Two teams coming off a couple of weeks in COVID-19 shutdown, one was able to make adjustments, the other wasn’t to the lack of playing time.
Fort Mill boys’ and girls’ basketball teams swept rivals Nation Ford in their first meeting on the hardwood this season. The Lady Jackets, who has missed the last two weeks because of the coronavirus, was in just their second game back beat Nation Ford 44-39. It was the first time since Jan. 24, 2017 that the Fort Mill girls had beat Nation Ford in basketball.
“I am proud of the kids stepping up,” said Fort Mill head coach Heather Klipa. “They did everything they could when they were out. They watch film, we had Zoom practices. I am really proud of them.”
Fort Mill was led by Paige Wasiela, who scored 15 points, including hitting three 3-pointers. The Jackets held off a fourth-quarter rally by Nation Ford, who was led by Georgia Sharpless in scoring with 10 points.
Nation Ford started the fourth quarter down 32-23, but outscored Fort Mill 16-12 in the final period. The Falcons tied the game at 37 with 3:54 left, but the Jackets were able to outscore them down the stretch 7-2 with most of those points coming off free throws from Wasiela and Lydia Laney, who added in nine points for Fort Mill.
Fort Mill improves to 6-5 overall and 2-1 in Region 3-5A, while Nation Ford drops to 5-12 overall and 1-3 in the region.
Fort Mill boys dominate Falcons
The other team coming off two weeks of COVID-19 shutdown were the Nation Ford boys’ team and it showed, as they struggled mightily against Fort Mill and only dressed eight players.
Fort Mill beat the Falcons 47-19 and led from the opening tip with ease. The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Jackets. Nation Ford was playing their first game since Jan. 5.
“It is good to get a win,” said Fort Mill head coach Dwayne Hartsoe.
The Jackets were led by Kyle Neibch, who scored 20 points, and hit six 3-pointers for Fort Mill. The Jackets opened the first quarter taking a 14-3 lead and were clutch from the outside. The second quarter, while not as dominate, was just as effective for Fort Mill as they took a 22-5 lead into the half.
Fort Mill’s offense slowed some in the third quarter as Nation Ford was able to show some progress and jumped out to a quick second half start. After a quick timeout by the Jackets, Fort Mill was able to contain Nation Ford and pressure the ball more causing six turnovers in the quarter.
The Jackets found their groove in the fourth quarter and outscored the Falcons 17-4 in the period. Nation Ford was led by Jackson Burnham, who scored nine points.
Fort Mill improves to 8-7 overall and 4-3 in region play, while Nation Ford falls to 1-9 overall and 0-2 in the region.
All four teams are scheduled to be back at it Friday night at Nation Ford with the girls tipping off at 6:30 p.m. Nation Ford boys play Boiling Springs at home today in an effort to make up some of the games they have missed.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep