Clover High School girls’ basketball coach Sherer Hopkins is back coaching the game she loves and the players she adores.
Hopkins returned to the bench after a 12-month recovery from brain surgery. Duke University Hospital surgeons removed a malignant tumor in December 2013, and have since reported that chemotherapy treatments Hopkins has received have been successful.
“I want to thank everyone for their support during my recovery period,” she said. “It has meant so much to my family and to me. The response from so many people has been humbling.”
Hopkins has been revered by her peers for her expertise in game-planning and developing talent.
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York Comprehensive High School head girls’ basketball coach Paula Blackwell, a longtime friend of Hopkins, is elated about her return.
“I would say her athletic background helped and continues to help her battle cancer,” said Blackwell. “Our region coaches really tried to rally around Sherer and her family during this time.”
“Her team and returning to the sidelines always seemed to come up when I talked to her,” Blackwell said. “She really missed her day-to-day contact with her players and that relationship we all have with them.”
Blackwell said Hopkins appears to have made a strong recovery.
“What a success story after seeing her in the hospital last December, just a few days after the surgery. I was concerned,” she said.
Hopkins said she is settling into the position she occupied before the surgery. “It feels good to be back coaching again, especially the players I coached before,” she said.
Hopkins said she has been pleased with the players’ commitment to the program during preseason practices and games.
“The kids are working hard,” said Hopkins. “The Optimist Classic was a good opportunity for the coaches to take a look at different combinations and to evaluate personnel.”
After a close first quarter in against Ninety Six during the tournament, the Blue Eagles pulled away in the second quarter en route to a 57-33 victory.
With the Blue Eagles trailing 11-9 in the waning seconds of the first quarter, backcourt mainstay Sydney Sanders’ 3-point buzzer-beater pushed Clover ahead 12-11.
With freshman forward Renee Carter scoring in the paint and senior all-region player Elizabeth Edmunds positioning herself for two putbacks, Clover expanded its lead in the second quarter.
Sanders also contributed to the scoring spree with her court savvy as Clover built a 30-16 halftime lead. Sanders, Edmunds and Carter continued to make their presence felt as Clover won handily, 57-33.
Sanders paced the scoring with 17 points and Edmunds finished with 10.
In a previous game, the Blue Eagles stayed within striking distance much of the game before Hammond expanded the lead for a 53-43 win.
Edmunds’ early scoring and Joelle Keffer’s shot-blocking kept the score close, as Clover trailed 12-10 after the first quarter.
Balanced scoring and putbacks by Lilly Wallace and Carter kept things close at halftime.
With Hammond building as much as an 11-point lead in the third quarter, guard Lynsey Comalander’s basket near the end of the quarter sliced the lead to six at 41-35; but Hammond held on.
The Blue Eagles girls host Hunter Huss at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in the CHS new gym. The boys’ game will follow at 8:30 p.m.