CHESTER — For nearly three quarters, the Chester Cyclones dictated tempo, and therefore held the lead from the opening tip.
However, Fort Mill threw a defensive wrinkle at the Cyclones, and in the process, completely turned the momentum. That was enough to secure a 61-50 road victory in Region 4-AAA action.
The Cyclones led by 10 in the first quarter, and were able to withstand several Fort Mill surges. With 6:25 remaining in the third, Chester maintained a 32-29 lead.
Cyclones guard John Gore swished a deep 3-pointer for a 43-38 lead with 2:12 remaining in the third. After a timeout, Fort Mill went to a full-court press which forced the Cyclones into a series of turnovers.
"We substituted to give starters a rest near the end of the third, and that is when they put on the 1-2-2 press," Chester coach Andrew Dean said. "We called timeout to show our guys how to beat it, but they put it in on the other side."
The Yellow Jackets' press resulted in a 7-0 run to end the third quarter.
Leading 45-43, Fort Mill continued to press and the run continued. Led by guard John Brown with 33 points, the Yellow Jackets went on a 10-2 spurt and found themselves ahead by 10, 55-45, after Riley McGillam sank two free throws with 2:37 remaining.
"Our trap was good for us," Fort Mill coach Dwayne Hartsoe said. "It gave us some easy baskets. We felt that we had to change the tempo of the game and we were not shooting that well."
John Rambert and Tommy Sanders led the Cyclones with 14 and 13, respectively.
Fort Mill 61, Chester 50
Chester -- Stephon Woods 3, John Gore 13, Tony Wright 1, Jameston Gallman 6, John Rambert 14, Tommy Sanders 13.
Fort Mill -- John Brown 33, Mary Courey 4, Riley McGillam 8, Matt Ferguson 4, John Paris 3, DaQuan Antoine 2, Daniel Barfield 2, Harrison Lancaster 2.
3-pointers -- Chester 3 (Woods 1, Gore 2), Fort Mill 4 (Brown 2, McGillam 2). Team fouls -- Chester 16, Fort Mill 15. Fouled out -- Sanders (C).
Records: Chester 6-10, 0-2 in Region 4-AAA; Fort Mill 9-6, 1-1 in Region 4-AAA.