PUTNAM COUNTY CLASSIC: Eagles use 16-1 second quarter to glide past Clovers

Friday, February 9, 2024
After snagging an offensive rebound, South Putnam's Khalil Jefferson gets Cloverdale's Scottie McGuire to commit into the air, drawing a foul and two shot at the line during Friday night's Putnam County Classic consolation game. Jefferson finished with 14 points and nine rebounds as the Eagles defeated the Clovers 63-47.
Banner Graphic/TRENT SCOTT

Rebounding is an underrated statistic at times in basketball. It was key for the South Putnam Eagles on Friday night against the Cloverdale Clovers in the consolation game of the Putnam County Classic.

The Eagles punished the Clovers on the boards and used a 16-1 second quarter to defeat Cloverdale 63-47.

South’s inside game and Cameron Bozell from long-range were too much for the Clovers as the Eagles almost doubled up the Clovers on the boards and suffocated them at times defensively.

The teams battled evenly in the first quarter with the Clovers taking a 10-6 lead early. Trey Schabel was key for the Clovers with seven points in the first quarter. Levi Johnson supported him with four points, but the Eagles countered with a balanced attack. South had five players score in that first quarter and led 16-14.

“I was really proud of how our guys came out and responded. We weren’t necessarily on our game early, but then our defense began to create some offense. We started playing really well,” South Putnam head coach Josh Estridge

The second quarter was Cloverdale’s Waterloo as the Eagles held them to just one point in the period.

South pounded the boards and got the ball in the paint to dominate inside. Parker Harris and Khalil Jefferson combined to pull down 11 rebounds in the quarter alone. The inside combination also combined for eight points as South again had five players score points.

“(South Putnam) seemed to get second shots most of the time, a lot of times three or four shots on a possession. Credit to Jefferson; he was on the boards. He needs to give credit to his guards. They broke down our defense, Eli (Kelley) had to rotate over and Jefferson took advantage,” Cloverdale head coach Karl Turk said.

Defense was key for the Eagles. Cloverdale failed to convert from the field as it missed all 11 shots it took and picked up its lone point from Johnson on a free throw.

The Eagles turned a two-point lead into a 19-point advantage at the half as they held the Clovers scoreless for the first five minutes of the quarter.

“We were able to get done tonight what we came here to do. Khalil and Parkers had great games tonight, but especially in that second quarter,” Estridge said.

South put the game away early in the third quarter, scoring the first eight points of the period. Jefferson scored inside with a rebound bucket and a layup while Wyatt Mullin and Harris added layups as the Eagle inside game kept pounding away at the Clovers.

Cloverdale found a little offense late in the quarter, but it was too little, too late as it trailed 48-26 heading into the fourth quarter.

“I really love the energy we played defense with tonight,” Estridge said.

Cloverdale’s Houston Jobe scored five quick points to open the fourth quarter, but the Eagles rallied as Bozell dialed it up from long-range with back-to-back three-pointers to boost the score to 58-33 and the Eagles would cruise to the victory despite six points from Cloverdale’s Eli Kelley. The teams would finish the game out with the Eagles picking up the 63-47 victory.

“We had a talk before the game. It was not about playing better, but about enjoying basketball more as a senior. The crazy dunk (Eli) had late was something we knew he could do,” Turk said.

South Putnam was led by Bozell with 15 points, all on three-pointers. Jefferson added 14, Harris 12 and Drew Hill chipped in with 10 points for the Eagles.

“Cam (Bozell) was our leading scorer tonight. It is a vital part of our success as a team. Tonight, he was able to knock down some shots,” Estridge said of the junior sharpshooter.

Kelley and Jobe tied for Cloverdale’s team-high in scoring with 13 points and Schabel added 10.

“We are going to be at a disadvantage a lot (physically) the rest of the year. We will have to find ways to overcome that,” Turk said.

The Clovers will travel to West Vigo on Tuesday for a Western Indiana Conference game, while the Eagles on the same day will travel to Southmont.

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CLOVERDALE (47) – Johnson 2-8 2-4 7, Kelley 6-11 0-0 13, Schabel 3-8 2-2 10, Jobe 3-14 4-4 13, McGuire 0-3 0-0 0, Patton 0-1 0-0 0, Henderson 0-2 0-0 0, Boyd 0-1 2-2 2, Shepherd 1-2 0-0 2 Totals 15-50 FG, 10-12 FT, 47 TP.

SOUTH PUTNAM (63) – Harris 5-8 2-4 9, Hill 3-12 3-4 10, Jefferson 6-9 2-4 14, Mullin 4-10 0-0 8, Bozell 5-12 0-0 15, Witt 0-3 0-0 0, Cline 0-0 1-2 1, Coons 1-1 0-0 3, Tincher 0-0 0-2 0, Benton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-55 FG, 8-16 FT, 63 TP.

3-point shooting – CHS 6-26 (Johnson 1-4, Kelley 1-4, Schabel 2-5, Jobe 2-9, Patton 0-1, Shepherd 0-1, Henderson 0-1), SP 7-19 (Coons 1-1, Hill 1-5, Mullin 0-3, Bozell 5-9, Witt 0-1) Rebounds – CHS 27 (Johnson 4, Kelley 6, Schabel 3, Jobe 3, McGuire 1, Henderson 5, Boyd 2), SP – 41 (Harris 9, Hill 4, Jefferson 9, Mullin 11, Bozell 3, Witt 2, Tincher 1 Cline 2) FG Pct. – CHS 30.0, SP 43.6. FT Pct. – CHS 83.3, SP 50.0. Turnovers – CHS 11, SP 9.

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