Hot shooting Clovers run away with consolation game
In the consolation game of the Putnam County Classic, Cloverdale used blistering shooting in the first half to eventually overwhelm North Putnam 73-47.
Both teams came into Saturday's early contest looking for their first win of the season, but it became evident quickly which squad was going to get that first victory.
The toll from Friday night's contest against Greencastle was telling for the Cougars, who shot 2 of 12 from behind the three point line in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Clovers were quick to right the wrongs of Friday night against South Putnam and did so with efficiency.
Cloverdale knocked down four of the five three pointers they attempted in the first quarter and scored the opening seven points en route to a 17-9 first quarter lead.
The Cougars would get as close as six points twice in the second quarter but could not get close as Cloverdale shot 73 percent from the field in the first half, taking a 37-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
North Putnam held firm in the third quarter, able keep the pace with Cloverdale mainly through the efforts of Tim Wiltermood, who chipped in nine of his team-high 18 points in the frame.
But by the fourth quarter, the wheels came off the Cougar offense. Fatigue was evident as some Cougars began to cramp up in the fourth quarter.
Cloverdale didn't help matters by using long offensive possessions throughout the game, forcing the Cougars to chase the ball around while trailing by larger and larger amounts.
Cloverdale outscored North Putnam 19-7 in the final frame, adding gloss to a score line that was already beyond any doubt for the Clovers as they took home their first win of the season.
Afterward, Cloverdale head coach Pat Rady said that the squad rebounded well from the Friday night loss.
"I think our kids played well. They played relaxed. You've got to give North Putnam some credit. They're a fine ball club. They played a tough game last night against Greencastle," Rady said.
"It was a good win for us. The kids played with poise, the turnovers were down, we hit the boards stronger and we moved the ball around. The ball had eyes and we were pleased with tonight's game."
Cougar head coach Nathan Martindale said the squad was depleted from their own loss on Friday.
"We were a step slow in every aspect. Defensively, we were slow. Offensively, we didn't have our legs under our shots and shot poorly. It was just an ugly game for us," Martindale said.
"Guys were beat up pretty bad after the Greencastle game and I think it showed. We just didn't have the energy or any type of enthusiasm or spark provided tonight."
North Putnam, still searching for their first win, will get little reprieve as they meet Class A No. 3 Rockville Friday, with a tough December schedule still waiting.
Martindale said the game Saturday showed that the Cougars are still searching for their identity after the loss.
"I think it shows that we have to have better mental toughness. We have to understand what shot's a good shot and when things aren't going well on the offensive end, we can make up for it on the defensive end," Martindale said.
"Right now, we're not there yet. We've got a lot of new parts, so we've got a lot of guys getting used to what they're supposed to be doing," Martindale added.
"We'll get better. This was a bump in the road. We're not even going to look at it any more. This is one of those games where you just wipe it off the slate and move forward."
Rady and the Clovers, meanwhile, will gear up to play Putnam County Classic champions Greencastle Friday night. Rady said that improvement is the main concern for Cloverdale.
"We're going to be a highway of basketball under construction all the time. I found even in the loss last night, I thought we improved from the previous game. We are getting better," Rady said.
"A lot of times, it doesn't show in the results, but we can tell in our practice the players are getting better. It's going to take time. We're not where we want to be. That's what we talked about tonight.
"We got our first win, and that's good, but you can't get too high on wins and too low on losses. We didn't enjoy losing the first three games, but we said this is a year that we have to try to get better each time," Rady added.
"We can't deviate from that. We have to stay focused on trying to improve each time out whether it's at practice or a game."
Putnam County Classic
North Putnam 9 13 18 7 -- 47
Cloverdale 17 20 17 19 -- 73
North Putnam -- 18-61 FG, 4-22 3-FG, 7-13 FT
Wiltermood 18, Porter 11, Brewer 6, Day 4, Everts 4, Nauert 3, Bryan 1
Cloverdale -- 26-48 FG, 7-14 3-FG, 14-23 FT
Strunk 19, B. Dorman 15, Pfaff 11, Schroer 9, Fidler 9, Williams 6, Z. Dorman 4
Next games -- Cloverdale hosts Greencastle next Friday. North Putnam travels to Class A No. 3 Rockville Friday.