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The Clover Blue Eagle cagers opened the 2012-13 season with a 47-44 win over Charlotte Country Day.
It was the Clover head coaching debut of Bailey Jackson, a Clover native who previously had a successful head coaching tenure at Fort Mill High School.
The Blue Eagles bolted to a 15-3 first-quarter lead and held off a late Charlotte Country Day rally to preserve the win.
Balanced scoring contributed to the win, with junior forward Alex Thompson scoring 11 points against the Charlotte team.
Rounding out the scoring, senior floor leader Taylor Hoover finished in double figures with 10 points; Ladarius Adams, 8; Arnaldo Toro and Jevon Blake, 7 each; and Austin Stone and Bryce Allen, 2 each.
The Blue Eagles fell to a fast-paced, hot shooting Hunter Huss team 70-51 in a home game Friday.
First-year varsity player Arnaldo Toro, a 6-foot-7 sophomore who occupies the lane, made his presence felt in a closely-contested first quarter.
Toro scored the first basket for the Blue Eagles and later had a mammoth shot rejection before knotting the score at 7-all midway through the first quarter.
After Hunter Huss spurted to a 15-7 lead, RJ Moore scored and sophomore Bryce Allen nailed a 3-pointer, slicing the Huss lead to 15-12 as the first quarter ended.
Toro had a productive second quarter with help from Moore and Hoover and the Blue Eagles stayed within striking distance, trailing 35-25 at the half.
But the visiting Huss team went on a tear in the second half, expanding the lead and closing strong for the win.
Though disappointed with the home loss, Jackson remained upbeat after the game.
“They made two runs, the first off offensive rebounds and the second off turnovers,” observed Jackson.
The CHS coach said the Blue Eagles had their moments.
“There were times when we played as well as they did,” he noted. “We played a good team tonight.”
Said Jackson, “We will continue to work hard at practice as we prepare for region play.”
Hoover, whose court presence is vital the Blue Eagles' success, has a good idea of what it will take to get back into the win column.
“We didn't execute like we should have tonight and had to play from behind,” he pointed out. “It's all about execution as we prepare for region play.”
Hoover, a steadying influence on the court, has assumed a leadership role this season, leading by example.
The Blue Eagles play at Hunter Huss on Friday. The action begins at 8 p.m. following the girls game.