FORT MILL – Two local teams fell short of their goals of winning a basketball tournament during the holiday break.
Both Fort Mill and Catawba Ridge boys’ basketball teams had to settle for third place in their respective tournaments in Chapin and Chesnee.
At Chapin High School, Fort Mill finished third beating Batesburg-Leesville 59-54 in the Claw Classic. Fort Mill was led in the tournament by Cabe Christopher and Jackson Fewster. Fewster led in scoring in two of the three games with Christopher leading in scoring in the other. Christopher was named to the All-Tournament team for Fort Mill.
In the consolation game against Batesburg-Leesville, Fewster scored 14 points to lead Fort Mill as he helped to hold off Batesburg-Leesville in the fourth quarter. Fort Mill struggle in the game with turnovers and poor shooting in the second half, which led Batesburg-Leesville to hang with them.
“We turn the ball over too much,” said Fort Mill head coach Dwayne Hartsoe. “Christmas time is tough. We have got to be more consistent.”
Hartsoe said he knew it would be hard to make the 90-minute drive back to Chapin after the team didn’t reach finals. The Jackets fell to host Chapin 39-36 in the semifinals of the tournament, moving them to the consolation game for third place. Fewster again led with 11 points in the game for Fort Mill.
“We still have a lot of guys playing varsity basketball for the first time so we got to figure it out,” Hartsoe said.
In the tournament opener, Fort Mill rallied after being down by eight at halftime to Columbia to win 57-49. Christopher led with a career high 19 points and scored 14 of those points in the third quarter to lead the charge for the Jackets.
Fort Mill outscored Columbia 23-8 in the third quarter to take a 43-36 lead into the final period.
The Jackets now return to their regular season and open the second half up with River Bluff Jan. 10. They start Region 3-5A play Jan. 17 at Rock Hill.
In Chesnee, Catawba Ridge beat High Point Academy, out of Spartanburg, 55-45 to finish third in the Chesnee Roundball Classic at Chesnee High School. The Copperheads were led by Carter Hendrick, who was named to the All-Tournament team, with 16 points in the consolation game against High Point.
“This tournament has some good teams and good players,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Brett Childers. “We have worked hard since our last regular season game. We have tried to pinpoint areas of our offense to improve on.”
The third-place game was close between the two schools for the most part as Catawba Ridge held just a two-point lead at the half. Hendrick came up big in the second half scoring 12 of his 16 points.
Catawba Ridge also shot better in the second half using their height to an advantage as the majority of their scoring came from Hendrick and Luke Krawczyk, who added nine points in the win as well.
The Copperheads fell to Great Falls, who won the tournament, in the semifinals 80-63. Catawba Ridge’s Davante Gonzalez had a season high 25 points in the loss. In the opening round of the tournament, Catawba Ridge beat host Chesnee 53-42 with Tyson Bombick leading with 16 points.
Catawba Ridge will return to their regular season at North Gaston Jan. 8 and then will have their next home game Jan. 22 against Fairfield Central.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM