Fort Mill’s Darryl Carrington drives around a Spring Valley defender during Friday’s game. Photos by Angela Holt.

Fort Mill head boys coach Myron Lowery said he wanted to force whoever took the final shot for the Spring Valley Vikings during Friday night’s game into a hard shot.

His Yellow Jackets defense stood tall to that task winning 65-62 over the Vikings.

“If that shot had gone in, it would have been incredible,” he said, of Caleb Temoney’s last-ditch effort from beyond the arc.

Instead, Temoney’s shot pinged off the back of the iron, a Fort Mill player pounced on it, and the Yellow Jackets secured a hard-fought Region 3-5A victory in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Trailing by two heading into the fourth quarter, Fort Mill hit four buckets in the opening two minutes to take a five-point lead and force Spring Valley into a timeout. Logan Parker, in particular, had two clutch mid-range jumpers that he converted and hit both foul shots. The Yellow Jackets led 61-55 with 1:29 left to play.

Still, Spring Valley fought hard to be in contention. Justin Skelton hit a 3-pointer with 1:09 left, and Jordan Burgess caused a turnover that he then turned into a fast break layup.

But Fort Mill nailed five of its last six free throws to force Spring Valley into one last chance to send the game into overtime.

Temoney had a decent look from the top of the key, but his shot rimmed out, and the Yellow Jackets could finally exhale.

“Too many times we’ve been on the other end of that this year,” Lowery said. “Tonight, we beat them at the line 18-4, we made the free throws at the end, took care of the ball. Every game is like this (in this region), it’s fun. It makes every single night, you’ve got to come out and play hard.”

Parker led the Yellow Jackets with 22 points, while Nas Berry picked up 16 and Christian McCain had 9 points.

With the win, Fort Mill improves to 14-10 overall and 4-4 in region play. Spring Valley drops to 11-11 and 3-5 in region.

“We took a very concerted effort to get (Parker) more touches,” Lowery said. “He did what we thought he could do. He’s such an intelligent basketball player, we know he’s gonna make the right play.”

Spring Valley got off to a hot start to begin the night. The Vikings nailed three consecutive 3-pointers midway through the first quarter to earn a 10-point lead.

Fort Mill’s McCain and Parker both hit layups to cut into the lead on the last couple of possessions before the end of the quarter to cut the lead to 15-10 by the end of the first eight minutes.

The Yellow Jackets caught fire for a 7-0 run to start the second quarter, including two layups by Berry and a trey by AJ Washington, to tie the game at 17-17.

Still, the Vikings never slowed down hitting two layups, including a beauty of a reverse basket, in the final 2:30 of the half to keep the score close for the visitors.

Jacob Isler converted an open layup and Trey Smith sank a jumper in the final minute helping the Vikings earn a 29-26 halftime lead.

Spring Valley opened the second half with a 10-0 run in the middle of the third quarter. But the Yellow Jackets finished the final two minutes of the third on a 7-0 run of their own to cut the lead back to 46-44, including transition layups from Washington and Parker.

Lady Jackets fall hard

The Lady Vikings used a 22-3 third quarter to overtake and take down the Lady Yellow Jackets 60-35 in a Region 3-5A contest Friday night in Fort Mill.

Fort Mill led by three at halftime, but Spring Valley sank 10 buckets in the pivotal third quarter to help earn a fourth region win of the year.

Fort Mill was outscored 37-9 in the second half. With the win, Spring Valley improves to 12-11, 4-4 in region play. Fort Mill drops to 16-8, 2-6 in region.

Fort Mill hit six of its eight first-quarter free throws in the first quarter during a 10-0 run to earn an early 12-5 edge.

The visitors used a 7-0 run in the opening 1:30 of the second quarter to tie the game at 12-12, thanks to layups from three different Vikings players.

But the Lady Yellow Jackets fought to earn back their lead. Junior Izzie Barber nailed a 3-pointer with six minutes to go, and Fort Mill converted 5-of-6 fouls shots.

Senior Reagan Reyes, who led the Jackets with 10 points, helped-give her team some cushion with back-to-back layups, the last one stemming from her own steal, to pad the lead to six with a minute left to play in the first half.

The Lady Yellow Jackets entered halftime leading 26-23.

But Spring Valley came out firing in the third quarter. The Lady Vikings outscored their hosts 22-3 following halftime to take the lead. Spring Valley hit 10 baskets throughout the quarter, including six straight to fuel a 14-1 run in the opening six minutes of the quarter.

The Vikings worked hard to harry the Yellow Jackets, forcing plenty of turnovers and disconnected passes, often pushing with a full-court press. Six different Vikings scored during the 22-point third quarter.By the time the third quarter ended, the Vikings led by 16.

Spring Valley sank six more buckets in the opening six minutes to pad the lead. The Vikings led by as many as 27 points with 2:30 left.

Fort Mill head girls coach Nathan Wruble said his team got rattled in the third quarter.

“They weren’t doing the things we work on in practice,” he said. “(Spring Valley) was running the same (full-court) defense as they were in the first half, but we just didn’t take care of the basketball.”

Fort Mill next hosts Clover Tuesday, Feb. 6 and travels to play crosstown rival Nation Ford Friday, Feb. 9 to end the regular season.

Fort Mill’s Ashley Kirby fights for the ball against two Spring Valley defenders in Friday’s game.