With the possibility of a share of the Region 4-AAA title and a home game in the first round of the playoffs on the line, Nation Ford and Fort Mill were set up for a tight, down-to-the-wire game.
In the end, it was Fort Mill that came away the winner, 72-57, in a one-sided game.
With South Pointe earning an 83-65 win over York, the Stallions won the region title, which gave Fort Mill a second-place finish.
Nation Ford finished third and will be on the road to open the playoffs.
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The Jackets had all the motivation they needed heading into the game.
"It doesn't take much motivation playing your arch rival," said Fort Mill coach Dwayne Hartsoe. "The first half was as good as we could have started."
The Jackets were led by its 3-point shooting and seniors Daequon Antoine (who scored 16 points in the game, including three 3-pointers) and Jon Brown, who also hit two 3-pointers and had 17 points.
As a team, Fort Mill drained seven 3-pointers.
Nation Ford tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter as they rallied from down 20 at the start of the quarter and cut it to 10 near the two-minute mark at 62-52.
"Fort Mill was trying to hold the ball and that gave us a chance to be more aggressive," Falcons coach Brian Turner said. "The kids played hard and didn't quit."
The Jackets started hitting free throws down the stretch to keep the Falcons at bay.
Nation Ford chipped away at the 25-point halftime deficit by starting the third quarter on a 9-4 run.
The Falcons got the deficit to under 20 points with about a minute left in the third at 52-34, but two Devan Thacker free throws put it back to 20 before the end of the quarter.
Fort Mill took a quick 9-3 lead to start the game on the strength of four Nation Ford turnovers.
Antoine hit two 3-pointers for Fort Mill early. The Jackets were also big on the glass. Nation Ford struggled from the field as they hit just one field-goal in the first six minutes of the game, going 1-12.
That gave Fort Mill a 21-5 lead after the opening quarter.
Nation Ford's struggles continued to start the second quarter. Brown and Antoine paced the Jackets with 3-pointers as the Jackets went up 29-9.
Fort Mill seemed to score at will as they continued to get second chance opportunities and easy looks at the hoop.
Rylan Wells came off the bench for the Jackets in the second quarter to score six points.
Nation Ford continued to struggle with turnovers as it turned the ball over to Fort Mill 11 times in the first half, giving the Jackets a commanding 25-point lead at the half.
Fort Mill shot 53 percent in the first half, while the Falcons shot 22 percent.
Fort Mill 72,
Nation Ford 57
Fort Mill - Jon Brown 17, Daequon Antoine 16, Devan Thacker 13, Rylan Wells 8, Riley McGillan 4, Matt Ferguson 4, Daniel Barfield 3, Mike Scurlock 3, Kevin Woods 2, John Paris 2.
Nation Ford - Kevin Stewart 14, AJ Jackson 13, Andrew Komornik 9, Brandon Harris 5, Chase Bollinger 4, Justin Sergent 4, Ben Fountain 3, JJ McCullough 2, Carson Smith 2, Riley Hilton 1.
3-pointers - Fort Mill 7(Daequon Antoine 3, Jon Brown 2, Mike Scurlock 1 Daniel Barfield), Nation Ford 4(Ben Fountain 1, AJ Jackson 1, Brandon Harris 1, Justin Sergent 1). Team fouls - Fort Mill 20, Nation Ford 21. Fouled out - None.
Records: Fort Mill 16-7, 8-2 Region 4-AAA; Nation Ford 16-8, 7-3 Region 4-AAA.