CLAY CITY -- Coming in to Tuesday's battle against the Clay City Eels, Cloverdale was renowned for their perimeter shooting.
While they didn't disappoint their fans in Tuesday's game, the Clovers might now be known for their free throw shooting as well.
Cloverdale sank 15-of-18 free throws in the fourth quarter, including Chase Haltom's perfect 10-of-10 performance as the Clovers held off a very determined Eels' squad, 75-64 to remain unbeaten.
Coming off games of 34 and 25 points in his last two contests, diminutive 5'9 junior guard Chase Haltom rang up a game-high 35 points, including five-of-eight shooting from 3-point land and seemingly hit every key shot in the second half of the victory.
Haltom and Kyle McCammon, who had 20 points, paced Cloverdale in the first half, scoring 26 of their team's 33 points as the Clovers took a 33-24 lead into the break.
Clay City shot well in the first half, with forward Garrett Thatcher providing a big effort in the paint despite facing a three inch height disadvantage against Cloverdale's Luke Lovins.
Thatcher provided eight points and three rebounds while holding Lovins to one point in the first half. Clay City center Brock Dyer also came up big, hitting for nine points before the break to keep the Eels close.
Clay City came out the aggressor in the early stages of the third quarter, holding Cloverdale to two-of-eight shooting for the first 4:40 of the period while closing the Cloverdale lead to 37-32 on a rebound basket by Thatcher and hoops from Dyer, Klay Knox and T.L. Roeschlein.
But Haltom drilled a 3-pointer, and after a pair of free throws by Thatcher, hit a jumper, stole a Clay City pass and scored on a layup to extend Cloverdale's lead to 44-34.
After Dyer hit a jumper for Clay City, Haltom dropped home a pair of free throws. Roeschlein would answer with a basket to close the gap to 46-38, but again, Haltom answered with a 3-pointer as part of a 12 point quarter for himself.
The Eels wouldn't go away however and Josey Vansickle drilled a 3-pointer in answer to Haltom's, but McCammon would close the quarter with another shot from long range, one of his five 3-pointers in the game.
For the contest, Cloverdale nailed 10 shots from 3-point range, but the Eels would get hot from the outside in the final period of play to remain within striking distance.
McCammon would give Cloverdale their biggest lead to open the fourth quarter with another 3-pointer to go ahead 55-41, but Clay City responded with a free throw from Thatcher, part of his 15 point night. Dustin Griffith came back for a basket and Knox would score off a Cloverdale turnover at midcourt to narrow the lead back to 55-46.
But time was not on Clay City's side.
After getting within 65-55 on a Knox 3-pointer, the Eels were forced to send Cloverdale players to the foul line in an attempt to close the gap.
The effort would be in vain however as Haltom nailed all 10 of his fourth quarter attempts from the line and Cloverdale hit 83 percent (15-of-18) from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Clay City would hit four 3-pointers in the final minutes, including a pair by Dyer, who had a team-high 21 points, but the Eels could get no closer than 69-61 on a Vansickle 3-pointer with little more than a minute remaining.
The Eels (2-3 overall) will host Vincennes Rivet on Friday night with the junior varsity game tipping off at 6:30 p.m. The class 2A, seventh-ranked Clovers (6-0 overall) host Monrovia on Friday night.
In the junior varsity game, Cloverdale won 35-29 to hand Clay City their first loss of the season. Fred Modesitt had 15 points and Logan Bettenbrock had 10 for the Eels.
Clay City (64)
Roeschlein 4-10 1-3 9, Knox 3-6 0-0 7, Vansickle 4-9 0-2 10, Dyer 8-11 2-2 21, Thatcher 6-13 3-4 15, Schroer 0-0 0-0 0, Griffith 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 26-52 6-11 64.
Neese 0-4 0-0 0, Haltom 9-14 12-12 35, Welty 6-10 0-0 12, McCammon 7-15 0-2 20, Lovins 0-6 5-6 5, Trinkle 1-4 1-4 3, Faletic 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-53 18-24 75.
3-point fieldgoals -- Clay City 6-12 (Dyer 3-5, Vansickle 2-5, Knox 1-2), Cloverdale 10-22 (McCammon 5-11, Haltom 5-8, Neese 0-2, Welty 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Clay City 32 (Thatcher 7, Roeschlein 7), Cloverdale 23 (Trinkle 6). Total Fouls -- Clay City 18, Cloverdale 11. Fouled out -- Clay City (Roeschlein). Turnovers -- Clay City 16, Cloverdale 11.