Clovers edged by Vikings, 38-32

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Cloverdale's Paige Gruener led the team with 10 points in Monday's game against West Vigo.

CLOVERDALE --Cloverdale's girls' basketball squad kept Monday's game against West Vigo from getting away from them, but couldn't find enough offense to overcome an 11-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, falling 38-32.

Both sides shot around 25 percent from the field, but multiple second shot opportunities gave the visitors extra opportunities to get baskets.

That was evident in the first half where the Vikings outshot the Clovers 36-20. West Vigo was patient on the offensive end but recorded double-digit offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive.

That allowed the visitors to build up a six point lead after the first quarter. Cloverdale began to match West Vigo for shots in the second period, but three three-pointers allowed the Vikings to extend their lead to 26-16 by halftime.

Cloverdale would cut the lead down to five midway through the third quarter but allowed West Vigo to score the final six points of the period and found themselves on the wrong end of a 34-23 deficit.

The home side, to their credit, kept fighting as the Vikings stumbled down the stretch. West Vigo committed 10 turnovers, made only two shots and seemed rattled at times in the final frame.

Cloverdale cut the deficit to as close as six twice but couldn't get the shots they needed to fall as the Vikings held on to their lead for their fourth win of the season.

Clover coach Matthew Langdon was encouraged by the late response and the play of his squad over the last two games.

"I think the little things might have cost us a win. But I'm very proud of the girls' effort. We've come out in the last two games, played quality opponents and had the chance to win in the fourth quarter," Langdon said.

"Tonight, it was about free throws and offensive rebounds. They got at least double-digit offensive rebounds in the first half, close to 15. That really cost us."

"We missed six free throws. If you change a couple of those possessions, even though we weren't able to get the ball in the hoop tonight, if you hit a couple more free throws and box out, maybe the outcome is different," Langdon added.

Langdon pointed out that changing defenses in the fourth quarter actually helped limit the Vikings late.

"We knew coming in that (Brooklyn Waters) was a very good dribbler and playing man-to-man, she's hard to put pressure on. We were in an instance, in the fourth quarter, where we had no choice but to pull out of the zone," Langdon said.

"We got aggressive and the girls did a good job. We kept Waters in front of us, got a couple of charges and they did a very good job with a very quick team."

Cloverdale next faces off against WCC front-runner Cascade Friday. Langdon said the squad will be looking at goals within the game as a part of the strategy.

"Cascade's a very good team and has been a good program for a while. We've been trying to set goals within games. We set a goal of trying to keep West Vigo under 40 points and we did that tonight," Langdon said.

"So we're going to go against Cascade the same way. The ultimate goal is always to win, but we're going to set a goal for turnovers and try to keep them under a set amount of points while trying to get some points on the board as well."

At Cloverdale

West Vigo 11 15 8 4 -- 38

Cloverdale 5 11 7 9 -- 32

Individual Scoring

West Vigo -- 14-58 FG, 5-11 3-FG, 5-16 FT

Carlson 11, Barton 9, Lane 5, Little 4, Br. Waters 4, Silcock 4, Bay. Waters 1

Cloverdale -- 12-48 FG, 2-11 3-FG, 6-12 FT

Gruener 10, Shrum 9, Skiles 6, Stevens 3, Nally 2, Walters 2

Next game-- Cloverdale travels to Cascade for a boys/girls doubleheader Friday at 6 p.m.