(Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN) [Order this photo]
And so when Pat Rady says how pleased he is with his Cloverdale squad, even after their eighth loss in a row, he must see some signs of project.
Following the Clovers' 56-58 loss to Cascade Friday night, good attitude and effort were on the coach's mind.
"I thought our effort tonight was as good as we've had all year. I though we played with a lot of emotion tonight and passion," Rady said. "The ball didn't drop for us. We had some good shots that didn't drop."
The Clovers shot 36 percent (17-47) from the field Friday, including just 3-of-19 three-pointers. They also made only 11 of 19 free throws.
There will be night like that, the coach said, but the Clovers can't forget how hard they played Friday.
"The attitude that we had tonight and the effort we played with, we've got to live with that. We just have to get better now both offensively and defensively.
"There were some mistakes we made defensively that can be corrected," he added. "And offensively, we just have to work on a lot of shooting. We missed some open shots that we still want the kids to take. We're not unhappy with any shots that were missed, we just missed them tonight, that's all."
Center Zach Dorman used his height advantage over the Cadets to lead the Clovers with 15 points. However, he missed most of the first half with early foul trouble and two stints in the second half with blood on his jersey.
Brantson Scott came off the bench and filled in well with eight points, but the Clovers lacked the inside presence in Dorman's absence.
The Cadets also did much of their damage inside. Guards Hayden Suter (18 points) and Eric Bobadilla (12 points) did much of their damage cutting to the basket, and forward Daljot Bajwa hurt the Clovers for 12 points from his post position.
As both teams struggled to find their shooting touch in the first half, the Clovers battled to a 24-22 halftime lead.
When the Cadets hit a few more shots in the second half, the Clovers couldn't keep pace, as they were outscored 34-24 after the break.
"As far as any game we've played so far, I'm as pleased tonight as any game we've played, even the couple of wins we've had," Rady said. "If we keep working and keep improving like we did tonight, we're going to be OK."
The Clovers travel to Clay City at 7:30 p.m. today.
Cascade 11 11 18 16 -- 56
Cloverdale 11 13 11 13 -- 48
Cascade (2-9, 2-2 WCC): Suter 7-17 3-5 18, Bajwa 5-8 2-2 12, Bobadilla 3-10 5-9 12, Canaday 4-6 1-2 9, Hart 1-6 2-2 5, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Hyten 0-3 0-0 0, Butler 0-0 0-0 0, Stephenson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-51 FG, 13-20 FT, 56 points.
Cloverdale (2-10, 0-3 WCC): Z. Dorman 6-11 3-6 15, Scott 3-6 2-4 8, Schroer 2-8 2-2 8, Pfaff 3-9 1-3 7, Collett 3-7 0-0 7, B. Dorman 0-6 2-2 2, Cummings 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 17-47 FG, 11-19 FT, 48 points.
3-pointers: Cascade 3-16 (Bobadilla 1-3, Hart 1-5, Stuer 1-8), Cloverdale 3-19 (Schroer 2-7, Collett 1-5, Scott 0-2, Pfaff 0-2, B. Dorman 0-3). Rebounds: Cascade 32 (Bajwa 10), Cloverdale 27 (Pfaff 10). Assists: Cascade 5 (Bobadilla 4), Cloverdale 9 (Schroer 3, Pfaff 3). Turnovers: Cascade 9, Cloverdale 10. Total fouls: Cascade 15, Cloverdale 16.