Second-half woes hamper Cloverdale in Northview loss

Friday, January 27, 2023

BRAZIL – Throughout the boys’ high school basketball season, Northview head coach Michael Byrum has stated that his program sets a daily goal on game days.

He wants them to win (goal No. 1) while also getting better at the same time (goal No. 2).

For the last three weeks, Northview hasn’t been able to go 2-0 on those, but the sixth-year coach said that more often than not, his group has found a way to split the two and has steadily improved despite entering Friday’s contest with Cloverdale, which entered the evening on a long losing streak of its own, having lost five in a row.

During the five-game losing skid, Northview had been hampered by its defense – opponents were averaging 69.2 points per game against the Knights over the last five games – and turnovers committed.

The Knights cleaned up both areas in a big way – Northview turned the ball over four times and held Cloverdale to 43 points, which is the fewest amount of points the team has allowed this season – en route to a 64-43 victory to get back into the win column.

“A win is a win. We will always take them, and we will always celebrate them because winning varsity athletic events are very difficult,” said Byrum.

It was the alterations that were made inside the locker room during the 10-minute intermission that changed the complexion of the game, which snapped a trend for the hosts, who had seen halftime leads go by the wayside at times during the season, and continued one for the visitors, who have struggled to put together a full four-quarter game.

Leading 30-24 at the start of the third quarter, Northview came out of the half ready to go.

On three consecutive possessions, Northview put points on the board when Christian Roembke splashed in back-to-back 3s and Avery Perry, who registered his first-ever start, got a layup to drop, spurring an 8-0 run that lifted the Knights’ lead over the double-digit threshold.

Byrum said the team talked about coming out of the break aggressively. He was proud of the way they answered the bell and widened the margin in less than two minutes.

“Going into the game, we had two goals. We wanted to hold them to four single-digit quarters or hold them to 40. That was a goal. We only held them to one single-digit quarter,” said Byrum. “In the first half, I thought we played well defensively, but they hit shots and it bothered us a little bit. I saw our demeanor changed a little bit. We were able to regroup at halftime and held them to a single-digit quarter in the third. They had 13 possessions and only scored on three of them.”

On the opposite end of the 8-0 run, Cloverdale head coach Karl Turk said the 3s from Roembke were gut punches, stating it was like a whirlwind whipped through the Clovers, leaving them dazed before they could get their footing.

“It’s interesting that the calendar is getting ready to switch over to February because it feels like Groundhog Day,” said Turk. “If you look at our last four games, we’ve been down five to seven at the half – that’s Cascade, North Putnam, Clay City and now this game – and for whatever reason – and it’s been different reasons every game – we haven’t won the third quarter.

“Tonight, they got six right away. [Roembke] is not their No. 1 option on offense, but he came out of the locker room ready to play,” Turk continued. “He drained one and then in transition, we were a half of a step slow, and he dropped another one. Before you could look up, it was just two shots later and we’re down double figures. That kind of changes your mindset and you’re hustling and scrambling to get back into the game. We weren’t able to do it, which is a credit to Northview.”

Leading the charge through the game-altering third quarter that saw Northview outscore Cloverdale 17-5 was the new starting unit of Perry, Roembke, Drew Cook, Joshua Fowler and Brayden Goff.

Because of early foul trouble, the coaching staff didn’t get a good look at what the first five could do on the floor during the first half. But in the second half, they made a good impression on Byrum and his assistants, which helped them put a stop to the losing streak.


CLOVERDALE (43) — Jackson 1-6 1-2 4, Hilton 4-5 3-7 12, Monnett 2-5 0-0 4, Lee 4-8 3-5 11, Betz 2-10 4-4 10, Johnson 1-5 0-0 2, McGuire 0-0 0-0 0, Ramsay 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14-39 FG, 11-18 FT, 43 TP.

NORTHVIEW (64) — Cook 8-17 5-6 23, Perry 4-6 0-0 8, Goff 4-11 1-2 11, Roembke 2-5 0-0 6, Fowler 2-3 0-0 4, Farris 1-1 0-0 2, Cottee 4-8 0-1 8, Buell 0-1 0-0 0, Bell 1-2 0-0 2, Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Sandifer 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 26-56 FG, 6-9 FT, 64 TP.

3-point shooting — Cloverdale 4-15 (Jackson 1-2, Hilton 1-1, Monnett 0-3, Lee 0-1, Betz 2-6, Johnson 0-2), Northview 6-19 (Cook 2-7, Perry 0-2, Goff 2-4, Roembke 2-4, Johnson 0-2). Rebounds — Cloverdale 22 (Jackson 8, Lee 7), Northview 36 (Goff 11, Perry 9). Turnovers — Cloverdale 8, Northview 4. Total fouls — Cloverdale 10, Northview 17. Fouled out — Jackson.

Next — Northview (5-10) hosts Crawfordsville and Cloverdale (1-15) hosts Eastern Greene Saturday.

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