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Monday, May 2, 2016

Clovers step up, defeat rolling Rox

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cloverdale senior Sydney Shrum fights through contact to get up a shot against Rockville on Tuesday.
(Banner Graphic/TRENT SCOTT) [Order this photo]
CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale's girls' basketball squad, coming off the back of two stinging losses in a row, looked to find a route back to the win column hosting Rockville.

The Tuesday night game was the second-to-last home game of the year for the Clovers and Senior Night for the squad, one the hosts capped with a 46-40 win.

Taylor Clark was forced to step in to the line-up but made the most of the occasion, scoring 12 of her team high 13 points in the first half.

"We had to make adjustments early on but Taylor Clark stepped in," CHS coach Matthew Langdon said. "We know we're right where we want to be."

Those points helped spark the Clovers to a 31-point first half, allowing them to take a five point lead into the break.

They would also be important points as, after halftime, scoring came at a premium.

"We're not a scoring team usually, but tonight we were hitting our shots," Langdon said. "At halftime, though, we thought we were giving up too many points and we did a better job in the second half at controlling their offense."

After Amillia Nally was called for her fourth foul late in the fourth period, Cloverdale would score only two points over the next six minutes of play.

While the defense did a better job in the second half, holding the Rox to 14 points, Langdon said that Nally's foul trouble upset the balance of the squad.

"Amillia picking up her fourth foul affected our offense," Langdon said. "Her points have come down this season but her handling of the ball has a calming effect on the squad.

"We got frustrated for a while. We didn't score on several possessions but at the same time, we began to hold Rockville scoreless on several possessions.

"We've told the girls that even if we're not scoring, we always want the effort on the defensive end. We did a great job of shutting them down in the second half."

Rockville, down 12 at one point, began to slowly claw its way back into the game by scoring ten straight to cut the deficit to two.

At 38-36, however, the Rox also hit a scoring slump. Twelve consecutive scoreless possessions were finally broken by a Paige Gruener layup, only for the visitors to score a layup of their own.

Cloverdale was able to salt the game away from the free throw line, knocking down six free throws over the final two minutes to secure its sixth win of the season.

Langdon said that it was important for the squad to stay hungry after two gut-wrenching losses.

"Tough losses can sometimes get you down," he said. "I'm proud of the defensive effort and of the seniors. They've stuck with it through a hard four years. There's not always been a lot of wins but I'm proud of them for sticking this out."

Things did not get off to a good start for Cloverdale as before the ball was tipped off starting center Katie Walters succumbed to a stomach virus, forcing a quick reshuffle to the starting line-up.

It would not be long before another senior, Justeena Wellington, also left the game ill and, though she would return, saw she limited minutes in the contest.

Cloverdale hosts North Putnam in its home finale, having previously beaten the Cougars in the Putnam County Tournament.

Langdon said that the squad the Clovers face Friday is far different from the one they beat 45-26 in November.

"North's a familiar opponent and there will be emotion with Homecoming going on," Langdon said. There were some nerves at the start tonight and it was noticeable because we did not start off well.

"We cannot go into this game thinking that we're 19 points better than North Putnam. They've gotten much better along the way under coach [Curtis] Lawrence.

"We need to go in knowing that we're going to have to fight for everything. It's going to be a tough game and it's one where we need to win on the defensive end."

At Cloverdale
Rockville 16 19 8 6 -- 40
Cloverdale 17 14 7 8 -- 46

Rockville -- 14-46 FG, 3-15 3-FG, 9-12 FT
Lee 21, B. Gordon 10, M. Gordon 5, Lear 3, Black 1
Cloverdale 16-59 FG, 1-13 3-FG, 13-21 FT
Clark 13, Shrum 13, Gruener 11, Nally 9

Rockville 27 (8 offense); Cloverdale 29 (15 offense)

Rockville 8; Cloverdale 6

Rockville 2; Cloverdale 10

Rockville 0; Cloverdale 4

Rockville 21; Cloverdale 22

Rockville 16; Cloverdale 14

Next Game: Cloverdale hosts North Putnam for Homecoming Friday.

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