Clover Optimist Classic opens Thursday

genegraham@comporium.netDecember 19, 2012 

— The Inaugural Clover Optimist Classic swings into action Thursday in both gyms at Clover High School.

Bailey Jackson, head coach of the Blue Eagles, and CHS girls head coach Sherer Hopkins are geared up for the three-day tournament featuring 16 teams.

“I am excited that we are hosting two great fields in the first year of our tournament,” said Jackson. “We want this to be a first-class event and look forward to seeing how our guys and girls teams respond to the challenge of competing against some quality basketball programs.”

Boys’ teams competing include York, Indian Land, Charlotte Christian, Providence Day, Blacksburg, Broome, Chesterfield and Clover.

Girls’ teams slated for the tournament include Indian Land, Spartanburg Christian, Blacksburg, Eau Claire, Seneca, Cuthbertson (NC), a traveling team from Brisbane, Australia and Clover.

“The tournament experience will help us,” said Lady Blue Eagle point guard Aaliyah Knox. “Competing against teams with different styles of play will help us when we get back to region play.”

The tournament features several Division 1 players, including Clemson University commit Patrick Rooks of Charlotte Christian, Seneca’s Kianna Holland, a Duke commit, and Providence Day’s Jordan Watkins.

Thursday’s action begins with the York Comprehensive High School Cougars pitted against Charlotte Christian at 3 p.m. in the new gym.

Other Thursday boys’ games, all in the CHS new gym, include Chesterfield against Blacksburg at 4:30 p.m.

Broome and Providence Day are slated for a 6 p.m. tipoff, with the Blue Eagles hosting Indian Land at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday’s girls’ action will be held in the CHS old gym, with Blacksburg and Spartanburg Christian at 3 p.m. Next will be Seneca and Cuthbertson at 4:30 p.m.

The Lady Blue Eagles will entertain Indian Land at 6 p.m., followed by Eau Claire and Brisbane at 7:30 p.m.

Games will be played at the same starting times on Friday, with Saturday games beginning at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in both gyms.

The remainder of Saturday’s games will be played at 1, 2:30, 4 and 5:30 p.m. in the new gym, with the girls’ championship game at 4 p.m. and the boys’ title game slated for 5:30 p.m.

The Clover Optimist Club’s sponsored the tournament.

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