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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Cloverdale wins two straight

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cloverdale's girls' basketball squad accomplished something it had only done once in the last four years.

The Clovers compiled back-to-back wins for the first time since 2009 with a 54-33 win over Eminence Monday night.

Cloverdale was dominant in the second half, outscoring the Eels 30-12 in periods three and four.

But it would have been anyone's guess as to how the game would have gone after the first quarter was completed.

The two squads were knotted at the end of the period, with both teams committing eight turnovers apiece while scoring only six points each.

Things changed quickly in the second quarter as both offenses settled into the game. Eminence's Nikki Campbell scored 12 of her game high 22 in the quarter as both squads battled back and forth.

The lead changed hands eight times, with four ties in-between, before the Clovers assumed the lead for good with a minute left in the period.

Eminence looked as though they would be down a point after Campbell scored a lay-up with seven seconds left in the half, but Cloverdale would take all the momentum into halftime on a hustle play.

Katie Fulkerson threw up a shot that missed and looked to be headed out of bounds. Amillia Nally raced over, tipped the ball back into play and Bailee Stevens got the ball in the basket as time expired to give the Clovers a 24-21 halftime lead.

Cloverdale then powered through the second half of play. Sydney Shrum, who had been in foul trouble in the first half, scored 10 of her 14 points in the third to break the game open.

Free throw shooting was key to the charge as, after Shrum missed the first two shots from the line in the second half, the Clovers were 11-11 thereafter.

A three point halftime lead became 14 by the end of the third as Cloverdale held the Eels to six points in both the third and fourth quarters.

The offense continued to hum along and by the end of the game, the Clovers had put up the highest offensive total since their 2009 sectional win over South Putnam.

Even with the point total, Cloverdale head coach Matthew Langdon said that, while the offense took it's time, there was something else driving his squad.

"We did not shoot well from the field. It was not a good shooting night, but you saw some fight from the girls that we've not seen in a couple of years," Langdon said.

"They just were determined that even on an off night, they were determined to win. They wanted to come out on top.

"We drove to the basket and got to the foul line. We had a really bad first half from the free throw line but there was a stint in the second half where we finished 11 for 11."

"Eminence, you've got to give a lot of credit to them. They came out defensively and baffled us. We weren't really sure what to do because they took us out of our game. Give credit to Coach (Jim) Porter and what he's done there in a short time," Langdon added.

One key to the two-game streak has been a large decrease in turnovers, something Langdon has been looking for in the early season.

"The last two games, we've been able to hold the turnovers under 20. It's still a high number with 15 against Turkey Run and 19 tonight, but we're getting there," Langdon said.

"We've show in the last two games that if we're able to cut down the turnovers and increase our possessions, we can score more. We got to 50, which is our spot to get to, and we've gotten there the last two games.

"We feel that if we can keep working on handling the ball, and we're going to see more pressure later, the girls are getting more confident with the ball. When we see a press, hopefully we'll see a different mindset with the girls."

Next for Cloverdale is Greencastle, whom the Clovers missed at the county tournament. Langdon said the squad knows what kind of competition they're about to face.

"We didn't play them, but they're a well-coached team. Brad (Key)'s a great guy and a good coach. We feel they're going to come prepared and ready to play," Langdon said.

"This is the first winning streak these girls have had for a while. They've only had three wins in the last two years, and I'm hoping that they can feed off of that and we can come out and hopefully give Greencastle a run."

At Cloverdale

Eminence 6 15 6 6 -- 33

Cloverdale 6 18 17 13 -- 54


Eminence -- 14-54 FG, 0-6 3-FG, 5-8 FT

Campbell 22, Gore 5, Hunter 4, Feutz 2

Cloverdale -- 19-60 FG, 3-14 3-FG, 13-19 FT

Gruener 16, Shrum 14, Skiles 8, Stevens 5, Fulkerson 4, Nally 3, Sinks 2, Wellington 2

Next game -- Cloverdale hosts Greencastle in a Boys/Girls Varsity Doubleheader, with the Girls' game starting at 6 p.m.