Clover girls set school record with 17th victory

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

ROCKVILLE — The Cloverdale Lady Clovers traveled to Rockville on Tuesday night to take on a good Rox team in a tough place to play.

Rockville came into the game with a 15-6 record and had won 12 of its last 13 games, but the Clovers gutted out a 39-36 win girls’ high school basketball action.

The Clovers overcame a large free throw disparity and held on for their 17th win against four losses on the year to set a school record for single-season wins.

“It was a tough environment to play in. It wasn’t the pace we wanted or the score we wanted. We are comfortable around 50 points and this was a good win,” Cloverdale head coach Matthew Langdon said.

Rockville’s Bailee Breedlove dominated the first quarter. The senior post player scored her 1,000th career point in the first quarter as she poured in 10 points to stake the Rox to a 16-9 lead at the end of the period. Cloverdale couldn’t find the range, as they only hit 3-of-13 from the floor and seemed to have no answer for Breedlove.

The Clovers switched to a man-to-man defense in the second quarter and the results were dramatically different. The Clovers held the Rox to just three second-quarter points as they cut into the lead, trailing just 19-17 at the break. Cloverdale’s defense limited the Rox to just four field goal attempts and forced seven turnovers. Sophomore Sammie Shrum harassed Breedlove on the defensive end and held her to just two points in the period.

“Breedlove really hurt us in the first quarter. We switched to man and Sammie said she’d take her (Breedlove) and she did a really great job,” Langdon said.

The Clovers went on a 7-0 run to start the second half. Tori Combs scored two early baskets and Hailey Thomas hit a big 3-pointer to give the Clovers a 24-19 lead halfway through the quarter. Cloverdale overcame a large foul disparity as they were whistled for nine fouls in the period, while Rockville was only called for two. The Rox didn’t score from the floor, but hit 8-of-14 free throws in the period. Combs had eight points in the quarter to pace the Clovers.

“We were down seven the end of the first quarter. Our girls really stepped up and played well despite foul trouble,” Langdon said.

Cloverdale’s Madison Shoemaker came off the bench and sparked the Clovers in the fourth quarter. The sophomore had six points and four rebounds in the quarter.

“It was a neat moment for her (Shoemaker). She doesn’t always get a lot of playing time, but she really stepped up. It started with practice last week — she really had a good week,” Langdon said.

Cloverdale calmly took care of the basketball and repeatedly repelled efforts by the Rox to regain the lead. Defensively the Clovers again limited Rockville. The Rox didn’t get good looks and couldn’t take advantage at the foul line as they only hit 2 of 6 in the quarter from the stripe. The Clovers milked their last few possessions and held on for the victory.

“In this tough environment, I thought the girls really kept their composure. That was probably the key to the ballgame," Langdon said.

Cloverdale won the game despite Rockville shooting 28 free throws to their 10. Neither team converted at the line well as the Rox only made 50 percent, while Cloverdale hit 4-of-10 from the stripe. Cloverdale kept the Rox from getting second chances as they out rebounded Rockville 30-26.

Breedlove led all scorers with 16 points and Taylor Dugger added nine for the Rox. Combs led the Clovers with 15 points, while Thomas had seven.

The Clovers will host county rival South Putnam in the final regular season game of the year Thursday night. The matchup against the 16-5 Eagles will be a tough task as Cloverdale will go up against a possible Class 2A sectional 44 second-round opponent. If the Clovers get by Western Boone in the sectional opener, they will have to face the Eagles in the semi-finals.

The Clovers winning the tough, close contests this year has been key, according to Langdon.

“The difference between this year and last year is how we are handling these close games. We have won a few of these (close games) this year and we didn’t last year. I think you have to do that in order to have success in the tournament,” Langdon said.

CLOVERDALE (39) — Shrum 1-9 1-2 4, Walker 1-4 0-0 3, Combs 7-12 1-3 15, Thomas 3-6 0-2 7, Price 1-2 2-3 4, Wade 0-1 0-0 0, Shoemaker 3-4 0-0 6, McCracken 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 16-41 FG, 4-10 FT, 39 TP.

ROCKVILLE (36) — Pierce 1-6 2-4 4, Breedlove 5-10 6-10 16, McMullen 1-3 0-0 2, Carrington 0-3 3-6 3, Dugger 3-6 1-2 9, Jeffries 0-0 2-6 2, Kiefner 0-0 0-0 0, Millspaugh 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-28 FG, 14-28 FT, 36 TP.

Cloverdale 9 8 9 11 — 39
Rockville 16 3 8 9 — 36

3-point shooting — CHS 3-14 (Shrum 1-6, Walker 1-4, Thomas 1-3, Wade 0-1), RHS 8-33 (Pierce 0-3, Breedlove 0-1, Dugger 2-4). Rebounds — CHS 30 (Shrum 4, Walker 1, Combs 9, Thomas 3, Price 3, Wade 1, Shoemaker 4, McCracken 2), RHS 26 (Pierce 1, Breedlove 10, McMullen 4, Carrington 3, Dugger 3, Jeffries 3). FG Pct. — CHS 39.0, RHS 35.7. FT Pct. — CHS 40.0, RHS 50.0. Turnovers — CHS 16, RHS 20.

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