Clovers defeat Cougars, on to Monrovia

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Cloverdale's Payton Dorsett (23) puts up a shot over North Putnam's Taylor Nauert (21) and Emilee Henninger (31) in the South Putnam sectional Tuesday. (Banner Graphic/JAY LOCKETT)

The Cloverdale Clovers rode a tough defense and efficient offense to a 53-27 victory over the North Putnam Cougars in the first round of the girls IHSAA Class 2A sectional at South Putnam High School on Tuesday night. The Clovers limited their county rivals to 23 percent (11-of-48) shooting from the field, including a 0-15 night from behind the three-point arc.

"We really had to stay patient with our game plan," Cloverdale coach Matthew Langdon said. "We were going to take our chances from the outside and really cover up inside. They've got some big girls who can finish. We wanted to slow them down defensively. A lot of times it took them six or seven passes to get anything going. I thought tonight was a huge testament to our defense."

Cloverdale consistently forced the Cougars to take three-pointers early in the game as they jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first quarter. The Cougars couldn't convert their shots early and that continued throughout the first half. North managed only two field goals in the half and the Clovers had a comfortable 27-7 lead going into the break. Cloverdale used a 15-1 run during the first and second quarters to establish that lead.

"We did what we had to offensively. We didn't shoot the lights out, but we got our three-point shooters some looks, we went inside and just did what we had to," Langdon said.

The Clovers got scoring contributions from seven of eight players who played and scored inside and outside during the win. Cloverdale converted a solid 18-of-45 from the field, including 7-of-16 from three-point land.

Cloverdale continued to build its lead in the second half behind a balanced offense. The Clovers extended their lead to 41-17. Six different players scored in the quarter as the game was well in hand heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter had the Clovers maintaining their lead behind senior point guard Payton Dorsett. She finished a strong game with 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

"That is what you want out of your senior point guard. She's been a good leader. She was aggressive and drove the ball, got 10-12 shots and really had a good game. All of our seniors have been great leaders this year," Langdon said.

North Putnam was led in scoring by Taylor Nauert with 14 points. No other Cougar had more than four. Abby Walker led the Clovers with 18 followed by Dorsett's 13.

"I didn't want it to be any of our seniors' last game. We wanted to play on Friday. This was our first sectional win and we really worked to get here," Dorsett said.

The Clovers will take on the Monrovia Bulldogs in the second contest Friday night at South Putnam in the semi-final round.

Cougar coach Kevin Corsaro said he will miss the seniors work ethic in his second year at North Putnam.

"They are great girls," Crosaro said. "We'll miss having them in practice and what they did for the younger girls. They are a close-knit group at North Putnam."

Corsaro said he has been getting his Cougars ready for a vigorous summer in preparation for next season.

"We've got to work a lot harder in the offseason then I think we've done before," Corsaro said. "We had our team meeting and that was one of the things we talked to them about. We've got to get into the weight room. We can't be three-month basketball players any more. We won't have to play basketball everyday, but we do need to take advantage of June."

At South Putnam

North Putnam 4 3 10 10 -- 27

Cloverdale 12 15 14 12 -- 53

Cougar Scoring 11-48 5-9 27 (Duncan 1-3 0-0 4 2, Smith 0-4 2-2 1 2, Runnells 0-6 3-5 1 3, Pace 0-1 0-0 0 0, S. Spencer 0-0 0-0 0 0, Lyons 0-3 0-0 2 0, Nauert 7-19 0-0 4 14, Parent 0-2 0-0 0 0, Henninger 1-7 0-0 3 2, B. Spencer 2-3 0-2 2 4)

3-point shots 0-15 (Duncan 0-3, Smith 0-2, Runnells 0-4, Pace 0-1, Lyons 0-1, Nauert 0-4)Reb: Duncan 2, Smith 2, Runnels 4, Nauert 7, Henninger 8, B. Spencer 3)

Clover scoring 18-45 11-25 53 (Helterbrand 2-5 2-4 3 6, Meek 1-2 2-2 1 4, Hamm 2-6 0-1 1 6, Pieper 0-0 0-0 1 0, Walker 5-13 6-9 0 18, Dorsett 5-12 1-9 1 13, Combs 2-6 0-0 1 4, Huge 1-2 0-0 2 2)

3-point shots 7-16 (Walker 3-8, Hamm 2-5, Dorsett 2-3) Reb: Helterbrand 7, Meek 1, Hamm 2, Pieper 3, Walker 6, Dorsett 9, Combs 12, Huge 1.

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