Catawba Ridge’s Zyan Hager looks to dribble around a Country Day defender during the finals of the Copperhead Classic Thursday.

The Catawba Ridge boys’ basketball team dropped its second game of the season losing in the finals of the inaugural Copperhead Basketball Classic to Charlotte Country Day.

Country Day used a strong interior game in the second half and caused turnovers with a heavy defensive pressure against the Copperheads to get a 62-55 win. The loss drops Catawba Ridge to 14-2 on the season.

Catawba Ridge struggled in the second half with executing free throws as well as they hit just two of seven in the fourth quarter.

“Free throws and turnovers,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Brett Childers. “They scored off our turnovers. We didn’t box out as good as we should have.”

The second half was a game of surges as Catawba Ridge held a 32-25 lead starting the third quarter, but Country Day opened the period on a 7-0 run to tie the game. The Copperheads then went on a 6-0 run to go up 38-32, before Country Day ended the quarter on a 11-0 run to go up 43-38. Country Day outscored Catawba Ridge 18-6 in the third quarter as the Copperheads hit just two of seven shots from the field. 

Catawba Ridge opened the fourth going on a 5-0 run to tie the game, but Country Day put together another run to surge ahead for the final time and go up 50-43. Country Day was strong on second chance points and in the interior near the basket as they outrebounded Catawba Ridge in the fourth quarter.

In first half, both Grant Lovette and Zyan Hager, who made the All-Tournament team, led the way for Catawba Ridge. Lovette scored 13 of his 21 points in the game in the first half and Hager scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half as well. Both of them didn’t get the looks in the second half they were afforded in the first.

Carter Hendrick came on big for the Copperheads in the fourth quarter scoring nine of his 11 points in the game in the final period to try and keep Catawba Ridge alive.

Up next for Catawba Ridge is a road game at South Point (NC) Wednesday, Jan. 5

Bennie Bennett Invitational

The Fort Mill boys’ basketball team improved to 11-4 on the season with a 77-55 win over Newberry High to finish third in the Bennie Bennett Invitational. The game was played at the Rock Hill Sports and Events Center Thursday afternoon. Fort Mill finished the tournament 3-0, but played the third-place game because of points allowed in their first two games.

Fort Mill was led by three players in double figures as Gabe Tooper scored 22 points and Kyle Neibch scored 21 points. Will Stumpf added 16 points as well in the win.

Up next for Fort Mill is a return home to play Indian Land Jan. 4.

Poinsettia Classic

The Nation Ford Falcons boys’ basketball team fell in the consolation championship to Blue Ridge High 52-46 in the Poinsettia Classic at Greenville High. The loss drops the Falcons to 4-9 on the season. Nation Ford returns to action at Rock Hill Jan. 4.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep