CLOVER — The Clover High School boys basketball team is gearing up for a dramatic close to the regular season.
Rival York is coming to town, which means the largest crowd of the year will make it special, especially for the Blue Eagle seniors. It’s also Senior Night, an emotional setting for players whose high school careers are winding down.
First-year head coach Bailey Jackson, who succeeded associate athletic director Dudley Lybrand this season, knows a few things about the York-Clover rivalry. The action begins at 8 p.m. following the girls game at 6:30 p.m.
“Clover and York have a long tradition of playing each other,” Jackson said. “It is always a great atmosphere at either place.”
Jackson labeled the Cougars a talented team.
“I know they will be ready to play Friday night,” he said.
The Blue Eagles met the challenge when Region 3-AAAA foe Northwestern visited the CHS gym last week, storming from behind in the fourth quarter to prevail, 43-32.
The CHS boys outscored the Trojans 18-8 during the fourth quarter offensive explosion that turned defeat into victory.
The first half was closely contested throughout, with Northwestern clinging to a scant 1-point lead (17-16) at halftime.
The Blue Eagles clawed their way back in the third quarter to move ahead 25-24 before pulling away for the win in the fourth quarter.
Towering 6-7 post man Arnaldo Toro, who stands 6-foot-7, made his presence felt in a huge way, scoring 16 points to lead the Blue Eagles’ offensive onslaught.
Balanced offensive output was evident, with Alex Thompson scoring 8 points, Talor Hoover 7, Ladarius Adams 6, Mark Cavanaugh 3 and Jevon Blake 2.
After a closely-contested first half, the Blue Eagles fell to Fort Mill’s dominant play in the second half, with the Yellow Jackets prevailing, 65-29.
The Blue Eagles started the game on a positive note, outscoring Fort Mill 18-15 in the first quarter.
Bryce Allen nailed two 3-pointers, staking the Clover team to an 18-12 lead moments before halftime.
Senior playmaking guard Taylor Hoover’s baseline drive was a key basket in the Blue Eagles’ first quarter success.
The second quarter remained competitive from start to finish, with host Fort Mill clinging to a scant 25-24 lead at the halftime break.
But the second half was all Fort Mill as the Yellow Jackets expanded the lead and picked up the region win.
Toro paced the scoring for the Blue Eagles with 7 points. Allen was next with 6. Hoover and Blake each scored 5 points, Thompson 4 and Mark Cavanaugh 2.
Allen nailed a pair of 3-pointers and Hoover had one from 3-point land.