Northwestern junior Clenzo Ross scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night to bring the Trojans back from a six-point deficit for a 47-44 win at the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets.
“He’s working on his game every day and getting more confident in what he can do,” Northwestern coach Mike Gossett said. “We put him at the point of that 1-3-1, and he made a big difference.”
The Jackets led 38-32 after the third on the strength of a 10-0 run over three and a half minutes. Senior guard Rylan Wells had seven of his 11 points during the run. He gave Fort Mill its first lead at 31-30 with a three-point play the old-fashioned way with 5:34 left in the frame. The run ended with a Trojans timeout at 2:09 after another bucket by Wells.
Fort Mill made a final, frenetic effort in the last minute to pull out a win. Trailing 45-43, it stole the in-bounds pass with 45 seconds left and senior Matt Ferguson was fouled with 32 ticks left. He hit 1 of 2 but junior Devan Thacker hustled after the rebound and threw it off a Trojans player out of bounds. There was a loose-ball scrum on the in-bounds and a foul was called on Trojans junior Will Chitwood. With 25.3 seconds left, Jackets senior John Paris missed the front end of the bonus and Chitwood was fouled. He also missed the front end and Wells pushed the ball franticly up the court. He pitched ahead to Thacker who dished to Paris underneath, but Paris’ contested shot from in close hung tantalizingly on the rim before falling off. Rontavious McClure got the rebound for Northwestern and found Ross streaking to the other end. Wells chased and fouled him on his lay-up attempt with 1.2 seconds left. Ross calmly sank two freebies and Thacker’s desperation heave from half-court fell harmlessly short to give the Trojans the victory.
Senior LaThomas Long led Northwestern with 12 points and Thacker also had 11 for Fort Mill.
Fort Mill 44
Northwestern - LaThomas Long 12, Clenzo Ross 10, Rontavious McClure 9, Ja’Reg Feely 6, Mustafia Love 5, Will Chitwood 3, Manzi Hill 2.
Fort Mill - Rylan Wells 11, Devan Thacker 11, Matt Ferguson 8, John Paris 4, Mike Scurlock 4, Preston Jordan 3, Harrison Lancaster 3.
3-pointers - Northwestern 4 (Feely 2, Chitwood 1, Ross 1) Fort Mill 4 (Thacker 2, Ferguson 1, Lancaster 1). Team fouls - Northwestern 15, Fort Mill 15. Records: Northwestern 9-11, 5-4 Region 3-AAAA; Fort Mill 8-11, 3-6.