Cloverdale ready for sectional tourney

With only two wins in the regular season, Cloverdale girl's basketball coach J.J. Wade knows it has been a challenging season for the Clovers. 

Illness and injuries have hurt Cloverdale all year and forced the squad to cancel the two quarters of JV Cloverdale was playing each night. 

Despite the hurdles, Wade admits he has seen his team improve as the season progressed ahead of the upcoming sectional tournament at South Putnam.

"The girls have continued to work hard and get better. That was our goal for the season -- to work hard and get better each night out for who we are playing for, our school and community. For the most part, we have done that," Wade told The Putnam County Post. 

Leading the way for the Clovers has been Emily Mann, who Wade said has been a "consistent leader and player."

"She is strong and physical and really understands the game.  She has been a coach on and off the court the entire year.  Although I am sure this is not how she intended her senior season to go, she has been a leader, a teacher, and a calming force for our team.  She has worked hard to be where she is physically and fundamentally and all the girls in the program would do well to imitate her," Wade said.

Another player he singled out is Millie Haga, who has been Cloverdale's primary ball handler this winter. 

"She can get to the basket and has done a good job facilitating.  The only regret with her is having her just one year.  Sarah Nichols is probably our most improved player from last year.  Improved with her hands, her shooting, as a vocal leader as a sophomore, and her approach to getting better.  It has been nice to see her grow," Wade said. 

Cloverdale will bring a nine game losing streak into the sectional, where they drew sectional favorite, Parke Heritage. The Wolves knocked off the Clovers, 64-22 on Jan. 16. 

"The Sectional in Indiana is a special time of the year.  Everyone is 0-0 and each game will result in someone's season being over.  It is what teams are working for throughout the season...all the in game and practice scenarios point towards competing for the Sectional Championship.  We certainly have a tough draw with the Sectional favorite, Parke Heritage Wolves.  They are a great team that can hurt you a lot of different ways both on the defensive and offensive end.  We are excited about the opportunity to continue to work and prepare for our Wednesday night match-up," Wade said.





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