WAXHAW, N.C. — The Nation Ford boys basketball team dropped a second consecutive game to begin the season, losing a second game to a North Carolina opponent on Thursday as the Falcons fell to Marvin Ridge 56-46.
The Mavericks came out hot and never let up as Nation Ford struggled to keep up after a poor second quarter.
“Right now, our biggest thing to look at is making steady improvements,” said Falcons coach Michael Tew. “They are only going to continue to improve. I am still trying to solidify what the roles are on the team.”
Nation Ford struggled in the fourth quarter after pulling within eight to end the third at 40-32.
The Falcons didn’t score their first field goal in the fourth until 2:25 left after starting 0-7 on a senior Riley Hilton layup. Hilton led Nation Ford with 20 points.
Nation Ford pulled within seven at 45-38 with two minutes left in the game, but a Mavericks 3-pointer, one of five in the game, quickly pushed their lead back to 10.
Hilton, who scored nine of the Falcons’ 15 first quarter points, recovered from going cold in the second quarter and scored Nation Ford’s first two baskets.
Marvin Ridge post John Emezie hit two 3-pointers to push the Mavericks’ lead to 38-25 with three minutes left in the third quarter. Emezie scored 33 in the game to lead Marvin Ridge.
Nation Ford missed its first six shots to start the second quarter, before a time out to try and regroup.
The team also struggled in getting back in transition as Marvin Ridge seemed to beat them to the basket consistently.
Emezie scored five of the Mavs 13 second quarter points. While Nation Ford hit just one shot from the field on 15 attempts in the second quarter.
Marvin Ridge 46, Nation Ford 39: The Falcons dropped a close game to Marvin Ridge, with turnovers playing a key role in the loss.
Nation Ford had 18 turnovers in the game, while Marvin Ridge had just eight.
Falcons coach Mike Smith said he is still trying to learn who can play where for this year’s team.
“We are working on learning each other,” he said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well. We didn’t have the team to be as aggressive as it needed to be.”
Marvin Ridge opened the second half on a 4-0 run to extend its five point halftime lead.
The Mavericks started hitting from outside and building a bigger lead about midway through the third quarter.
Toward the end of the quarter, the Falcons’ Jessie Raniszewski got hot from the field and was able to help pull Nation Ford back into the game as they pulled within two at 28-26.
Raniszewski nailed a 3-pointer to start the fourth as Nation Ford pulled within one. That rally was short lived as the Mavericks went on a 5-0 run with the help of another Falcons turnover.
Turnovers lessened for Nation Ford as the game wore on, but still proved to be costly with Marvin Ridge converting.
Both teams played a slower pace to start the second quarter. Nation Ford still struggled with turnovers, after committing seven in the opening quarter.
The Falcons switched to a full-court press to try and slow Marvin Ridge down, but the Mavericks were able to break the press and establish its offense.
Free throws kept Nation Ford in the game in the second quarter as they went 5-for-7. The team struggled from the field going 1-for-10.
The Falcons struggled early with turnovers to start the game. Defensively, the team did well getting stops on the Marvin Ridge side. But the Mavericks started getting easy looks at the basket leading to layups.
Nation Ford was able to keep pace, as Marvin Ridge started shooting and missing 3-pointers instead of going to the hoop.