Ask Indian Land coach Horatio Blades what he thinks about the Chester-Union County 3A Upper State championship football game and he sees two very similar teams. Blades’ Warriors played both, losing to the Cyclones 12-9 in the regular season before Union County eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs.
Blades sees two run-focused teams with big and athletic QBs and talented running backs. Both have speed on the edges and a smashmouth mentality. Chester coach Victor Floyd compared Union County to a 4A version of Gaffney (although the Yellow Jackets are playing in the 3A classification).
Union County is 10-3 in Brian Thompson’s first season as the head coach. He came to the Yellow Jackets from River Bluff where he was the defensive coordinator. The Yellow Jackets’ three losses came against Chapman (58-40 in the season opener), Gaffney and Greer, teams with a combined 35-4 record. Union County avenged the Chapman loss in the cruelest way last week, knocking the Panthers out of the playoffs with a 28-27 comeback win.
Union County averages 442 yards per game on the ground and Floyd said his defensive crew will have to be diligent in its assignments. But the Cyclones have been for much of the season, especially last week in forcing six turnovers that doomed any hopes Southside harbored of a third round upset.
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“We’ve got to tackle, we’ve got to wrap up,” said Floyd. “We can’t allow them to get yards after contact. That’s the biggest thing.”
Floyd thinks he has at least six future college players starting on defense. Seniors Zion Mills and Dorrien Bagley have made plays in the back end of the defense, Mills intercepting five passes and Bagley intercepting two and forcing four fumbles. Up front, tackle Quay Evans (five forced fumbles this season) has been dominant and will be a highly coveted college recruit, and 6-foot-1, 220-pound sophomore linebacker Octaveion Minter, the team’s leading tackler, will be a national recruit because of his mobility and size. Plus, his nickname is “Tank,” and every nasty football defense needs one of those.
“All those guys have just had good seasons,” said Floyd.
Floyd said Wednesday evening that the Yellow Jackets have thrown 16 passes total in three playoff games.
“It’s gonna be knockdown drag-out,” he added.
The Chester-Union County winner advances to the 3A state championship game Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. in Williams-Brice Stadium against the winner of Dillon-Wade Hampton.
Some of the nation’s top high school basketball talent at Nation Ford this weekend
Nation Ford High School is hosting some big-time basketball this weekend in The Battle at The Rock tournament.
The tournament starts Friday at 6 p.m. and runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to around midnight. Nation Ford, York Prep, York, Northwestern and Rock Hill are all in the field, but the biggest draws include Oak Hill and IMG Academy, both ranked in the top-three teams nationally.
Nation Ford faces Porter Gaud in a marquee matchup Saturday at 6 p.m. Porter Gaud brings Tennessee signee Josiah James to the court, while the Falcons boast several Division I prospects.
Immediately following that game, Dorman faces Oak Hill. Dorman includes several of South Carolina’s top high school basketball prospects, including Myles Tate and P.J. Hall, while Oak Hill guard Cole Anthony is the No. 1-rated player in this year’s senior class.
Josh Nickelberry, a highly-regarded Louisville recruit, plays for Northwood Temple, which faces Northwestern Saturday afternoon.
6 p.m. - Northwood Temple vs. Gray Collegiate
7:30 p.m. - York Prep vs. Porter Gaud
9 p.m. - IMG Academy vs. United Faith Christian
10 a.m. - York vs. Lower Richland
11:30 a.m. - Byrnes vs. Oak Hill Red
1 p.m. - Irmo vs. Miller School
2:30 p.m. - Northwestern vs. Northwood Temple
4:30 p.m. - Rock Hill vs. Northside Christian
6 p.m. - Nation Ford vs. Porter Gaud
7:30 p.m. - Oak Hill vs. Dorman
9 p.m. - Christ School vs. IMG Academy
Rock Hill Bearcat golfer headed to South Carolina
Rock Hill High’s Nick Mayfield has signed to play college golf at South Carolina.
Mayfield is a two-time 5A All-State selection and honor roll student. He won multiple South Carolina Junior Golf Association events this past season and Gamecocks coach Bill McDonald was thrilled to lock up the in-state talent.
“Nick has impressed me with his speed and physical talent for the past couple of years,” McDonald said in a release. “His skills and work ethic translate well to the college game and I think he will be a tremendous asset to our program. He’s a proven winner and a fearless driver of the golf ball, which means he’s usually making lots of birdies. Our staff’s recruiting focus has been on identifying the most talented in-state players and Nicholas certainly embodies that effort.”
New Jersey’s Jack Wall is the Gamecocks’ other signee so far this class.
“I believe both Nick and Jack are capable of stepping in and starting early on in our lineup,” said McDonald. “They’re both very talented and aren’t afraid to play an aggressive style of golf which attracted me to both of them. They’re certainly prepared academically to handle college golf as well. When you put their first names together – Jack and Nicholas – I can’t help but think we may have some golf history or symmetry in the making here with our 2019 class.”
Clover 73, Lewisville 66
The Clover Blue Eagles defeated the Lewisville Lions 73-66 in a non-region contest at Clover Wednesday night.
Lewisville took a 24-16 lead after one quarter, but Clover rallied in the second period and cut the deficit to 35-29 at halftime. The Blue Eagles comeback continued in the third stanza, and when it was over Clover led 56-50. They hung on down the stretch to claim the win.
Andrez Dalton led the Blue Eagles with 13 points, while Demetric Hardin paced the Lions with a game-high 25 points.
Clover is 2-0 on the year. The Lions are 1-3.
Spring Valley 51, South Pointe 42
Spring Valley toppled the South Pointe Stallions in a non-region game at South Pointe Wednesday night.
The Stallions are 0-2 on the year.
Rock Hill 62, Fairfield Central 47
The Rock Hill Bearcats established a 33-17 lead at intermission and defeated the Fairfield Central Griffins 62-47 in a non-region game at Fairfield Central Tuesday night.
Fairfield Central battled back in the third period and cut the deficit to 41-30, but the ‘Cats outscored the Griffins 21-17 in the final quarter to pull away.
Rock Hill was led by Jordan Wildy with 18 points. He got eight points in the opening quarter to help the ‘Cats to an 11-4 lead. Saiveon Williams added 16 to the winning effort as the Bearcats improved to 3-0 overall on the year.
Fort Mill 58, South Pointe 45
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets used a strong third quarter to pull away and claimed a 58-45 win over the South Pointe Stallions in a non-region game at Fort Mill Tuesday night.
The Yellow Jackets led 29-25 at intermission, and outscored the Stallions 18-9 in the third quarter for a 47-34 cushion when it was over. Both teams scored 11 points in the final period.
Jacobi Wright led Fort Mill with 28 points. He was joined in double figures by Carson Morton with 12. The Stallions were led by Thomas Petilla, who scored 11.
Fort Mill is 2-1 overall.
Nation Ford 71, Lancaster 40
The Nation Ford Falcons continued their winning ways with a 71-40 victory over the Lancaster Bruins in a non-region game at Lancaster Tuesday night.
The Falcons led 31-25 at halftime and outscored the Bruins 22-8 in the third period to take a 53-33 lead when it was in the books. They coasted from there for the victory.
Zeb Graham led Nation Ford with 18 points. Shaman Alston and Ben Burnham joined him in double digits with 13 and 10 points respectively.
Nation Ford is 3-0 overall on the year, while Lancaster is 1-2 overall.
Northwestern 83, Chester 69
The Northwestern Trojans placed four players in double figures and toppled the Chester Cyclones 83-69 in a non-region game at Chester Tuesday night.
Mason Grigg and Zay Martin led the Trojans’ scoring parade with 16 points each. Zuric Harrvey added 14, while Haney Joel came off the bench with a solid effort and tossed in a dozen.
Northwestern is 3-0 overall on the year, while Chester is 0-1.
Clover 78, Forestview 71 (OT)
The Clover Blue Eagles rebounded in the second half and registered a 78-71 overtime win over Forestview in a non-region game at Clover Tuesday night.
The Blue Eagles trailed 33-29 at halftime, but they stepped it up in the third period by outscoring Forestview 21-14 to take a 50-47 lead heading to the final period. Forestview rallied in the final minutes and tied the contest at 62 and sent it into overtime. Clover outscored Forestview 16-9 in the extra session and claimed the win.
Heze Massey led the Blue Eagles with 19 points.
Gaffney 55, York 40
Gaffney used a solid second half and topped the York Cougars 55-40 in a non-region game at York Tuesday night.
Gaffney led 11-5 after one period, but the Cougars charged back in the second quarter and cut the deficit to 24-21 at halftime. Gaffney outscored York 15-10 in the third period for a 39-31 advantage. They pulled away in the final period for the win.
York is 0-1 on the season.
Andrew Jackson 84, Indian Land 56
Andrew Jackson used a solid second quarter to take a 36-24 lead at halftime and went on to claim an 84-56 win over the Indian Land Warriors in a non-region game at Andrew Jackson Tuesday night.
Andrew Jackson outscored the Warriors 23-20 in the third period for a 59-44 cushion. They finished with a 21-12 advantage in the final eight minutes.
Indian Land is 0-1 on the year.
Great Falls 72, Buford 55
The Great Falls Red Devils sprinted to a 45-22 lead at halftime and topped Buford 72-55 in a non-region contest at Buford Tuesday night.
The Red Devils set the tone for the game by taking a 22-9 lead after one quarter, and they were in complete command the rest of the way.
Great Falls is 1-0 on the year.
Lewisville 75, Franklin Prep 63
The Lewisville Lions pulled away in the final period and toppled Franklin Prep 75-63 in a non-region game at Franklin Prep Monday night.
Lewisville led 20-18 after one quarter and was in front 38-29 at halftime. Franklin Prep cut it 54-49 after three quarters, but the Lions outscored Franklin Prep 21-14 in the final eight minutes to claim the win.
Demetric Hardin led the Lions with 30 points. Maurice Grant added 17 and Braxton Elms tossed in 10 for Lewisville.
Clover 66, Indian Land 27
The Clover Blue Eagles placed three players in double figures and defeated Indian Land 66-27 in a non-region game at Clover Wednesday night.
Aylesha Wade led the Blue Eagles with 16 points. Tiona Walls added 13, while Taylor Thomas chipped in 12.
Clover is 4-0 on the year.
Spring Valley 64, South Pointe 59
Spring Valley edged South Pointe 64-59 in a non-region game at South Pointe Wednesday night.
South Pointe is 4-1 on the year.
Rock Hill 47, Fairfield Central 24
Rock Hill bolted to a 27-8 lead at halftime and defeated Fairfield Central 47-24 in a non-region game at Fairfield Central Tuesday night.
Rock Hill is 1-2 on the year.
South Pointe 61, Fort Mill 13
The South Pointe Stallions raced to an 18-3 lead after one quarter and never looked back as they routed the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets 61-13 in a non-region contest at Fort Mill Tuesday night.
The Stallions upped their advantage to 35-9 by halftime and cruised on from there for the one-sided victory.
Scarlett Gilmore led the assault with 14 points, and Trinity Adams added 13 to the winning effort.
Fort Mill is 3-1 on the year.
Northwestern 64, Chester 22
The Northwestern Trojans defeated the Chester Cyclones 64-22 in a non-region game at Chester Tuesday night.
Brittany Bumpers led the Trojans to the victory with 20 points and five rebounds.
Northwestern is 1-0 on the year, while Chester is 1-3.
Clover 60, Forestview 37
The Clover Blue Eagles took a 14-5 lead after one quarter and topped Forestview 60-37 in a non-region game at Clover Tuesday night.
Aylesha Wade led Clover with a game-high 26 points. She scored eight of her points in the first period to lead Clover to the quick start. By halftime the Blue Eagles were in front 28-18. They coasted on from there for the win.
Nation Ford 76, Lancaster 46
The Nation Ford Falcons topped the Lancaster Bruins 76-46 in a non-region game at Lancaster Tuesday night.
Nation Ford is 3-0 on the year, while Lancaster is 0-1.
Gaffney 50, York 34
The Gaffney Indians topped the York Cougars 50-34 in a non-region contest at York Tuesday night.
Gaffney took a 16-6 lead after one quarter and increased it to 27-12 by halftime. York outscored Gaffney 15-13 in the third quarter, but the Indians responded with a strong fourth quarter to complete the win.
York is 1-2 overall on the season.
Andrew Jackson 47, Indian Land 27
The Andrew Jackson Volunteers broke the game open in the second half and defeated the Indian Land Warriors 47-27 in a non-region game at Andrew Jackson Tuesday night.
Andrew Jackson led 20-13 at halftime, and they increased the lead to 32-19 after three quarters. They went on from there to pick up the win.
York Prep 67, Lake Pointe 29
The York Prep Patriots took a 25-4 lead after one period and routed Lake Pointe 67-29 in a non-region game at Lake Pointe Tuesday night.
The Patriots, which led 35-6 at halftime, are now 2-1 on the year.
Gibbons plays in 4A-5A singles
Rebecca Gibbons of Northwestern competed in the 4A-5A state singles earlier in the week in Columbia.
She was victorious in her first round match against Addie Anderson of T. L. Hanna. Gibbons won 7-6 and 7-5 to move to the second round in the winners bracket.
She lost in the second round to eventual state champion Maggie Cubitt of Spartanburg by scores of 6-0 and 6-1. That dropped her to the losers bracket where she was defeated 8-1 by Hanna Myers of Blythewood.
McBride competes in 4A-5A singles
Kathie McBride of Lancaster played in the 4A-5A state singles earlier in the week in Columbia.
She lost in the opening round of play to Elise Sandlin of A. C. Flora by scores of 6-1 and 6-1. That put her in the loser’s bracket, where she lost to Claire Floyd of Rilver Bluff by a score of 8-1.
Fort Mill wins two
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets opened the season with a pair of non-region wins on Wednesday night at Fort Mill.
The Yellow Jackets defeated Rocky River 72-12 and topped Myers Park 65-13.