Team takes second in Division 5; advances to Nor Cal tourney
The Lady Eagles will continue one of their best basketball seasons in the program’s history this week, preparing to take the court as the No. 4 seed in the 16-team CIF Nor Cal State Division 5 playoff tournament.
At press time, Cloverdale (25-5) was prepping for a first round home clash with No. 13 seeded Trinity (15-16) on Feb. 26. Should they win, the Eagles will advance to host the survivor of the No. 5 Rincon Valley Christian versus No. 12 Biggs game on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
Cloverdale earned the trip to the Nor Cal tourney by virtue of a second place finish in the North Coast Section Division 5 playoffs, advancing to the championship game on Saturday with a 51-38 semifinal home victory over No. 3 seeded Rincon Valley Christian on Feb. 20.
The Eagles busted the game open with a 19-6 second quarter run and never gave up the lead on their way to a 13-point win.
“It was a good win put us into the NCS championship,” CHS coach Rick Berry said. “The home crowd was a big factor, it’s a big advantage since we’ve only lost one time in three years at home. The win gave the girls a 19-game winning streak,” he added.
Tehya Bird led the way with 24 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one steal. Other top contributors were Kayli Persons (9 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 3 steals), Marina Lopez (8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist), Maci Hernandez (7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal), Kaylee King (3 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist), Alyssa Moffett (3 rebounds, 2 assists) and Ahnna Randolph (1 rebound, 2 assists)
The No. 2 seeded Eagles had the tough task of a four-hour bus ride to Eureka for Saturday’s NCS title at No. 1 ranked St. Bernard’s, a venue that is traditionally tough for opposing teams. That was the case for Cloverdale, which spotted the Crusaders a 31-13 halftime lead en route to a 56-36 St. Bernard’s victory.
“It was a very disappointing loss,” Berry noted. “We didn’t play up to our potential and shot just 9 for 32 from two-point range and 1 for 12 from the three-point line. It was our poorest defensive effort of the season, gave up double digits in every quarter and turned the ball over 19 times. You can’t do this against a team like St. Bernard's.”
Pacing the Cloverdale offense were Bird (14 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal), Hernandez (4 points, 2 rebounds), Persons (4 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 5 steals), Randolph (4 points, 1 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal), Moffett (3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal), Lopez (3 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist), Morgan Sceales (2 points, 1 rebound) and King (2 points, 1 rebound).
The Lady Eagles have received tremendous community support this season and would like to thank the following groups for donating money to pay for a charter bus to Eureka: Patty Bird, the Reuser family, Mr. Foley, Colbalt Polymers, Doug Dilley, the Cloverdale Brew Pub and Katy, the bus driver, for donating her time.