FORT MILL -- Nation Ford collected the first win in the inaugural basketball version of the Mill Town Showdown on Friday night with a dramatic 49-44 victory over Fort Mill.
After a sluggish start on both ends, the Falcons, who are in their inaugural season of competition, settled down in the second quarter and led by as many as nine following Lindsay Buckles' transition layup. Katie Koslowski added a 3-pointer on the Falcons' first possession in the second quarter to extend the lead to 10.
Nation Ford, which moves to 5-8 overall and 2-2 in Region 3-AAAA, pushed its margin to 14 at 31-17 with 5:24 to play in the half on back-to-back buckets from Koslowski.
The Yellow Jackets then began chipping away at the deficit. Sparked by Natalie Perrott's 3-pointer with 4:58 to play in the second, Fort Mill climbed to within four just over three minutes later.
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With momentum on their side, the Yellow Jackets continued to whittle and eventually grabbed the lead for a short time in the fourth quarter. Jenna White and Megan Killmeyer each scored four points during the Yellow Jackets' 13-5 run in which they took the lead 43-42 with 1:38 remaining. It was only the second time Fort Mill led in the game and the first since holding a 6-5 edge midway through the first quarter.
Perrott put her Yellow Jackets up two with just over a minute to play when she converted one of two free throws.
Nation Ford stayed poised after fumbling away its lead and several big plays from Koslowski set the stage for the final seconds.
"The big thing is that we were able to run the out-of-bounds play to Katie. Katlyn (Smith) set a great screen and Katie popped the 3. Then she made a steal on the next play and kind of took things on her shoulders, which we expect her to do this year," said Falcons coach Scott Barefield. "It was a great job by our girls at the end. It wasn't what I did; it was what they did."
Koslowski, who finished with a game-high 21 points, drilled a 3-pointer with 56 seconds remaining to give the lead back to Nation Ford.
Fort Mill 7 10 14 13 -- 44
Nation Ford 7 17 13 12 -- 49
• SOUTH POINTE 49, CLOVER 48 -- South Pointe sophomore Chelsea Douglas scored seven of her game-high 21 points in the final two minutes to lead the Stallions to a 49-48 come-from-behind win over Region 3-AAAA foe Clover.
Douglas completed a three-point play and scored on another drive to the hoop to give South Pointe a 47-46 lead with 1:12 left in the game.
Clover's Jaclin Poole took a pass from Rachael Newmister and buried an eight-foot turnaround jumper 24 seconds later to put Clover back on top 48-47.
Poole, a junior, finished with a season-best 13 points.
South Pointe put the ball right back in Douglas' hands. She penetrated and scored the go-ahead bucket with 17 seconds to go.
De'Brea Barber tipped the ball away from Clover and Douglas came up with the loose ball to seal the victory.
The Stallions led 35-23 in the third quarter before Clover went on a 15-2 run. A jumper by Newmister gave the Blue Eagles a 40-39 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Clover rally began after point guard Brittany Jo Bowman picked up her third and fourth fouls midway through the third quarter. The Blue Eagles seemed to pull together at that point with Poole and Iesha Wade combining for 20 second-half points.
Wade finished with 13 points, and Newmister had 10.
Clover 5 15 12 16 -- 48
South Pointe 17 14 6 12 -- 49
• LANCASTER 67, ROCK HILL 50 -- In Lancaster, the Lady Bruins turned up the defensive heat in the second half to pull away from Rock Hill.
Tenesha Howze and Quana Jones paced a balanced Lancaster attack with 11 points each as Lancaster won for the third time in league play against only one defeat.
"We created turnovers off the defensive pressure; that allowed us to get a big lead in the third quarter, even though Rock Hill kept fighting back," Lancaster coach Ronnie Robinson said.
"Defensively, we knew that their No. 15 (Shandrice Erby) is a good shooter; we extended the defense to try to keep her in check, and then forced their other players to beat us."
Erby did lead all players with 19 points while Maggie Rogers followed with 13 to pace the Lady Bearcats, who are now 5-6 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Lancaster led at the half, 28-24, but used ferocious defense for a 19-9 third-quarter advantage and a 47-33 lead. That proved to be too much of a deficit for the Lady Bearcats to overcome down the stretch.
Rock Hill 8 16 9 17 -- 50
Lancaster 14 14 19 20 -- 67
Chester 6 6 12 17 -- 41
A.C. Flora 9 19 10 15 -- 53
• YORK 56 NORTHWESTERN 51 (OT) -- In York, after a sluggish start to the season for Northwestern, the upstart Lady Trojans rallied from two separate nine-point deficits only to eventually fall to York in overtime at a packed York Comprehensive High gym.
York took an eight-point lead into the fourth period behind stellar defense, which held Northwestern to just two free throws during the first nine minutes of the second half. Northwestern rallied behind coach John Bramlett he was whistled for a technical foul.
The foul, not likely to be a coaching ploy, ended up spurring a 16-2 Lady Trojan run that gave the visitors a five-point lead with 1:37 remaining in the game.
Not to be denied, York senior Keishia Thacker hit a quick deuce, and after a Northwestern turnover, Erika Shannon buried a deep 3-pointer to tie the game at 41 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Lady Cougars dominated the overtime session, opening the period on an 11-2 run. Northwestern attempted to get back into the game by fouling York, but the Lady Cougars answered the call.
York 11 11 11 8 15 -- 56
Northwestern 5 18 2 16 10 -- 51