Fort Mill’s Kyle Neibch tries to work around a Rock Hill defender during the Jackets game Monday to open the Milltown Basketball Classic.

Despite a fourth-quarter comeback, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets fell to the Rock Hill Bearcats 55-51 to open the Milltown Basketball Classic at Fort Mill.

Fort Mill was led by junior Kyle Neibch, who scored 21 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter. The Jackets uncharacteristically struggled without turnovers throughout the game, especially in the first half.

“I think we played better in the first quarter,” said Fort Mill head coach Dwayne Hartsoe. “It all came down to shots. We got to learn each other better.”

The Jackets opened the fourth quarter down 47-34, but outscored the Bearcats 17-8 in the period with the help of five 3-pointers, four from Neibch. Senior Brandon Wingo hit the other 3-pointer in the quarter and added 12 points in the game.

Fort Mill opened the game going up 12-3, but had 10 first quarter turnovers and before the quarter ended was trailing 14-12. Rock Hill opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run and the Jackets called a timeout to try and regroup after starting 0-4 in the period.

The Jackets struggled in the second quarter hitting just four of 10 shots and went down 34-22 at the half. Fort Mill continued to struggle in the third quarter, but Rock Hill did as well as the game offensively slowed down for both teams.

In the girls’ game, Fort Mill stayed with the sixth ranked 5A team in the state in Rock Hill for the first quarter, but couldn’t keep up falling 55-30.

Fort Mill was led by senior Abby Snearly, who had 11 points in the loss. Senior Paige Wasiela added nine points as well for the Jackets. Both teams were able to trade baskets in the early going in the first quarter, as Fort Mill’s height on the baseline aided them.

However, in the second quarter Rock Hill took away the Jackets baseline game and outscored them 18-10. Rock Hill was also more aggressive on the boards, getting multiple second chance points. The Bearcats took a 30-21 lead into the half and controlled the second half as Fort Mill’s shooting dried up. The Jackets hit just three second half field goals and only managed nine points.

Fort Mill will now host Andrew Jackson in day two of the tournament starting with the varsity girls at 6 p.m. followed by the boys afterwards.

Catawba Ridge sweeps Andrew Jackson

Both Nation Ford and Catawba Ridge played games at their respective schools as well as part of the event.

The Copperheads boys’ team got a come from behind win in day one of the Milltown Basketball Classic beating the Volunteers 35-34. Sophomore Grant Lovette led Catawba Ridge with 11 points as the Copperheads struggled in the first half. Catawba Ridge trailed 26-11 at the intermission, but outscored Andrew Jackson 25-8 for the win. 

In the girls’ game, Catawba Ridge cruised to a 64-22 win and was led by sophomore Brielle Windsich, who had 19 points. The Copperheads jumped out to a 29-11 lead at the half and outscored Andrew Jackson 35-11 in the second half playing even better.

The Copperheads will now host Spartanburg in day two of the event at Catawba Ridge.

Nation Ford splits with Spartanburg

Nation Ford boys fell 58-36 to Spartanburg to open their season as part of the Milltown Basketball Classic, while the Lady Falcons had no trouble in getting the 53-33 win.

The Lady Falcons jumped out to a 18-6 lead after the opening quarter and then went up 31-18 at the half. Both teams started the second half slow scoring just five points between the two teams in the first four minutes.

Nation Ford would go on a 14-3 run to really pull away in the third quarter.

In the boys’ game, Spartanburg went up 24-10 after the first quarter and never looked back. The Falcons were led by junior Quadeir Hand, who had 13 points.

Spartanburg took a 42-17 lead into the half and despite struggling in the third quarter, was able to hang on to get the 22-point victory.

Nation Ford will now host Rock Hill on the second day of the Milltown Basketball Classic.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Fort Mill’s Abby Snearly goes in for a lay-up during the Jackets game against Rock Hill. Snearly led Fort Mill in scoring in the game.