Cloverdale pulls out victory over Monrovia

Monday, December 11, 2017

MONROVIA — Toughness is an underrated quality on a basketball team. Good shooting, high-flying dunks and great moves are celebrated on highlight shows. The Cloverdale Clovers used toughness and heart to edge the Monrovia Bulldogs, 48-45, in a non-conference high school boys’ basketball game Saturday night.

“A great team effort, just gutty. We took some strides this weekend in becoming a tough team, both mentally and physically,” Cloverdale head coach Patrick Rady said after his Clovers won their second straight close game of the weekend.

The Clovers used solid defense, timely rebounding and a big fourth quarter by Jalen Moore to gain their third straight win and improve to 3-2 on the season. Cloverdale outscored the Bulldogs 19-12 in the final stanza to give Monrovia its first loss of the season against three wins.

Offense was a struggle for both squads all night long. The Bulldogs slowed the tempo with a 2-3 zone that the Clovers found difficult to solve. The outside shot wasn’t falling and the long, athletic squad from Monrovia kept Cloverdale from getting inside.

The Clovers only shot 38 percent from the field and were limited to just 17 field goals. The first three quarters saw Cloverdale only make 10-of-34 shots. Monrovia wasn’t much better. The Bulldogs just cracked the 40 percent (17-of-42) from the floor and the teams combined to hit just 6-of-33 from long-range.

“Our kids battled on the defensive end for 32 minutes. That’s really what won it tonight. It’s been a long time since we were able to say defense won it for us,” Rady said.

Monrovia’s defense limited the Clovers early in the game as they jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the first quarter. Cloverdale only hit two field goals in the period. Monrovia couldn’t capitalize as they not only hit 3-of-10 from the field, but only hit 3-of-6 from the free throw line as well.

Cloverdale wouldn’t let the game get away in the second quarter. Freshman Nolan Kelley hit two three-pointers early in the quarter to give the Clovers their first lead at 11-9, but the Bulldogs finished the quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 21-16 halftime lead. Monrovia’s Max Newman scored seven of his team-high 19 points in the second period.

“Our kids did a pretty good job on Newman. He is a load and a really good player,” Rady said of the Bulldog’s 6-foot-7 center.

Cloverdale’s defense kept them going after halftime. The offense still was not clicking, but Monrovia couldn’t pull away. Moore was able to get going a little with nine points in the quarter, but Clovers forced Monrovia into seven turnovers in the period and keep within striking distance at 33-29 heading into the final stanza.

“They were in a zone, you can still be aggressive against a zone. I didn’t think we were early. We were back on our heels,” Rady said.

The Clovers’ Moore heated up in the fourth quarter. The senior guard scored 14 points in the final period to finish with 30 on the game. Moore has scored 30 or more in each game this year for the Clovers.

“We were able to get him (Moore) a little bit of space in the fourth quarter. He was able to crack the seams in the zone. He really changes speed well,” Rady said.

The high-scoring guard wasn’t the only difference maker for Cloverdale in the period. Junior Jake Wilkes struggled offensively and with foul trouble all night, but came through with three of his team-high 10 rebounds in the quarter.

“He’s a warrior. His motor is always on high, he did a great job inside tonight,” Rady said.

For the second night in a row, Parker Watts came up big at the free throw line. With the Clovers up 46-45 and just 18 seconds left, the junior hit two free throws to give Cloverdale a three-point lead and they survived two three-point attempts by the Bulldogs in the final seconds.

“What can you say? Parker Watts coming up big from the line for the second straight night,” Rady said.

The Clovers will put their three-game win streak on the line against county rival, South Putnam on Tuesday night.

CLOVERDALE (48) – Moore 12-26 6-7 30, J. Kelley 0-0 0-0 0, Winders 1-4 0-0 3, Wilkes 1-7 1-2 3, Watts 1-3 3-4 6, N. Kelley 2-4 0-0 6, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-44 FG, 10-13 FT, 48 TP.

MONROVIA (45) – Brantley 2-6 1-2 6, Nagel 3-5 2-2 8, McCloud 4-6 1-2 9, Sprague 0-4 0-0 0, Newman 7-17 5-9 19, Smith 1-4 0-0 3, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Newlin 0-0 0-0 0, Burton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-42 FG, 9-15 FT, 45 TP.

Cloverdale 5 11 13 19 – 48
Monrovia 9 12 12 12 – 45

3-point shooting – CHS 4-19 (Moore 0-6, Winders 1-3, Watts 1-3, Wilkes 0-3, N. Kelley 2-4), MHS 2-14 (Brantley 1-5, Nagel 0-1, McCloud 0-1, Sprague 0-2, Newman 0-2, Smith 1-3) REB – CHS 25 (Moore 5, Winders 3, Watts 2, Wilkes 11, N. Kelley 3), MHS 29 (Brantley 3, Nagel 2, McCloud 6, Sprague 6, Newman 10), FG Pct. – CHS 38.6, MHS 40.5. FT Pct. – CHS 76.9, MHS 60.0. Turnovers – CHS 11, MHS 15.

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