and put the game away with six quick points to start the final period before closing out their 18-point win.
Cloverdale head coach Pat Rady explained that the difference of styles between the two teams made the difference in the loss.
"We made some turnovers that led to easy baskets and against a good team, the team that takes more good shots usually wins. They were getting lay-ups because we weren't executing very well and making passes and that hurt us," Rady said.
"I think it's a lack of playing basketball. I think they were following and they were playing more transition and right now, we're not a team that can play transition basketball. We needed to play more possession basketball.
"Rockville forced us into a transition game and that's not our style right now. Consequently, their style of ball won out over our style of ball," Rady added.
With the schedule winding down and the sectional quickly approaching, Rady was keen on making sure that nothing got ahead of the next game.
"You've got to take each game at a time. We've got Turkey Run next Tuesday. You don't get caught up on your schedule, you get caught up on how you're playing," Rady said.
"I've had teams going into the tournament on a losing streak and win. I've had teams go into the tournament on a winning streak and lose. I've been in this 47 years and you can't predict it. If I could predict it, answer all the questions, I'd write a book, sell it and I'd have a million dollars," Rady added with a smile.
"It's a game. You win as a team and lose as a team and tonight Rockville was better than we were," he added
Cloverdale 11 11 11 10 - 43
Rockville 11 22 14 14 - 61
Cloverdale -- Hayden 13, Williams 8, Strunk 7, Fidler 4, Burdette 4, Arnold 3, Scisney 2, Skiles 2
Rockville -- Mahurin 20, Jefferies 15, Wittenmeyer 11, Kempf 9, White 4, Lear 2, McFall 2
Next game -- Cloverdale (8-10) hosts Turkey Run (8-11) next Tuesday.