FORT MILL — The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets tore through Clover, outscoring them 40-5 and not allowing a field goal in the second half as they picked up a 65-29 win.
Clover head coach Bailey Jackson make his return trip to Fort Mill High for the first time as head coach of the Blue Eagles Friday night, and didn’t get the result he was used to in that gym.
Fort Mill outscored Clover 18-1 in the third quarter and then 22-4 in the fourth . The Jackets knew they would have to win out with three games left in the regular season to have a shot at making the playoffs.
The Jackets had lost six in a row.
Fort Mill head coach Dwayne Hartsoe wouldn’t let his players get too far ahead of themselves.
“We are taking it one game at a time,” he said. “A lot of things have got to happen. This was a great win for us. We have had a tough stretch.”
The Jackets shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and 46 percent for the game.
Fort Mill started the third quarter on an 8-0 run as senior Matt Ferguson opened it with four points.
Clover tried to keep pace with 3-pointers, but couldn’t hit anything and Jackson called a timeout with Fort Mill leading 33-24.
The Blue Eagles missed the first 10 shots of the quarter, but finally ended the 12-0 run by the Jackets on a Jevon Blake free throw. Clover went 0-11 from the field in the third quarter.
Jackson, who coached Fort Mill from the 2003-2011 and guided it to the 2006-2007 state championship, kept his comments brief.
“We didn’t execute,” he said. “We didn’t play hard. Fort Mill beat us every way they could beat us. Congratulations to them.”
Clover started the fourth quarter pressing Fort Mill, but the Jackets kept their foot on the gas and never let up.
Fort Mill again started hot in the fourth quarter, going on a 7-0 run before Clover scored on free throws by Blake.
The Blue Eagles’ struggles on offense continued, they went 0-9 from the field to go 0-20 in the second half.
Fort Mill was led by senior Harrison Lancaster, who had 16 points, and junior Mike Scurlock, who had 14 points.
Both teams kept pace with each other in the second quarter as they matched each other turnover-for-turnover and nearly point-for-point to start.
The pace of the game slowed down considerably after a lengthy three-point play from Scurlock, which led to a discussion between the refs to see if the basket would count.
A 3-pointer by Ferguson gave the Jackets a two-point lead at 23-21 with about 3:30 left in the quarter.
Clover then tied the game on a Taylor Hoover baseline drive two minutes later, before Fort Mill’s Rylan Wells gave the Jackets the lead right back near the end of the half.
Clover’s Bryce Allen hit two 3-pointers to give the Blue Eagles an 18-12 lead in the closing minutes of the first quarter.
Clover used its height to work the baseline and low post to get easy baskets. Fort Mill used slashing guards to get to the hoop and allow the Jackets to keep pace before both squads went outside the arc for their points.
Clover – Arnaldo Toro 7, Bryce Allen 6, Taylor Hoover 5, Jevon Blake 5, Alex Thompson 4, Mark Cavanaugh 2. Fort Mill – Harrison Lancaster 16, Mike Scurlock 14, Matt Ferguson 12, Devan Thacker 8, John Paris 5, Rylan Wells 4, Matt Tillery 2, Mitchel Johnson 2, Preston Jordan 2.
3-pointers: Clover 3 (Allen 2, Hoover 1), Fort Mill 7 (Scurlock 3, Ferguson 2, Lancaster 2). Team fouls: Clover 11, Fort Mill 14.
Records: Clover 11-10, 5-7 Region III-AAAA; Fort Mill 9-13, 4-8 Region III-AAAA.
Clover holds off pesky Lady Jackets’ squad
A quick start by the Clover Blue Eagles was all they needed to come away with a 46-43 win over Fort Mill, despite a furious rally by the Jackets in the fourth quarter.
Fort Mill outscored Clover 14-9 in the final period, but it was Clover’s start that made the difference.
“We came out real strong,” said Clover head coach Sherer Hopkins. “Fortunately, our defense held on to get the win.”
Clover opened the game on a 7-0 run before the Jackets took their first timeout of the evening.
The Blue Eagles came out of the time out and extended their lead. Fort Mill missed its first nine shots and had four early turnovers. That led to a 15-0 start for Clover and another Fort Mill timeout.
Clover’s Elizabeth Edmunds led the Blue Eagles in the opening quarter with 11 points, as they finished the period leading 18-7. Fort Mill rattled off a 7-0 run to end the period.
Fort Mill hit 7 of 9 shots and was able to cut the Blue Eagles lead in the second period, but Edmunds and Sydney Sanders hit from downtown to give Clover the 28-17 lead.
Fort Mill struggled with turnovers, as it had 10 within the first 13 minutes of the game.
Jackets senior Rae Lynch kept Fort Mill in the game, hitting two 3-pointers in the quarter as the first half closed with Clover clinging to a 28-24 lead.
Both squads started slow in the second half, combining for just six points in the first four minutes.
Clover kept a comfortable but slim lead in the third quarter, closing the period out 37-29.
Fort Mill was able to cut the Blue Eagles lead to one with about 15 seconds left in the game. However, Clover keep its cool under pressure, hitting two critical free throws down the stretch.
Clover – Elizabeth Edmunds 20, Sydney Sanders 11, Ryehia Robbins 9, Ashia Good 4, Aaliyah Knox 2. Fort Mill – Arianna Grevious 16, Rae Lynch 11, Ally Abbott 6, Madison Hendrix 4, Lauren Wood 2, Sierra Patterson 2, Kayla Godwin 2.
3-pointers: Clover 5 (Edmunds 3, Sanders 2), Fort Mill 4 (Lynch 3, Hendrix 1). Team fouls: Clover 10, Fort Mill 10.
Records: Clover 16-6, 8-4 Region III-AAAA; Fort Mill 9-12, 3-9 Region III-AAAA.