By John Turner
Fort Mill High head boys basketball coach Dwayne Hartsoe tied the school record for wins with 177 Tuesday night as the Jackets beat Spring Valley 70-37 to pick up their first Region 3-5A win of the season.
Hartsoe tied the late Jim Walser for most wins in school history. Walser coached basketball for a decade at the school in the 1960s and 1970s.
Something had to give in the boy’s game as Spring Valley rolled into Fort Mill on a five-game losing streak while the Yellow Jackets had lost five of their last six. With the win, Fort Mill is now 8-10 overall and 1-2 in the region.
This was the first time the Jackets played on their home floor in a month. Fort Mill was glad to be back home and it showed early as the Yellow Jackets showed a lot of grit in what can only be described as an ugly, low scoring game.
Four minutes into the game, Fort Mill led 3-2. Fort Mill’s AJ Washington nailed a 3-pointer with 2:41 left to increase the Fort Mill lead to 6-2. Both teams continued to miss shot after shot as Fort Mill took an 8-4 lead into the second quarter. Although Fort Mill was controlling the boards and forcing stops defensively, getting the ball through the hoop continued to be a struggle as the game was tied at 10 with only 2:50 left second quarter.
Spring Valley head coach Cypheus Burton was given a warning for being outside his box which didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. However, it would come into play later in the game. Both teams limped into halftime with Fort Mill leading 18-15.
The second half was more of the same for Spring Valley. Not so for Fort Mill.
The Jackets began finding the bottom of the bucket. Washington hit another 3-pointer, followed by a Zach Jennings trey as well. On the next possession, a controversial call by the officials led to Bunton expressing his displeasure and was quickly given a technical foul.
Fort Mill used the two free throws and possession to increase its lead to 37-22. Fort Mill used that as a spring board to pile on the Vikings misery as Fort Mill outscored Spring Valley 27-8 in the third quarter to essentially put the game away.
Spring Valley lost a heartbreaker in overtime Monday to Lancaster and playing back-to-back nights began to take its toll on the Vikings. The fouls began to mount as did the frustration as Fort Mill continued to light it up from the field and the free throw line.
Fort Mill outscored Spring Valley 25-14 in the fourth quarter and cruised to a 33-pont victory.
Washington led the way with 13 points. Jennings and Will Stumpf picked up 11 points while Gabe Tooper had 10 points in the win.
Girls put up fight against Lady Vikings
Spring Valley made the trip north to The Hive Tuesday to battle the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets on a night where both schools needed victories but for different reasons. The Lady Jackets were trying to stop a four-game losing streak while the Lady Vikings were trying to steal one on the road to improve their playoff hopes.
It was a pretty ugly start for Fort Mill as Spring Valley implemented their press causing turnover after turnover. The Vikings were in control 8-0 with 3:06 left first quarter. Lydia Laney banged a 3-pointer to get Fort Mill on the board, but it was the boost the Jackets needed as they went on their own 8-0 run.
Fort Mill led 9-8 after the first period. Spring Valley turned up the wick to start the second period and quickly got the lead back. Once again, Fort Mill settled in and began to chip away, but Spring Valley got Fort Mill flustered as the first half drew to a close with Spring Valley leading 25-17.
The second half began a lot like the first half did as Spring Valley bumped their lead into double digits. Fort Mill was getting good looks at the rim and was rebounding pretty well, but just couldn’t find the bottom of the bucket as Spring Valley led 32-20 just two minutes into the second half.
The Lady Jackets refused to go away as Julie Chambliss got four quick points followed by a Jada Chambliss 3-pointer leading to a Spring Valley timeout with the score 37-32.
In a scene already witnessed in the first half, Spring Valley closed the third quarter on a 5-0 run to bump their lead back to 44-35.
The fourth quarter was extremely hectic as the crowd continued to grow and the atmosphere became on edge. Fort Mill’s Clare Moore nailed a 3-pointer with 2:51 left in the game cutting the Vikings lead to 50-47. However, Spring Valley had one more run in them and that made the difference as the Vikings held off the Yellow Jackets 61-53.
Ella Marker had a big night for Fort Mill scoring 18 points. Laney and Moore both chipped in nine points while Jada Chambliss picked up six points. That is five straight losses for Fort Mill and moves their overall record to 7-12 and 0-3 in region play.
Fort Mill will tip it versus longtime rival Clover this Friday night back in The Hive.