The crosstown rivalry became the playoffs for Rock Hill, who hosted Northwestern in the season finale.
The Bearcats, who will miss the postseason, brought plenty of playoff intensity against the Trojans and ended the season on a high note with a 63-46 victory on Senior Night.
"This is our playoff game," Rock Hill coach Eric Rollins said. "I told our guys that there will be one state champion, so every other team in the playoffs will end the season with a loss. So if we are not in the playoffs, we wanted to go out with a win and make this our playoffs."
The Bearcats, 10-13 overall and 2-8 in Region 3-AAAA, also got an emotional lift with the team's seniors being honored prior to the opening tip.
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Rock Hill carried that emotion into the first quarter. Alvin McClure sank a free throw for a 7-6 Trojan lead. Bearcats center Matt Harvey answered by scoring off the glass, giving Rock Hill a lead which would only grow.
Charles Johnson connected on his first of three 3-pointers and Jamel Jones sank two technical free-throws before the end of the quarter for a 16-11 Bearcats advantage.
Rock Hill opened the second quarter with eight unanswered points, which was capped by a fast-break dunk from Jones. However, Northwestern fought back from the 24-10 deficit. Keith Bell capped a 14-2 spurt with a jumper, pulling the Trojans to within three, 26-23, with 1:33 remaining before the half.
The Bearcats regained momentum prior to the half when Dre Williams and Jones sinking 3-pointers and Roderick Howell adding a free throw for a 33-23 advantage.
Rock Hill got two 3-pointers from Johnson, and Savion Thomas completed an old-fashion 3-point play for a 15-point advantage, 44-29, at the 2:19 mark in the third. That would carry over into the final 8 minutes of action as the lead eventually grew to 21, 61-40, with 2 minutes remaining in the contest.
"I told our guys that they would bring it and that we would have to answer the bell," Trojan coach Mike Gossett said. "Rock Hill did a great job and hats off to them."
The Trojans, 12-12 and 4-6, awaited the outcome of Friday's Gaffney-Spartanburg contest to determine whether or not they would qualify for the Class AAAA playoffs.
Gaffney's 82-64 win over Spartanburg clinched a playoff berth for Northwestern.
ROCK HILL 63
Northwestern -- Jontae McMillan 9, Jalen Orr 5, Keith Bell 2, Alvin McClure 13, Julius Durham 7, Rontavious McClure 6, Kendrick Cauthen 2, Stewart Hunt 2.
Rock Hill -- Charles Johnson 13, Jamel Jones 9, Will Killian 6, Trey McCullough 6, Matt Harvey 4, Dre Williams 5, Savion Thomas 6, Kahli Tisdale 3, Octavious Thompson 2, Tre McCullough 2, Roderick Howell 7.
3-pointers -- Northwestern 2 (Durham, McClure), Rock Hill 6 (Johnson 3, Williams, Tisdale, Jones). Team fouls -- Northwestern 13, Rock Hill 11. Fouled out -- None
Records: Northwestern 12-12, 4-6 Region 3-AAAA; Rock Hill 10-13, 2-8.