After a challenging slate of nonregion games, the Clover High School girls’ basketball team is ready for Region 3-AAAA.
The girls entertain Nation Ford Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the CHS new gym. The boys’ varsity game will follow at 8 p.m.
“The preseason is fun,” said coach Sherer Hopkins. “We’ve played some great teams and really learned a lot about ourselves and each other. The girls have been really working hard to prepare for the region.”
Hopkins has long been a proponent of scheduling quality competition in the preseason.
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“You want to be challenged in the preseason by teams you know will make you better, just to kind of see where you are at this point of the season,” she said. “I think our team is where we felt like we would be. They’ve worked really hard and have done the things we asked them to do.”
Point guard Lynsey Comalander’s senior leadership is vital to the team.
“A lot of people are doubting us coming into region play,” she said. “It’s all about having confidence in ourselves. I have confidence in my team that we can do a lot.”
Comalander has a deep passion for the game. “I’ve done this my entire life,” she said. “I am going into the region for the last time. I’ll put my heart out there and that’s all I can do.”
Comalander said a team talk following Friday’s loss at Charlotte Latin had a positive impact.
“Sometimes we don’t believe in ourselves,” she said. “We’ve got to believe in ourselves. We’ve got to believe in our teammates. That’s what we’ve got to do. That’s the key for us.”
Junior forward Lilly Wallace has a positive outlook.
“I think we have a chance to be pretty good in the region as long as we keep our heads up when we play and have confidence in our team,” she said. “We’re always talking about coach (Hopkins) believes in us and that we know we have a great coaching staff.”
Wallace has devoted much time to improving her game this season.
“Renee (Carter) and I are working on developing our post game ad our outside game, so we can kind of be a double threat,” said Wallace. “I think our defense is pretty solid.
“We need to work on getting the ball in the basket. It’s something we can work on going into the region. I think if we get the ball in the basket, we’ll be fine.”
Carter, a sophomore forward, is striving for improvement.
“I try to work on my game in the summer,” she said.
Carter prefers to bank shots off the glass when occupying the ball near the basket.
“I have more of a chance of making the shot when I use the backboard,” she said. “I just recently have been working on shooting the ball instead of throwing it.”
The key to success, according to Carter, is coming together as a team.
“I think we need to work more together as a team,” she said. “We’re already a team. We just need to work more together, pass the ball and move it. This is what we need to do.”
The team lost on the road Friday against Charlotte Latin 44-32.
Carter paced the scoring with 15 points. Taylor Morneault was next with 7 points.
After being outscored 13-3 in the first quarter, the team stayed within striking distance the remainder of the game.
“Our kids played hard,” said Hopkins. “Charlotte Latin is a very good team.”
As the CHS girls delve into region play, Hopkins knows the effort will be there.
“We’re working on doing things like seniors would do,” she said. “We’re not there yet because we’re not seniors. We have a great group of young ladies. I am proud of the girls and what they represent.”