CLOVER — The Clover High School varsity basketball team embraces Region 3-AAAA action this week, hosting Northwestern Thursday and rival York Friday.
The girls’ game begins at 6:30 p.m. and the boys’ game at 8 p.m.
“We know that Northwestern is one of the best teams in the state,” Blue Eagle head coach Bailey Jackson said of the No. 7 rated Trojans.
“The rivalry with York means a lot to the kids and always draws a big crowd,” he said. “I experienced the York-Clover rivalry when I played, and know what it’s all about.”
The Blue Eagles split games last week, defeating Lancaster 57-49 and losing to Fort Mill 59-48.
“We got a good win at Lancaster,” said Jackson. “We played good defense and had good execution. It’s always tough to win on the road.”
Jackson said the Blue Eagles missed 22 shots in the paint in the loss to Fort Mill.
“If we could’ve made 10 of those shots, it could’ve been a different outcome,” he said. “The kids are playing hard.”
Lady Blue Eagle coach Kiki Walker said she believes the girls will rebound from losses to top-caliber teams last week.
Clover lost to both Lancaster and Fort Mill, teams that are unbeaten and tied for first place in the region entering this week’s play.
“We are working on things to help us improve as a team, and I believe the girls will be ready when we play on Thursday and Friday,” said Walker.
“Thursday we will be playing Northwestern, a team that is known for its quickness,” Walker said. “In order to tame them, we must play the game we know how to play and make them play at our pace.”
When it comes to the York game, Walker said records mean little in a rivalry game, noting that the intensity level for both teams will be high.
“Rivalry games are about who wants it the most and bragging rights,” said Walker. “Someone will have to step up and we will have to play great basketball to come out with victories this week. We have to take the games one at a time without looking ahead.”