FORT MILL – In a wild and crazy game, the Clover boys’ basketball team was able to pick up a 60-57 overtime win over Fort Mill, giving head coach Bailey Jackson his 300th career win.
Jackson wouldn’t have been able to pick up win number 300 had it not been for Cory Adams 45-foot half-court shot at the end of regulation that tied the game at 55. Adams got the ball with about four seconds dribble to the right side of the court in front of the scorers table and just heaved it up hitting nothing but net. Adams was mobbed by his team after the shot at half court.
“When that shot went in, I didn’t believe it,” Jackson said.
In overtime, Clover outscored Fort Mill 5-2, as the Jackets struggled most of the night from the foul line and turned the ball over six times in the fourth quarter. At one point, Fort Mill was up by 18 points, but the Blue Eagles outscored them 29-16 in the final quarter.
“The kid made a good shot,” said Fort Mill’s Dwayne Hartsoe, regarding Adams half-court buzzer beater. “He hit one from 45 feet and we couldn’t hit one from 15 feet. Despite us having played 17 games this season, a lot of our kids haven’t been in these situations. We have got to learn to win games.”
Ironically for Jackson, his 300th win came at Fort Mill against the Jackets where he coached for eight of his now 21 seasons and amassed 128 of his wins there while leading the Jackets to the 4A state championship in the 2006-2007 season. Jackson left Fort Mill for Clover, his hometown, after the 2010-2011 school year.
“I have got nothing but love for this place,” Jackson said of Fort Mill. “I had a lot of good times here.”
Clover (13-6, 2-1 Region 3-5A) was led by Noah Caulder, who scored 18 points, and Markus Nastase, who scored 16 points in the win. The Jackets (9-8, 0-2 Region 3-5A) were led by Keyan Mims, who scored 17 points, and Jordan Herman, who added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Fort Mill started the fourth quarter with a 13-point lead at 39-26, and scored seven of the first 10 points of the quarter, but then went cold from the field after that. Clover hit 8-of-15 shots from the field and went 8-for-10 from the foul line. Fort Mill only managed five shots from the field in the quarter and hit three of them, but struggled at the foul line hitting just 9-of-14 shots in the quarter. For the game, Fort Mill hit just 13-of-21 from the charity stripe in regulation and then went 2-for-6 in overtime from the foul line as well.
Clover girls might be putting together “something special”
The No. 1 ranked 5A Clover girls team improved to 18-1 on the season and 3-0 in the region with a 52-33 win over Fort Mill, who fell to 9-8 overall and 0-2 in the region.
Fort Mill put up a fight in the second half, but struggled in the first half hitting just one shot from the field the entire half. Clover carried a 27-8 lead into the half.
Fort Mill rallied in the third quarter hitting 4-of-13 shots and outscored Clover 13-10 in the quarter to make the game more respectable. The Blue Eagles took a 16-point lead into the final quarter at 37-21, when Aylesha Wade took the game into her hands and scored 11 of her 21 points to allow Clover to pull away. Fort Mill was led by Abby Snearly with 10 points.
“Things are going in the right direction for us,” said Clover head coach Sherer Hopkins. “We have some things we need to fix, but I am proud of where we are. This is a special team for sure. We can’t be complacent. We have a lot to get better at.”
Hopkins said she doesn’t think her team is thinking to far ahead down the road to the playoffs and if a possible state title shot could be at the end of that road.
“We really are taking it day by day,” she said. “When you get to the playoffs, if you get to the playoffs, everyone is 0-0. It’s a whole new season.”
Clover will try to continue its winning ways against Rock Hill Friday, Jan. 24, while Fort Mill will play host to Northwestern the same day.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM