CHS boys and girls teams preparing for playoff hoops
The varsity basketball Eagles can add another chapter to their storied athletic history this week, as they look to close out the NCL-1 schedule with a pair of wins.
At press time, Cloverdale (11-1, 18-5) had a two-game lead on second-place Willits and was looking to clinch the league championship on Feb. 17 when they played host to visiting St. Helena. The Eagles will close out the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 19 at Clear Lake.
Also looming on the Eagles’ radar is a decent seed in the North Coast Section Division-4 playoff tournament, which starts on Feb. 24. The NCS seeding committee will meet this Sunday to fill out the 16-team bracket. Check the NCS website at for tourney bracket information when it becomes available.
Cloverdale wins a pair
The Eagles extended their winning streak to four games last week, beginning with a Feb. 10 clash with visiting Middletown. Cloverdale, which dropped a 41-35 decision in the first meeting between teams at Middletown last month, took command of the rematch in the first quarter in racing to a 17-6 lead.
The Eagles weathered a Mustangs’ surge in the second quarter, going to the halftime locker room with a 34-19 cushion. Cloverdale never wavered after intermission, employing an outstanding defensive effort in powering to an eventual, 61-42 victory.
“Good win, nice to avenge the loss up there,” CHS coach Steve Bernardi said later. “John (McMillan) and Marcus (Poe) shot and rebounded well, and Greg (Scaramella) had a good all-around game.”
Pacing the Cloverdale offensive attack were John McMillan (18 points, 13 rebounds), Poe (16 points, 13 boards), Scaramella (10 points, 2 assists), Jayson McMillan (7 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists), Michael McDermott (3 points), Luke Pope (3 points) and Rudy Trevino (2 points).
The Eagles paid a visit to Fort Bragg on Feb. 13, again using a strong start in the first half to set the tone. Cloverdale led 12-7 after one before opening up a 29-17 advantage at the break. The Eagles extended the cushion to 44-30 after three en route to a 54-41 win. Top point-getters for Cloverdale were John McMillan (17), and Travis Kitowski (11).
Ladies notch wins
The third-place Lady Eagles (7-5, 12-8) solidified their position as a NCS playoff-bound team last week with an even split in a pair of games.
Cloverdale began the stretch with a disappointing outing at first-place Middletown on Feb. 10, hoping to avenge a six-point loss to the Mustangs in the first meeting.
This game took on a defensive posture in a low-scoring first half, as Middletown clung to a 5-4 edge after one and led 21-16 at the half.
The Eagles went ice cold in the third quarter, as the Mustangs went on a 10-0 run to open up a 15 point lead. The Eagles staged a good rally in the final period before falling, 49-34 (no stats were reported).
Cloverdale was back in the win column three nights later against Fort Bragg, easily dispatching the visiting Timberwolves to achieve a season split.
Cloverdale used a great defensive effort to throttle the T-Wolves offense, opening up a 22-14 halftime lead. The Eagles held the visitors to one basket in the decisive third quarter in extending the advantage to 41-16 after three in an eventual 49-21 rout.
Angel Bernardi had an outstanding outing, pouring in a game-high 18 points while adding six rebounds and five steals. Ale Perez chipped in nine points for the Eagles.
Cloverdale will close out the regular season campaign on Feb. 19 against visiting Clear Lake (7:30 p.m.). The ladies are also a good bet to land a spot in the upcoming NCS playoffs next week.

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