CLOVER — The Clover Blue Eagle basketball team lost66-54 to rival York in Region 3-AAAA play Friday at home.
“We missed 19 free throws,” said Clover head coach Bailey Jackson. “They have two of the top scorers in the region and we couldn’t stop them.”
The CHS coach said playing back-to-back games against a top 10 Northwestern team and York took its toll physically. But he credited York with the win behind its dynamic scoring duo of Daurice Simpson and Deshaw Andrews.
Playing before the largest home crowd of the year, which was making plenty of noise on both sides of the gym, the home-standing Blue Eagles kept the game close. The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter and Clover led twice in the late stages of the third quarter.
After York moved ahead 48-41, Bryce Allen’s basket sliced the lead to five at 48-43. The Cougars answered with a brief scoring spree that pushed the score to54-44.
A basket by junior mainstay RJ Moore stopped York’s run momentarily, but the Cougars went up by 10 again on the next possession.
Clover’s Alex Thompson scored on a drive to the hoop and drew a foul in the process. He converted the free throw, slicing the lead to seven.
But it was as close as the CHS boys would get.
Aaron Milner and Thompson paced a balanced scoring attack for the Blue Eagles, each with 10 points. Rounding out the scoring for Clover, John Wilson and Allen each finished with 9 points; Moore, 6; Ladarius Adams, 5; Mark Cavanaugh, 3; and Austin Stone, 2.
Though disappointed in the loss, Jackson said the Blue Eagles would shift its attention to the next region game.
“We have to be focused every time we play,” he said. “It’s a tough game every night in our region.”
Blue Eagles host South Pointe at 8 p.m. Friday following the girls’ game at 6:30 p.m.