With the first half of their Region 3-5A schedule complete, both the Fort Mill girls’ and boys’ basketball teams are sitting in a nice spot.
The Fort Mill boys are 4-0 in region play after rolling over the Gaffney Indians 70-42 Monday night in a make-up game that was postponed from earlier in the season. The girls’ basketball team is 2-2 in region play after edging Gaffney 58-53 in overtime.
Fort Mill, who is ranked eighth in the state in 5A, used some hot shooting from beyond the arch as they hit a dozen 3-pointers in the game and was led by Gabe Tooper who scored 24 points and hit four 3-pointers, all in the third quarter.
“We shot the ball well,” said Fort Mill head coach Dwayne Hartsoe. “Gabe played well. A lot of people got to play. It is always good to win.”
Fort Mill came out strong as they took a 13-4 lead after the first quarter. The Jackets opened the second quarter on a 12-0 run as Kyle Neibch scored six of his nine points in the quarter. Neibch is now 17 points shy of 1,000 for his prep career through his tenure at Fort Mill and in Batavia, Ill. where he moved from.
The Jackets took a 31-10 lead in the locker room and came out even stronger outscoring Gaffney 26-17 in the third quarter as Tooper dropped in 14 of his 24 points. Fort Mill hit seven of 11 shots from the field and was perfect from the foul line in the quarter as they took a 30-point lead to the fourth quarter at 57-27.
Fort Mill played a lot of their bench during the fourth quarter as they rolled to the win and improved to 16-4 overall on the season.
Girls get key win over Gaffney
Fort Mill was led by Clare Moore and Nadia Dial as they picked up an overtime win against Gaffney Monday. The Jackets are now 8-14 overall on the season.
The Jackets struggled at times shooting the ball, but was able to hit key shots in the overtime period. Fort Mill outscored Gaffney 14-9 in overtime as Dial hit crucial back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Jackets a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Fort Mill also went 8-for-11 from the foul line in the extra period which helped them.
Fort Mill head coach Heather Klipa categorized the win as a major one for her team in region play.
“We hit some big shots down the stretch and some free throws,” she said. “In the grand scheme of region play, this was huge.”
Moore had 21 points to lead Fort Mill and Dial dropped in 19 points as well, despite struggling in the second half. Both teams ended regulation tied at 41-41.
Fort Mill will now start the second half of region play as Boiling Springs is scheduled to come to town Tuesday. The Jackets will then travel to Clover Friday for another key match-up for the Fort Mill boys’ team.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep