The Lady Eagles are on the verge of their third straight NCL1 basketball championship entering the final week of the regular season, needing just one win in their last two outings to claim the pennant outright.
At press time Cloverdale (12-0, 20-2) was two full games up on second place Middletown (10-2), with remaining road at Fort Bragg and Clear Lake remaining.
The ladies took a major step toward the title last week with a pair of lopsided wins, beginning with a 51-15 road romp at St. Helena. The suspense was over early, as Cloverdale raced to a 21-7 cushion at the half and put the hammer down after intermission to notch an eventual, 36-point margin of victory.
Cloverdale took the opportunity to play its reserves, with several key players seeing limited or no action.
“We were inconsistent scoring but defensively we played well,” CHS coach Rick Berry said. “It was nice to have an opportunity to rest some players. “
Top point scorers included Summer Lands (14 points, 8 rebounds), Maci Hernandez (11 points, 9 boards, 1 assist, 4 steals), Catherine Driver (9 points, 2 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals), Alyssa Moffett (9 points, 2 assists, 1 steal), Faith Holloman (2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals), Morgan Sceales (2 points, 10 rebounds) and Janaye Hammond (2 points, 1 assist, 2 steals).
Bird reaches 2,000 points
The Eagles played host to Middletown on Friday on Senior Night, a game that would be highlighted by an individual milestone. Senior four-year standout Tehya Bird entered the contest just five points shy of the magical 2,000 point mark and wasted no time, scoring the team’s first six points of the game. The game was stopped briefly to recognize the feat, as Bird joined an elite list of Cloverdale greats in the 2,000 point club that include Krista Warren, Craig McMillan and Robbie Rowland, to name a few.
When the game resumed, the Eagles were locked in a tight battle to lead 25-20 at the break. Leading by six at the end of three, Cloverdale put the game on ice with a 22-6 fourth-quarter explosion to win it going away, 59-37.
When it was over, longtime Eagle’s coach Rick Berry reflected on Bird’s star-studded basketball career.
“Obviously she is an exceptional athlete and player, but the best part of Tehya is she comes to the gym everyday and gives her best effort,” Berry said. “She’s a hard worker with a positive attitude; she supports her teammates and gets joy from their accomplishments. Tehya is more concerned with winning than with her stats,” he added.
Fittingly, Bird led all scorers with 33 points, 15 rebounds and two steals. Other top scorers were Ahnna Randolph (8 points, 2 boards, 2 assists, 4 steals), Holloman (7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal), Moffett (5 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 steal) and Lands (4 points, 1 rebound).