Nation Ford’s Ellona Moulds drained two free-throws with 3.2 seconds remaining to beat Gaffney 44-42, as both the Falcons boys’ and girls’ team improved to 4-0 on the season.
NaFo’s girls rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Indians after outscoring them 13-11. Kelci Adams led Nation Ford with 11 points and Moulds added 10.
Nation Ford trailed 25-21 at the half after struggling in the first half. The Falcons kept the pressure on Gaffney in the second half by trapping the ball and outscored the Indians 10-6. Nation Ford held Gaffney to just one field goal in the third quarter on 10 attempts. Because of their stifling defense, the Falcons tied the game at 31 heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth, the two teams fought back and forth trading the lead often. Nation Ford went 5-of-11 from the foul line in the quarter and hit four of 17 shots from the field. Gaffney struggled just as much, hitting four of 16 shots from the field and just three of 13 shots from the foul line.
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With the game tied at 42, Gaffney had the chance to take the lead with 7.9 seconds left, but missed both free throws before turning the ball over to Nation Ford. Moulds would then be fouled and go to the line with about three seconds left to give her team the lead and eventually, the win.
“A win is a win,” said Nation Ford head coach Kate Edwards. “We showed a lot of resilience.”
Graham leads boys to win
The Falcons boys’ team also beat Gaffney, 88-71, behind 29 points from Zeb Graham. Nation Ford came into the game against No. 3-ranked Gaffney ranked seventh themselves, but the game was never really close.
Nation Ford went up 22-13 after the first round after jumping out on a 12-3 run to open the game. Gaffney did fight back in the second quarter, cutting the Falcons lead to three points at 36-33, but Nation Ford was able to take a 45-37 lead into the half.
The Falcons opened the second half on a 6-0 run to pull away and put the game out of reach. Nation Ford outscored Gaffney 24-11 in the third quarter when Graham scored nine of his points. Eric Moulds scored 17 points and Khydarius Smith and Shaman Alston had 10 points each in the win.
Nation Ford opened the fourth quarter with a 21-point lead at 69-48, but again Gaffney battled back to cut the lead nearly in half after going on an 11-2 run to open the final period.
“We have got to do better in finishing games,” said Nation Ford head coach Jared Adamson. “They got us uncomfortable. There was a stretch where we went jump shot happy. We have to keep doing the little things.”
Nation Ford will hasgames against Boiling Springs and defending state champions Dorman this week.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM