Compiled by Sam Copeland
The Northwestern girls dictated the pace from the get-go en route to a 66-37 thumping of Rock Hill on Friday night. In a battle of unbeaten Region 3 teams, only the hosts emerged unscathed, thanks in part to a harrying fullcourt press and dominance on the boards.
“Our girls are finally understanding that if we can put all of our energy to the defensive end that we will win games,” said Northwestern coach John Bramlett. “That defensive energy will get us to where we want to go.”
Mariah McCoy led Northwestern, ranked eighth in the state, with 17 points, while Ze’Kiya Knox topped Rock Hill with 15.
“We started panicking, started rushing,” said Rock Hill coach Kenny Orr. “We just started making careless passes, and got into the pace that they wanted to play.”
Rock Hill turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter and was whistled for seven fouls in a disjointed eight minutes. The Trojans jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first four minutes, reveling in the frantic pace. McCoy converted a pair of offensive rebounds that highlighted the home team’s most distinct advantage – in the paint – and Paige Samuelson dropped in two of her six for a nine-point lead.
The Bearcats finally broke through with a bucket by Knox, but another putback by Samuelson capped another Northwestern flourish that had Orr shaking his head. The visitors’ bench gave them a lift though: Alexis Ervin scoring four points in the last minute, including a swished jumper at the quarter horn that made it 17-8.
Rock Hill closed the gap slightly in the second quarter, but Northwestern was simply dominant on the boards. The 6-foot-4 Samuelson continually got the inside advantage for easy putbacks, while the Bearcats compounded matters by missing a number of open layups.
Northwestern led by 12 (32-20) at the half, and it was the hosts that surged out of the locker rooms with an 8-0 run. Knox’s 3 halted the unanswered run, but the Lady Trojans went on to outscore Rock Hill 20-13 in the third to seal a win in the first of two scheduled meetings between the schools.
Northwestern 66, Rock Hill 37
Rock Hill - Kia Walls 1, Tomesha Brown 1, Ze’Kiya Knox 15, Anita Jones 2, Asia Potts 6, Shaunte Young 5, Alexis Ervin 7.
Northwestern - Ieshia Love 8, Aubriana Thompson 15, Cayse Branyan 8, Natalie Henderson 6, Sha’Shay Alexander 4, London Minor 2, Paige Samuelson 6, Mariah McCoy 17.
3-point goals - Rock Hill 3 (Knox 2, Ervin), Northwestern 1 (McCoy). Team fouls - Rock Hill 11; Northwestern 19.
Records: Rock Hill 8-6, 5-1 in Region 3-AAAA; Northwestern 11-2, 6-0 in Region 3-AAAA.
Nation Ford 48, Fort Mill 46
Nation Ford was able to hold on for a win as junior Taylor Yarborough led the Falcons with 32 points to keep Fort Mill winless in Region 3-AAAA.
Fort Mill started the fourth quarter on a 6-2 run to pull to three points at 42-39 as Lauren Wood scored six points in three minutes to rally the Jackets.
However, after cooling off a little, Nation Ford’s Yarborough drained her fifth 3-pointer of the game to extend the Falcons’ lead with 2:30 left.
Fort Mill climbed back into the game with the help of seven fourth-quarter turnovers by Nation Ford. Fort Mill hit just four second-half field goals and was able to keep pace with the Falcons with foul shooting as they went 20 for 32 in the game.
“It was a great team win,” said Nation Ford coach Mike Smith. “I am proud of the ladies for finding a way to win. Hat’s off to both teams.”
Both teams traded points to open the third quarter, before Yarborough drained a 3-pointer.
Fort Mill struggled to start the quarter, hitting just one of its first eight shots, while Yarborough led the Falcons with two 3-pointers as Nation Ford started pulling away at 35-28.
Both squads cut down on turnovers in the third quarter, something that was prevalent in the first half.
The Jackets struggled shooting in the third quarter. They hit just two field goals.
Fort Mill’s Madison Hendrix and Nation Ford’s Yarborough turned a team game into a one-on-one contest between the two players. Yarborough scored 15 points, while Hendrix scored 11.
The two teams started the second quarter slowly, but Nation Ford soon found their groove starting the period on a 7-0 run, five of which was scored by Yarborough, as Fort Mill turned the ball over four times.
Fort Mill broke the run after a time out and a bucket by Hendrix to make it 19-13. The Jackets were able to keep pace with the help of fast breaks which Hendrix mastered.
Hendrix took the game over for Fort Mill scoring 11 second quarter points as the Jackets rallied to one at 25-24 right before the half.
Fort Mill scored the opening bucket and then turned the ball over on three straight possession.
Yarborough started off the game by scoring all six points for Nation Ford as Fort Mill started off with a triangle and two defense to try and stop her.
The Jackets’ Arianna Grevious was just as effective for Fort Mill scoring six of their first seven points. Grevious play and an aggressive Jackets squad pushed them to a slim 9-6 lead.
Yarborough came right back and tied the game with a 3-pointer, the first of the game. In fact, Yarborough scored the first nine points for the Falcons.
Nation Ford – Taylor Yarborough 32, Zippy Lincoln 4, Dani Shaddix 4, Jessie Raniszewski 3, Briley Prince 3, Aja Hall 2.
Fort Mill – Madison Hendrix 15, Arianna Grevious 15, Lauren Wood 8, Hannah-Kate Christopher 7, Rae Lynch 1.
3-point goals - Nation Ford 6 (Yarborough 5, Prince 1), Fort Mill 0. Team fouls - Nation Ford 24, Fort Mill 22. Fouled out - Dani Shaddix, Tiaira Potts (NF), Hannah-Kate Christopher (FM).
Records: Nation Ford 9-6, 3-2 Region 3-AAAA; Fort Mill 6-10, 0-6 Region 3-AAAA.
Lancaster 44, South Pointe 41
Torrid perimeter shooting and suffocating defense blended together for a winning combination for the Bruins.
Lancaster scorched the nets with eight 3-pointers and limited South Pointe to only two points in the final 3:47 of the contest.
“We had to turn our defensive intensity up,” Lancaster coach Ronnie Robinson said. “We got off to a slow start, but felt that we had to be more aggressive with our defense.
“We were able to cut the deficit to two at the half, and things just carried over from there with our defense.”
South Pointe took a 36-34 lead on a 3-pointer from Izzy Clark with 5:16 remaining. Lancaster, however, countered with Chanda Nivens connecting from beyond the arc.
The Stallions tied the score with a T’Keia Williams free throw, and took a two-point edge, 39-37, with two more foul shots from Sierra Gilmore.
Lancaster capitalized by going to the line and sinking four-of-six clutch attempts. Keyotta Garris netted a hook shot in the lane for a 43-39 lead with 1:01 remaining.
Clark pulled South Pointe to within two, 43-41, with 36.8 seconds remaining. Shareese Ross netted a foul shot to put Lancaster up by three. South Pointe had a shot to tie the contest, but a three-point attempt bounced off the back iron as time expired.
Lancaster - Shareese Ross 1, Chanda Nivens 12, Sharon Brunson 8, Aliyah Davis 5, Hayden Thorne 1, Keyotta Garris 7, Pheobe Johnson 9, Kenyatta Robertson 1.
South Pointe - Breanna Davis 4, T’Keia Williams 5, Sierra Gilmore 2, Jacovia Cherry 3, Lindsay Bradley 3, Deiona Davis 2, Israelle Clark 7, Ashley Jaggars 12, Cameron Davis 2, Shay Robinson 1.
3-point goals - Lancaster 8 (Nivens 4, Brunson 2, Davis 1, Garris 1), South Pointe 3 (Cherry 1, Bradley 1, Clark 1). Team fouls - Lancaster 16, South Pointe 14. Fouled out - Davis (SP).
Records: Lancaster 5-8, 3-3 in Region 3-AAAA; South Pointe 5-7, 1-4 in Region 3-AAAA.
Chester 44, Union 41
The Cyclones fell behind early, but regrouped and came back to remain unbeaten in region play with a win over Union.
The seven-point first period deficit was cut to just two by intermission. Chester took the lead for good late in the third period and held on for the big road victory.
Porcelain Goldsborough led the way for Chester with 12 points.
Chester - Shaterica Mayfield 14, Destiny Isom 1, Shannon Snelgrove 3, Porcelain Goldsborough 12, Alexus Young 4, Diamond Simpson 10.
Union - Audrea Thomas 2, Chelise Moorman 15, Kristen Moorman 12, Mariana Eison 12.
3-point goals - Chester 1 (Snelgrove 1), Union 2 (Eison 2).
Team fouls - Chester 16, Union 17. Fouled out - Thomas, Isom (U).
Records: Chester 9-8, 3-0 in Region 3-AAA.