WESTFIELD TWP. — Fall down, climb up. Fall down, climb up. Fall down.
So it went over and over again Friday for Cloverleaf’s boys basketball team as it lost to Copley 70-57 in Suburban League action.
The Colts (2-9, 0-6) fell behind big and battled back to cut the deficit on multiple occasions, but each time the Indians (4-5, 3-3) answered.
Despite some big shots, the Colts struggled to hold on to the ball when the game got close. The turnovers — 27 for the night — always seemed to come in bunches and ended every rally.
“We made a couple nice comebacks, but the turnovers got us,” Cloverleaf coach Marty Ryan said. “We couldn’t get over the hump because we kept turning the ball over. It all comes down to turnovers. When we did handle the pressure and break (the press) the way we wanted to, we were successful and it got us back into it.”
After falling behind 17-7 at the end of the first quarter, the Colts began climbing the mountain for the first time. Connor Ploucha (10 points, 4 rebounds) made back-to-back baskets, sparking Cloverleaf on a 16-9 run that cut the deficit to three.
“It seemed like every time we started to pull away, they hit a big shot or a big three,” Copley coach Mark Dente said. “We couldn’t separate enough, and the credit goes to them on that because they didn’t let up.”
Copley quickly answered with a 13-6 spurt and its lead stretched back to 39-29 heading into the locker room.
The Colts began to climb again, as a 13-5 run narrowed the deficit to four when Adam Podolak (12 points, 4 rebounds) knocked in a pair of free throws.
Then Copley’s Jalyn Tyler (19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Kenny Paramore (16 points) decided they had seen enough. The pair scored 17 of the Indians’ 20 fourth-quarter points.
Tyler, who played the majority of the game with an injured ankle, was particularly impressive late, scoring 10 points in the final 5 minutes.
“Coach put the ball in our hands to make things happen,” Tyler said. “We know he has faith in us and our teammates have faith in us and we just take whatever the defense gives us.”
Paramore did all his damage in the second half, scoring 12 of his 16 points while becoming a much bigger presence in the paint.
“We just started moving the ball and changed up the offense,” Paramore said. “That was pretty much it. My teammates got me the ball, and we had great movement inside and great passing. It was easy layups. All I had to do was catch the ball.”
Robby Buckwald led the Colts with 14 points that were bolstered by a trio of 3-pointers, while fellow senior Brandt Buckholz added eight points and eight rebounds.
|A Paramore to Tyler alley-oop attempt from a mid-court thrown-in with 3 seconds left in the quarter went directly into the basket. It was waived off, giving possession to Cloverleaf.
l Three players were fouled on 3-point attempts and combined to go 3-for-9 at the line.
l Copley won the junior varsity game 41-27. Jae’Von McClain led the Indians with 11 points, while Dillon Mullins paced the Colts with nine.
Contact Chad Grant at email@example.com.
Copley 70, Cloverleaf 57
COPLEY 17 22 11 20 — 70
CLOVERLEAF 7 22 13 15 — 57
Copley — Andrew DeAire 4-0-8, Jayln Tyler 7-5-19, Kenny Paramore 6-4-16, Todd Williams 1-1-3, Argeros Turner 2-0-6, Brandon Chillious 3-1-7, Troy Brown 1-0-2, LJ Campbell 1-2-5, Desmond Hodoh 0-1-1, Larry Spear 0-0-0, Will Andrew 1-0-3. TOTALS: 26-14-70.
Cloverleaf — Adam Podolak 4-2-12, Brandt Buckholtz 3-2-8, Robby Buckwald 4-3-14, Ryan O’Callaghan 0-0-0, Bishop Woodall 1-0-2, Jason Sykora 1-0-2, Tom Wangler 0-0-0, Connor Ploucha 5-0-10, Brady Kotlarek 1-1-3, Clifford Collyer 2-2-6. TOTALS: 21-10-57.
3-point goals — Turner 2, Campbell, Andrew, Buckwald 3, Podolak 2. Rebounds — Copley 26 (Tyler, Chillious, Brown 4), Cloverleaf 29 (Buckholz 8). Assists — Copley 13 (Tyler 3), Cloverleaf 11 (Collyer 4). Records — Copley (4-5, 3-3), Cloverleaf (2-9, 0-6). Junior varsity — Copley 41, Cloverleaf 27.