Clovers survive scare from SV, 48-44

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Cloverdale’s Cooper Neese threads a pass through the South Vermillion defense (top) to teammate Parker Watts.
Banner Graphic/Joey Bennett

TERRE HAUTE — Cloverdale took advantage of 29 free throw opportunities, hitting 20, in holding off South Vermillion in the consolation bracket of the First Financial Wabash Valley Classic on Tuesday afternoon at Terre Haute South.

The Clovers managed just three points in the first quarter, as South Vermillion utilized a box-and-one and eventually a triangle-and-two defense to try to limit Clover standouts Cooper Neese and Jalen Moore.

Each team made at least five turnovers in the first period, but the Clovers came to life in the second period with an 18-point outburst to take a 21-17 halftime lead.

Neese, who did not score a point or even attempt a field goal in the opening period, hit a basket and five free throws in the second quarter, while Moore added three baskets of his own.

South Vermillion had taken a 15-7 lead in the second period before Moore and Neese brought the Clovers back with a 12-0 run.

Cooper Neese makes a layin against South Vermillion on Tuesday night.
Banner Graphic/Joey Bennett

Moore scored a basket to open the second half, but South Vermillion got hoops from Bryce McLeish and Braden Kalber to cut the gap to 23-21 with 5:02 left in the third period.

South Vermillion regained the lead at 27-26 on a McLeish trey with 1:55 left in the period, but the Clovers ran off seven straight points to resume control. They took a 35-29 lead into the final period.

Neese opened the final period with a basket and two free throws, and a Jake Wilkes free throw with 1:40 left put the Clovers ahead seemingly comfortably at 44-35.

Another McLeish trey, followed by a basket from Spencer Lewis, quickly cut the lead to four points. Neese added a pair of free throws with 33.5 seconds left for a six-point lead, but the Wildcats got a trey from Mason Wiltermood with 20.8 seconds left to cut the gap in half at 46-43.

Cloverdale missed a pair of free throws, and Wiltermood hit another free throw for South Vermillion with 14.4 seconds left. He missed the second shot, and the Clovers gained control of the ball.

Neese was fouled with 7.8 seconds left and hit two more free throws to ice the win.

“After you have aspirations of winning a tournament, it’s tough to play in the consolation bracket,” coach Patrick Rady said. “It’s just something you have to fight through.

“We just weren’t ready to play,” he added.

SOUTH VERMILLION (44) — Kalber 3-4 0-2 6, Wiltermood 3-8 3-4 10, Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, McLeish 5-11 3-4 16, Kendrick 0-5 0-2 0, Lewis 2-3 1-1 5, Terry 1-1 0-0 2, Hedden 1-2 1-4 3. Totals 16-38 FG, 8-17 FT, 44 TP

CLOVERDALE (48) — Neese 5-6 13-13 23, Moore 5-10 3-6 13, Winders 1-8 1-2 3, Wilkes 1-8 1-2 3, Pfaff 0-2 0-2 0, Rossok 0-1 0-0 0, Watts 2-6 2-3 6. Totals 14-41 FG, 20-29 FT, 48 TP

South Vermillion 7 10 12 15 — 44

Cloverdale 3 18 14 13 — 48

3-point shooting — South Vermillion 4-12 (Wiltermood 1-2, Johnson 0-1, McLeish 3-5, Kendrick 0-2), Cloverdale 0-13 (Neese 0-1, Moore 0-2, Winders 0-3, Wilkes 0-3, Watts 0-3). Turnovers — South Vermillion 15, Cloverdale 12.

Next game — Cloverdale (6-5) plays Marshall (Ill.) at 2:30 p.m. today. South Vermillion is now 2-6.

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