CLOVER Clover improved to 9-0 on the year following a 59-33 dismantling of Eau Claire in the semifinals of the Clover Optimist Classic. The Lady Blue Eagles out-scored the visitors from Columbia 37-18 to break open a seven-point halftime score and advance to Saturdays final against Seneca.
Elizabeth Edmunds led the Lady Blue Eagles with 21 points and 10 rebounds, Aaliyah Knox added 10 and Lauren Richardson pitched in eight points and 10 boards, but it was the home teams stifling defensive effort (14 steals, five blocks total) that turned the game in the second half. Clover is only allowing an average of 26 points per game to opposing offenses, and after Fridays win they still havent allowed more than 38 in a game this season.
The girls have really bought into our system and are playing our defense like we want them to, said Clover head coach Sherer Hopkins.
We lost a lot of our scoring from last year and knew we would have to have some people step up. Our defense is definitely where we hang our hats. The offense will come.
Clover faces the biggest threat to its undefeated season yet when the Lady Blue Eagles square off with Seneca Saturday in the girls bracket championship. Jimmy Towes Lady Bobcats are ranked seventh in the state in Class AAA, in large part thanks to forward Kianna Holland. Clovers coach likes what shes seen from Holland during the tournament.
Shes phenomenal. Shes just a good all-around player, good slasher, scores a lot of points...
Holland, a Duke commitment, is averaging close to 30 points per game, including a 42-point effort against Wren on Dec. 18. Holland is the only player that averages double figures for Seneca, and will be a serious challenge to Clovers defensive excellence so far.
It will be our biggest test yet, said Hopkins. Theyre really well coached and were looking forward to the challenge.
CLOVER 59, EAU CLAIRE 33
Clover - Elizabeth Edmunds 21, Aaliyah Knox 10, Shay Hall 3, Sydney Sanders 6, Ryehia Robbins 2, Maggie Ballard 2, Zasu Carpenter 4, Lauren Richardson 8, Logan Richardson 1, Carmen McCarter 2.
Eau Claire - Samari Davis 4, Shabreccia Jones 17, Deidra Davis-Johnson 11, Jasmine Grooms 1.
3-point goals - Clover 1 (Edmunds); Eau Claire 2 (Jones 2). Team fouls: Clover 16; Eau Claire 17.
Nation Ford 38
Marlboro County 34
Nation Ford got 20 points from Taylor Yarborough and claimed a win over Marlboro County in the second day of play in the Shootout by the Sea Tournament.
Yarborough, a junior guard, had a pair of 3-point goals in her game-high point total. Nation Ford broke a 17-all tie at halftime to pick up the win and even their record at 5-5 on the year.
NATION FORD 38, MARLBORO COUNTY 34
Marlboro County - R. Shaw 5, Q. Thomas 4, B. Covington 11, K. Bridges 7, A. Cataldo 7.
Nation Ford - B. Prince 2, T. Potts 2, Z. Lincoln 5, T. Yarborough 20, L. Elwood 2, C. Gant 7.
3-point goals - Marlboro County 1 (Covington 1), Nation Ford 2 (Yarborough 2). Team fouls - Marlboro County 25, Nation Ford 20. Fouled out - Shaw (MC), Bridges (NF).
Records: Nation Ford 5-5.
Fort Mill 55, Clinton 32
The Yellow Jackets got 16 points from Harrison Lancaster and routed the Clinton Red Devils in the Newberry Christmas Tournament.
Fort Mill trailed 13-9 after one period, but they regained the lead just before half and led 27-24 at intermission. The Yellow Jackets turned up in the third period. They outscored Clinton 20-4 during that eight minute stretch and coasted on from there to even their record at 5-5.
The victory evened Fort Mills record in the tournament. The Yellow Jackets lost to Newberry in the opening round on Thursday night.
FORT MILL 55, CLINTON 32
Fort Mill - Harrison Lancaster 16, Matt Ferguson 8, Mike Scurlock 8, Rylan Wells 7, Devan Thacker 7, Mitchell Johnson 5, John Paris 4.
Clinton - Tay Cook 14, Shakyl Smiley 5, Ian Kinard 4, Nike Davis 3, Matthias Williams 2, Tyril Rumph 2, R. J. Robinson 2.
3-point goals - Fort Mill 7, Clinton 5. Team fouls - Fort Mill 7, Clinton 13.
Records: Fort Mill 5-5.
North Myrtle Beach 58
Nation Ford 57
Carson Smith scored 25 points but it was not enough as Nation Ford dropped a one-point decision to North Myrtle Beach in the second day of play in the Shootout by the Sea Tournament.
North Myrtle Beach placed a trio of players in double figures. They built a six-point lead at intermission and held off a Nation Ford rally at the end.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH 58, NATION FORD 57
|North Myrtle Beach||32||26||-||58|
Nation Ford - N. Turner 2, C. Smith 25, R. Hilton 11, J. Causey 3, H. Tuipulotu 7, D. McCain 3, J. Sergent 4, K. Settles 2.
North Myrtle Beach - J. Lindsey 13, J. Grissett 19, M. Lindsey 17, F. Vereen 2, J. Livingston 3, M. Scott 4.
3-point goals - Nation Ford 7 (Smith 5, Causey 1, Tuipulotu 1), North Myrtle Beach 7 (L. Lindsey 4, M. Lindsey 1, Grissett 1). Team fouls - Nation Ford 18, North Myrtle Beach 18. Fouled out - Scott (NMB)
Records: Nation Ford 5-5.
Clover Optimist Tournament
Clover and Seneca advanced to the championship game in the girls division. Clover routed Eau Claire and Seneca defeated Blacksburg.
In other girls action on the second day of the tournament Cuthbertson toppled Spartanburg Christian and Brisbane (Australia) defeated Indian Land.
In the boys division Providence Day and Charlotte Christian made their way to the title contest. Providence Day defeated Indian Land, while Charlotte Christian got the best of Blacksburg.
In other boys games, Clover toppled Broome (story, page 1D) and York defeated Chesterfield.
10 a.m.: Spartanburg Christian vs. Indian Land (OLD gym)
10 a.m.: Cuthbertson vs. Brisbane (Australia) - Consolation Championship (NEW gym)
1 p.m.: Blacksburg vs. Eau Claire (NEW gym)
4 p.m.: Clover vs. Seneca - Championship (NEW gym)
11:30 a.m.: Clover vs. York - Consolation Championship (NEW gym)
11:30 a.m.: Chesterfield vs. Broome (OLD gym)
2:30 a.m.: Blacksburg vs. Indian Land (NEW gym)
5:30 p.m.: Providence Day vs. Charlotte Christian - Championship (NEW gym)
Y.C. Winborn Tournament
There were eight games played in the second day of action in the Y. C. Winborn Tournament in Rock Hill.
In the girls division Rock Hill and Australia moved into the championship game on Saturday. Rock Hill beat Forrest Hills, while Australia topped Anson County. In other games on Friday Olympic beat Chester and Hedgeville (West Virginia) won over Lugoff-Elgin.
In the boys division Rock Hill and Anson County won to make it to the championship round on Saturday. Rock Hill defeated Chester, while Anson County won over Spartanburg Christian. In other boys games South Meck defeated Australia and Northwest Cabarrus toppled Walnut Grove.
Lugoff-Elgin vs. Chester (7th place)
Hedgeville vs. Olympic (5th place)
Forrest Hills vs. Anson County (3rd place)
Australia vs. Rock Hill (championship)
Australia vs. Walnut Grove (7th place)
Chester vs. Spartanburg Christian (5th place)
South Meck vs. Northwest Cabarrus (3rd place)
Rock Hill vs. Anson County (championship)
Sam Copeland compiled