The Clover High School boys’ basketball team defeated Northwestern 65-48 in Region III-AAAA play.
With multiple players contributing, the Blue Eagles built a 12-2 lead before the Trojans could regroup.
With Northwestern rallying briefly and trailing 13-6 late in the first quarter, 6-foot, 8-inch senior postman Austin Stone scored from close range and sophomore point guard Dallas Honeycutt drilled a three-pointer from top of the key to push the lead to double-digits.
The Clover boys expanded the lead in the second quarter as the senior duo of Bryce Allen and Stone scored timely baskets. By the time the first half drew to a close, the Blue Eagles led 38-22.
After the half, Northwestern reduced the lead to 45-36.
With the CHS boys leading 46-36 in the waning seconds of the third quarter, sophomore guard Quise Robbins nailed a shot from three-point land, sending Clover to the fourth quarter with a 13-point cushion at 49-36.
“We talked about Northwestern making a run,” head coach Bailey Jackson said after the game.
Allen scored a team-high 20 points and swiping the ball from the Trojans on numerous occasions.
“Bryce had six steals in the second half and eight for the game,” Jackson said about the all-region candidate. “He played well. We played well.”
After a long week of exams and no Tuesday game, Jackson said he was pleased with the level of play reached in a key region game.
“We played tonight like I want us to play all of the time,” Jackson said. “When we’re clicking, we’re not bad. We were able to pull away.”
Allen spoke with confidence. “It’s always good to get a win,” said 6-foot, 3-inch swing man. “The team’s stepping up. We’re getting the job done.”
The Blue Eagles continued to withstand the Trojans’ challenge in the fourth quarter, maintaining a double-digit lead the remainder of the game.
Baskets by Justin White, senior guard John Wilson and Allen expanded the lead to 57-39 midway through the final quarter.
Timely free throws by Wilson and RJ Moore and a three-pointer by Robbins closed out the scoring for Clover.
With Allen’s 20 points leading the way for the home-standing Clover team, Robbins continued his double-figure scoring with 14 points.
Rounding out the scoring, Moore had nine points, Wilson and Stone had seven apiece and Honneycutt and White had three each. Sophomore postman Aaron Miller, who was saddled with foul trouble for much of the game, finished with two points.
The Blue Eagles hope to continue their success in the region when Clover plays York Friday.
The triple-header action begins at 5 p.m., with the Lady Blue Eagle junior varsity team pitted against the York Comprehensive High School JVs.
Varsity action begins at 6:30 p.m., with the girls’ game. The boys’ varsity game begins at 8 p.m.
Jackson is keenly aware of the Blue Eagles’ intense rivalry with York.
“I’ve said before, York has some of the best players in our region,” Jackson said. “You can throw the records out the window when we play York. It’ll be exciting but we want to play well.”
Asked what would be the keys to success against York and the remaining region games, Jackson replied, “We need to move more on defense, block out and rebound.”