Holiday Invitational

Clinton playing in first Holiday Invitational

Posted December 26, 2012

HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational

While his Clinton squad will be making its first trip to the Holiday Invitational, first year head coach Randy Jordan has experienced the tournament’s competitive atmosphere twice (2005 and 2006) as the coach of Goldsboro. He believes his team’s inclusion in this year can serve as a foundation for building perennial successful program.

“I’m not sure we’re ready for it, but we’re sure excited to be in it,” Jordan said. “We’re real proud and honored that they have included us. We think it is a great opportunity for the program and the community.

“The biggest thing is laying a foundation with this team to build a program. Being invited to this tournament is such a big step for us.”

With six players standing 6-4 or taller, the Dark Horses hope to impose their size and quickness.

“We’re going to be very athletic and we’re going to try to get up and down the floor offensively and defensively,” he said. “We like to get out and run and defend people and we’re looking to use those things to our advantage.”

With a deep bench, Clinton also hopes to throw bodies at opponents.

“We think we’ve got good depth and that we can go nine or 10 deep,” Jordan said, adding the Dark Horses will run a point guard by committee utilizing Greg Smith, James Evans and Ryan Chester at different times in the backcourt. “They all bring something different.”

Junior 6-9 big man Thaxter Spruill looks to be a dominating presence during the Holiday Invitational and Jordan believes his center has a tremendous upside.

“The great thing about Thaxter is that the drive is there. He is committed to (working on his footwork and getting bigger in the weight room),” Jordan said. “He’s one of those kids that I have to tell him, ‘I have to go home, you have to get out of the gym now,’ which is a wonderful thing.”

With two tournaments under his belt, Jordan hopes Clinton’s trip prepares the squad for conference play and the NCHSAA 2A playoffs.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to upgrade our schedule. We know, win or lose, we are going to play three outstanding basketball teams,” he said of playing in a venue such as Broughton’s Holliday Gymnasium. “We know it’s going to prepare us for down the road as we go into conference play.”

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