Fort Mill Times

Match-up with Fort Mill has region basketball title on the line for Falcons

With one more Region IV game left, the Nation Ford Falcons boys’ basketball team can finish the regular season by claiming the region title with a win over rival Fort Mill Friday.

Nation Ford pushed its record in the region to 7-0 and 15-6 overall after beating Northwestern 83-74 last week.

“We got stops and hit shots,” Falcons’ head coach Jared Adamson said. “We had a nice cushion going into the second half. We got to do better in finishing games.”

Nation Ford shot out of the gate and was up 31-16 after the first quarter. The Falcons scored the first eight points of the game while Northwestern committed five turnovers. Nation Ford’s Zeb Graham led the Falcons in scoring with 22 points, scoring nine of those points in the first quarter.

Northwestern fought back in the second quarter and outscored the Falcons 19-18 as the Trojans started the quarter on a 13-8 run. Graham scored eight more points in the second quarter, hitting half of Nation Ford’s shots.

Coming out of the half with a 14-point lead at 49-35, the Falcons again pressed the gas and used their offense to pull away. Nation Ford’s Shaman Alston led by scoring eight of his 16 points in the game in the third quarter as the Falcons shot a little under 50 percent from the field in the third to build a 16-point lead heading in the fourth.

Northwestern again rallied in the fourth quarter, pulling within 10 points on several occasions, but could never really close the gap more than that as the Falcons took fewer shots in the quarter, but had a higher field goal percentage. Nation Ford’s Malik Bryant scored seven of his 17 total points in the quarter to help pace the Falcons.

Adams paces girls

In the girls’ match-up, Nation Ford won easily 55-38 and was led by Kelci Adams with 15 points and Amiah Lindsay with 13 points. The Falcons were missing Sami Tuipulotu, who is battling a left knee injury that could possibly keep her out for the rest of the season depending on what further tests reveal.

“Basketball is probably done for the year for her,” said Nation Ford head coach Kate Edwards. “It is probably an LCL sprain at best or it’s a meniscus tear.”

Nation Ford started well to open the game, going up 15-7 after the first quarter and continued its momentum into the second quarter as the Falcons used a nearly perfect performance from the foul line to take a 29-18 lead into the half.

The second half proved to be just as fruitful for Nation Ford as Lindsay scored seven of her 13 points in the third quarter as the Falcons posted a game high 17 points in the period.

The Falcons were coming off a surprise loss to Clover and are now 5-2 in region play behind Rock Hill. Nation Ford is 14-6 overall.

“We bounced back,” Edwards said. “Peoples roles have had to change. We are focused on being sharp by the Fort Mill game.”

Up next for the Falcons this week is a make-up game Tuesday against Dorman, while both the boys and girls teams will prepare themselves for their rivalry match up Friday at Fort Mill.

Mac Banks:, @MacBanksFM