MONROVIA -- Cloverdale's girls' basketball squad started slow out of the traps and eventually found themselves unable to catch-up completely after losing 44-27 at Monrovia Friday night.
The game was brought to the Clovers in a hurry as the Bulldogs knocked down their first three 3-pointers to take an early 9-0 lead.
Cloverdale couldn't find the bottom of the basket at all in the first quarter and were staring down a 14-0 deficit once the quarter ended.
The Clovers did come out better in the second, scoring the opening seven points of the period before the hosts regrouped to even out the scoring and take a 22-8 lead into the break.
The visitors again came out stronger to start the third period, utilizing nine of Sydney Shrum's team high eleven points to cut the deficit in half at 29-22 going into the final period of play.
Cloverdale couldn't quite complete the rally as Monrovia turned on the pressure and held the Clovers to five fourth quarter points to maintain the lead and hand the Clovers their sixth loss of the season.
While the point totals were low in the bookend periods, Cloverdale head coach Matthew Langdon was upbeat about the squad's unwillingness to give in to the Bulldogs.
"On the defensive end, we knew we were undersized and we had to pack it in a little bit, hoping that they wouldn't shoot well. At the start of the game, they went three for three right off the bat and got out to a 9-0 lead," Langdon said.
"We were out of sync on offense. We didn't get to the hole like we wanted to. We wanted to penetrate more than we did."
"It was a step in the right direction, though. We were down seven going into the fourth quarter. If you're within 10 points, you've got a chance to win the game," Langdon added.
"We've just not had too many of those this year where we were in the game going into the fourth quarter. We talked to the girls and we know that we just didn't have the composure at the end of the game."
"But we're very happy with the effort that we had coming into a hard place to play and be close heading into the fourth quarter."
With the holiday break upcoming, the Clovers will not play again until Dec. 30. Langdon said the time off will give his squad a chance to work and be ready for the tournament then.
"We get two weeks off before our holiday tournament. Players always want to play as many games as possible in a week," Langdon said.
"We'll go and learn from this. We've been working on ball handling, quick passes, something that we were able to do tonight."
"We'll have some good practices leading to the Clinton Prairie Tournament, which is a bit unknown to us. We're going into it after playing a good game tonight and hopefully turn some of these close games into wins."
Cloverdale 0 8 14 5 -- 27
Monrovia 14 8 7 15 -- 44
Cloverdale -- Shrum 11, Gruener 6, Skiles 3, Stevens 3, Sinks 2, Nally 2
Monrovia -- Ma. Knieper 16, Wright 5, Smith 5, Casteel 5, Delph 4, Me. Knieper 3, Kaiser 2, Rickellman 2, Tharp 2
Next game -- Cloverdale will participate in the Clinton Prairie Tournament December 30th, starting at 9 a.m.